Two of the best live shows at Disney World are held several times daily at the Animal Kingdom. The park is in the southwest corner of Walt Disney World and is not too far from the Coronado Springs Resort, which is host to many conventions. If you are a visitor with limited time, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a perfect choice. You can experience great thrills such as Expedition Everest and Kali River Rapids. Some of the best food at Disney World is served at Yak & Yeti restaurant, and character meals are offered at Tusker House.
If after visiting the park you are ready for a real gourmet meal check out Jiko – The Cooking Place at the nearby Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House. Musical fans will get their fill with not one– but two fabulous productions, the Festival of the Lion King and Finding Nemo.
About Finding Nemo — The Musical
Finding Nemo is arguably the most elaborate live show in any Disney World theme park. Incorporating dancing, special effects, and sophisticated digital backdrops of the undersea world, it features on-stage human performers retelling Nemo’s story with colorful, larger-than-life puppets.
To be fair, ”puppets” doesn’t adequately convey the size or detail of these props, many of which are as big as a car and require two people to manipulate. An original musical score was written for the show, which is a must-see for most Animal Kingdom guests. Performance are held at Theater in the Wild.
About Festival of the Lion King
This energetic production, inspired by Disney’s Lion King feature, is part stage show, part parade, part circus. Guests are seated in four sets of bleachers surrounding the stage and organized into separate cheering sections, which are called on to make elephant, warthog, giraffe, and lion noises (you won’t be alone if you don’t know how to make a giraffe or warthog noise).
There is a great deal of parading around, some acrobatics, and a lot of singing and dancing. By our count, every tune from The Lion King is belted out and reprised several times. No joke—if you don’t know the words to all the songs by the end of the show, you must have been asleep. Festival of the Lion King is shown at Harambe Theater, near Tusker House.
Animal Kingdom Shows Touring Tips
Both Animal Kingdom shows are major attractions. To get a seat, show up 20–25 before showtime or use Fastpass+, performance times are listed in the handout park map or Times Guide.
Recommended reading for readers on a short or impromptu trip to Walt Disney World: Mini Mickey the CliffsNotes-style version of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. The latest edition of Mini Mickey is now available in a bookstore near you.