Who Would Love Disney’s Festival of the Lion King?

One person in our family considers Festival of the Lion King a must-do Animal Kingdom attraction and insists on trying (usually unsuccessfully) to include it on every visit. Poor Megan!  The rest of us are kind of meh about the Lion King show and it’s probably due to getting burned out in the early years when she’d beg to see it twice a day.  (She has powerful persuasion skills and was the sweetest child!)

Who Would Love Disney’s Festival of the Lion King?

Having pretty much shunned the Festival of the Lion King for the past couple-few years (as we say in these parts), I promised Megan when we took our Mother/Daughter Disney trip back in June we could see her favorite show. I was so excited we were going to see Pandora, I think I was unusually agreeable.

So, once we’d ridden Na’vi River Journey and Flight of Passage (twice), it was time to make good on my promise. We were off to the Harambe Theater, which is conveniently located just past the Dawa Bar (had to stop, Pandora made us thirsty). We didn’t have to wait long outside the theater before we headed in to find a seat (Tip: don’t use a FastPass for this attraction).  It was wonderfully cool and dark as we made our way up the aisle in the closest section to perch on the bleachers.  I’d forgotten about those seats.  Luckily, the women in our family come “standard equipped” with good seat cushions.  Still pretty uncomfortable.  So much for trying to squeeze in a nap.

When the show started, I quickly realized it was much better than I remembered. The Tumble Monkeys had a much smaller role than they’d had in the past and didn’t perform the acrobatics I’d seen them do before, but the singing and dancing was fantastic!  Who Would Love Disney's Festival of the Lion King?This show does an amazing job of including the audience throughout its entire 30 minute duration.  I’d forgotten how great the costumes are and how talented the performers…I owed Megan an apology for a few (slightly) negative comments I’d jokingly made pre-show.

I asked Megan to share her thoughts on why she loves Festival of the Lion King so much and here’s what she had to say…

“I love the stunts like the fire twirler and the monkeys. The dancing is fun to watch and I enjoy the choreography (mainly when the two birds dance).  I love the singing and I think Disney does a really good job of finding people who will sing the songs really well live (like “Be Prepared”) and I’ve always thought the floats with the giant moving and talking animals were a pretty cool touch.”Who Would Love Disney's Festival of the Lion King?

We noticed families with children of all ages enjoying Festival of the Lion King’s clever mix of circus-style performance, musical numbers, characters and audience participation. It’s a winning combination!

Have you seen Festival of the Lion King? How do you feel about it?  Who in your family loves this show?

Walt Disney World Mid-Vacation Check-in

Cinderella Castle at NightWith just a couple of days left to enjoy this week at Walt Disney World, I thought I’d post a quick update about how it’s been going…

What a GREAT time we’re having!  Everyday has been packed with fun – even though, by our usual vacation standards, we’ve been really taking it easy and going with the flow.  We’re trying a lot of things for the first time and revisiting some old favorites.  Mostly, we’ve been staying in the moment, stopping to smell the roses, so to speak.  This is what has certainly made our first trip as a couple in 25 years extremely special!

Here are 5 things that we’ve learned so far:

1. Animal Kingdom is experiencing some major growing pains and construction walls are Dawa Bareverywhere.  Even so, we had a wonderful afternoon there on Saturday – saw some amazing things even – like BOTH of the new baby gorillas and a cast member feeding the Meerkats by hand.  We enjoyed Kilimanjaro Safari in the late afternoon nearly as much as we usually do first thing in the morning.  We also spent a delightful and relaxing few minutes enjoying a cocktail at the Dawa Bar.

2. The road from Jambo House to Kidani Village is paved with….lizards.  We counted 31 along and on the walkway on our way to Sanaa.  Every great thing we’ve heard about Sanaa was true!  We had a great dinner and the bread service?  Just amazing!!!

Path from Jambo House to Kidani Village3. Excitement is in the air at the Studios.  You can feel changes coming and while it’ll be a little sad to see original attractions make way for new ones, the park needs some TLC and we will welcome the changes with open arms.  We saw the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular just in case it’s next on the chopping block and you know what?  I loved it as much as I did the first time I ever saw it.

4. Citrico’s (table service, Grand Floridian) has got to be one of the most underrated dining experiences on Disney property.  Everything from the atmosphere to the service to the fantastic food was perfect.  We can’t wait to go back.

5. The Food and Wine Festival at Epcot is a big bunch of fun.  We made friends everywhere we stopped.  We haven’t disliked a single thing we’ve tried so far and I can’t wait to rank everything when we’re finished.  Brazil’s Crispy Pork Belly – To. Die. For.  We started off sharing everything we tried, but by the time we reached the Brazil kiosk, we knew better than to try to share that porcine delicacy!  You don’t stayed married for 25 years without perfecting certain strategies.  We strongly recommend at least one serving per person to keep the peace.

Well…I hate to cut this short, but our ADR at California Grill is in about 40 minutes and that’s barely enough time for me to get gussied up a bit.  I’ll be back home in a few days with reviews, tips and tricks, loads of pictures, and much more about our trip.  I’ll leave you with this picture of me…well, technically not me, but certainly how I felt I must have looked after our first afternoon in World Showcase sampling all the tasty offerings at the Food & Wine Festival.  If most of the pictures in this post appear sideways to you, my sincerest apologies – taken with my new iPhone 6, I’m having a super hard time getting them to appear correctly.  I’ll be working on that!

Country Bear Portrait