Stage shows are back at Walt Disney World with the opening of 'A Celebration of Festival of the Lion King'

May 08, 2021 in "Festival of the Lion King"

A Celebration of Festival of the Lion King
Posted: Saturday May 8, 2021 9:33am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Large scale live entertainment is back at Walt Disney World today as Disney’s Animal Kingdom resumes live shows at the Harambe Theatre.

“A Celebration of Festival of the Lion King” is a modified version of the hugely popular Festival of the Lion King that has performed at Disney's Animal Kingdom for many years.

Here is a look at the very first performance from earlier today.

To accommodate COVID-19 restrictions, the theatre’s capacity has been greatly reduced to approximately a third of its maximum.

Empty rows provide physical distancing between groups, and parties are seated in groups of 4. If you are a group larger than 4 you will be split up.

No virtual queue or FastPass+ is in operation, but the standby line has capacity to snake throughout Africa from the bridge to Pandora, all the way back to the main bridge into Africa.

The show itself has been modified to allow for physical distancing of the performers.

This means the show is about 5 minutes shorter, and we unfortunately lose the tumble monkeys and the flying bird segments of the show.

These modifications are temporary during the pandemic, and the expectation is that the full show will return when conditions allow.

Guest participation on the stage has been eliminated, so don’t expect kids to be able to take to the stage for the finale parade.

The show is in unannounced previews now, with an official debut on May 15 2021. Today's first show began at 12:20pm.

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crazy4disneyMay 14, 2021

Thanks got the reply... with that being said. Can we be hopeful that something similar is on the short term horizon (2021) that we will still be able to obtain free “fastpasses” or whatever they may call it in the future?

havoc315May 14, 2021

Very safe. The FP digital architecture was transformed into the park pass system. A major re-design would be necessary in order to have both FP and park pass. Given the long standing rumors that the FP+ system has been a failure for Disney, not much use in going through a re-design just to bring back the old system. There have been more recent rumors of Disney "Genie" -- which could potentially include some sort of line management. Or they could go with a whole new FP system, even keeping the "Fastpass" name, but really be a totally different system. Either way, I wouldn't expect to see the "old FP+ system" just turned back on, any time soon.

crazy4disneyMay 14, 2021

With that being said.... is it safe to say FP is not coming back anytime soon/ever?

MansionButler84May 14, 2021

Not if they also want park reservations! Disney IT canNOT walk and chew gum at the same time.

CaptainAmericaMay 14, 2021

orky8May 14, 2021

Seems like it would make things go faster, able to pass people in line, so that's a plus.

disneygeek90May 14, 2021

Maybe resort guests get priority choice... that would give some incentive to staying on property...

CaptainAmericaMay 14, 2021

I wonder if they could come up with some kind of system that let people pick a few attractions that they really wanted to experience in a day... maybe three or so... and they could reserve them in advance from their phone or their computer. And this could help Disney predict crowds and staffing... hm...

wannabeBelleMay 14, 2021

Then they really should as you are saying. It makes all the sense in the world and everyone wins on that. I'd happily sign up for a virtual queue, then go have lunch, do some other attractions while I wait, etc. Marie

MansionButler84May 14, 2021

They have the capability for VQs.

wannabeBelleMay 14, 2021

Lack of IT to do it?? Marie

MansionButler84May 14, 2021

Yeah. Not sure why they aren’t doing this.

Disney AnalystMay 14, 2021

Truly, it would make the most sense. Can easily plan out capacity that way, and people aren't standing around for hours not spending money or enjoying the park....

dreday3May 14, 2021

Now this will be a big help! :)
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