PHOTOS: Check Out The Festival of the Lion King’s Soft Reopening in Disney World!

Over the past several months, some sense of normalcy has started to edge its way back into Disney World.

And, honestly, one of the BIGGEST things we have been missing is the live entertainment that once populated the parks. But, today, that all changes!

The Festival of the Lion King has RETURNED to Disney’s Animal Kingdom! We were able to experience the show early during a soft reopening before it debuts on May 15th. We’re feeling all the emotions, just getting ready to watch it for ourselves. Don’t worry, though, friends — we’re taking you along with us to see what modified live entertainment is like back in Disney World!

Arriving & Seating

When we arrived to the theater, guests waiting to watch the show lined up outside in a similar fashion to attraction queue.

Festival of the Lion King Queue

Guests must have their entire party with them before they are able to enter the theatre and be seated. Parties will be split into groups of 4, and they ask that only 4 people stand on each distancing sticker.

Festival of the Lion King Sign

And, it looks like the Cast Members were JUST as excited as we were to have everyone visiting once again! (Our whole hearts!!)

Excited Cast Members!

When guests entered, certain rows were blocked off to maintain distancing efforts.

Distanced Seating

Instead, parties sat in every other row at an appropriate distance from other groups.

Distanced Seating


We held in our waterworks as much as possible, but we couldn’t help but shed a tear when the show officially began!

Festival of the Lion King Stage

The actors took the stage during the show’s triumphant reopening, making our hearts melt.


Anybody else getting emotional hearing those opening notes?!

Cast Members were distanced from one another onstage, in order to maintain health and safety guidelines for everyone involved.

Festival of the Lion King

We saw the return of friends like Timon…

Hiya, friends!

…and Simba…

What’s Up, Simba?

…while various animals took the stage, including giraffes, elephants, and more!

Look at All Those Animals!

We couldn’t resist singing along to those hit songs during the show!

Even with all the changes, we can’t help but ADORE the return of The Festival of the Lion King!

Everybody else in the theatre felt the same way we did as the show received a standing ovation.


Wow, we missed Disney’s live entertainment SO much! We can’t wait to see more entertainment hopefully return soon. But, we’ll keep you updated on everything happening in Disney World, so stay tuned with All Ears!

Click here to read about another park detail returning in 2021 — after hours events!

What is your favorite show in Disney World? Let us know in the comments below!

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Rachel Franko has been going to Disney Parks since she was a baby, and her love of Disney has only grown into a SLIGHT obsession since! She's been writing for AllEars since 2019 and loves sharing the magic with all the readers. When she's not writing, you can catch her heading to Disney and Universal Studios with a heart full of dreams and a backpack full of themed ears!

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One Reply to “PHOTOS: Check Out The Festival of the Lion King’s Soft Reopening in Disney World!”

  1. Molly has already watched the show a hundred times today!!!!!! She hasn’t left even to go eat!!!!!!