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  • Changes to Festival of the Lion King

    I'm sure most of you would agree that Festival of the Lion King at Animal Kingdom is one of the best shows on property. I've been fortunate to see this show many many times from even before the park opened to the public. Over the years, I've noticed some changes that somewhat bother me. I was just wondering if anyone else noticed these changes and what you thought about them.

    1) The conversion of the theatre to a completely indoor theatre. Since Camp Minnie Mickey is supposed to be a summer camp, I loved that the theatre was really just a roof before. It really seemed like a "camp auditorium". I've attended the shows in really hot temperatures too and never really had any issues with heat. Does anyone know why they did this? Have guests really complained about the heat that much or was it for some other reason? DAK used to be an "outdoor park", and now it's very much an indoor park.

    2) The elimination of the "trees" that the tumble monkeys danced on in the finale. I remember seeing these very early on in the first year of the park. They stuck in the ground in the last act and the monkeys would spin around them and such. They were just decorated, flexible poles. I thought it was a much more fitting finale for them instead of just dancing around with the other cast since they ARE tumble monkeys after all.

    3) The four main cast members. Granted, I guess I'm spoiled because the original four cast members I thought were absolutely perfect for the show and I saw the show so many times opening season. But, over the years, I haven't minded the changes in cast too much. But, with my most recent visit a couple weeks ago, I thought the main cast was awful. The big dude I couldn't even understand when he was singing and I know all the words. No offense to any of the performers, but I really didn't think they were good at all. Even my friend that was with me who's only seen the show a couple times commented at the end of the show that the main singers were bad.

    4) The new "shoes" that the tumble monkeys wear. I just noticed these recently, so I'm not sure how new they are. But, they seriously look like florescent Crocs. They were very distracting to me during the show. My eye instinctively went to their feet since they were so bright. And, I thought it took away from their costume a LOT because they literally look like shoes - not monkey paws. I noticed most other cast members had their shoes covered with costume features. If I remember correctly, the monkeys used to have their costume cover their feet almost like kid's pajamas if you know what I mean. Anyone know why this was changed and when?

    5) Being allowed to use flash photography during the show. Uh, what's up with this newest change? It bugs me to no end. The theatre is so dark, the flashes right in your face (since the audience on the other side faces directly at you) are really distracting and annoying - at least to me. Why would the show go for so many years without flash photography and then suddenly make a change to allow it? During recent years, I've noticed people using flash cameras all over the place. On dark rides, in shows, etc... I just don't get it. It really negatively impacts my experience at the parks.

    What are everyone else's thoughts? Am I being too picky?
    -Tim

  • #2
    Re: Changes to Festival of the Lion King

    DAK used to be an "outdoor park", and now it's very much an indoor park.
    I don't know where you get that idea from? Its still very much an outdoor park, too much to be exact. We have one indoor ride and two indoor shows. Everything else takes place outside. One of the main complaints with the park is that its too hot.

    As for the rest of your comments, I don't really like Festival so I don't pay that much attention to it.

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    • #3
      Re: Changes to Festival of the Lion King

      Originally posted by halltd View Post
      Am I being too picky?

      Perhaps a bit. I still say this is the best stage show at WDW. Period. I'm not sure if I'm gonna get upset about the monkey's new shows
      www.jamboeveryone.com
      Celebrating Disney's Animal Kingdom

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      • #4
        Re: Changes to Festival of the Lion King

        You like it even better than Nemo?

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        • #5
          Re: Changes to Festival of the Lion King

          Originally posted by kcnole View Post
          You like it even better than Nemo?

          Nemo is awful
          www.jamboeveryone.com
          Celebrating Disney's Animal Kingdom

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          • #6
            Re: Changes to Festival of the Lion King

            like most shows, the lion king was a temporary show that became permanent. I like the enclosed theater especially in the summer. I rememmber tarzan being in an open theater and when the weather was sweltering, you sweltered. I don't remember there ever being a no flash rule, but I have to admit I didn't go to AK until it was a year old. I personally would love to see the whole concept of camp minnie mickey be replaced by a new habitat and attraction. the characters could easily move the meet and greet to the front of the park. where it makes more sense. right now it's just taking up valueable real estate.

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            • #7
              Re: Changes to Festival of the Lion King

              Originally posted by Cmash95 View Post
              I didn't go to AK until it was a year old. I personally would love to see the whole concept of camp minnie mickey be replaced by a new habitat and attraction. the characters could easily move the meet and greet to the front of the park. where it makes more sense. right now it's just taking up valueable real estate.
              you could make it an America area by keeping the character trails, the Pocohontas show.

              http://www.mouseextra.com/2007/05/29...-park/#respond

              I would love to see a Bear habitat, and everglades walk-thru, etc
              www.jamboeveryone.com
              Celebrating Disney's Animal Kingdom

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              • #8
                Re: Changes to Festival of the Lion King

                ^^ I'd rather see it be Beastlie Kingdomme like it was supposed to be. Camp Minnie Mickey was supposed to be a temporary placeholder.

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                • #9
                  Re: Changes to Festival of the Lion King

                  Originally posted by aimster View Post
                  ^^ I'd rather see it be Beastlie Kingdomme like it was supposed to be. Camp Minnie Mickey was supposed to be a temporary placeholder.

                  I would love the Beastly Kingdomme. I also wrote an article on how they can convert those ideas to a Narnia theme land at DAK
                  www.jamboeveryone.com
                  Celebrating Disney's Animal Kingdom

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                  • #10
                    Re: Changes to Festival of the Lion King

                    Originally posted by aimster View Post
                    ^^ I'd rather see it be Beastlie Kingdomme like it was supposed to be. Camp Minnie Mickey was supposed to be a temporary placeholder.
                    Agreed. In my ideal scenario there would be BK, and FOTLK would be moved to the Africa section. They could have an Africa-themed auditorium, like in Hong Kong.
                    Down with the Hat

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                    • #11
                      Re: Changes to Festival of the Lion King

                      So, I guess I'm the only one that's noticed these changes, eh?
                      -Tim

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                      • #12
                        Re: Changes to Festival of the Lion King

                        I would love for it to be like the one in Hong Kong where the entire center of the room rotates at parts of the show. It made the finale really cool!

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                        • #13
                          Re: Changes to Festival of the Lion King

                          Originally posted by MJMcB View Post
                          I would love the Beastly Kingdomme. I also wrote an article on how they can convert those ideas to a Narnia theme land at DAK
                          i think it would be better just to keep it Beastly Kingdomme insted of narnia
                          i like the Dragon Tower idea
                          and move the Lion king to africa

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                          • #14
                            Re: Changes to Festival of the Lion King

                            Originally posted by halltd View Post
                            1) The conversion of the theatre to a completely indoor theatre. Since Camp Minnie Mickey is supposed to be a summer camp, I loved that the theatre was really just a roof before. It really seemed like a "camp auditorium". I've attended the shows in really hot temperatures too and never really had any issues with heat. Does anyone know why they did this? Have guests really complained about the heat that much or was it for some other reason? DAK used to be an "outdoor park", and now it's very much an indoor park.

                            3) The four main cast members. Granted, I guess I'm spoiled because the original four cast members I thought were absolutely perfect for the show and I saw the show so many times opening season. But, over the years, I haven't minded the changes in cast too much. But, with my most recent visit a couple weeks ago, I thought the main cast was awful. The big dude I couldn't even understand when he was singing and I know all the words. No offense to any of the performers, but I really didn't think they were good at all. Even my friend that was with me who's only seen the show a couple times commented at the end of the show that the main singers were bad.

                            5) Being allowed to use flash photography during the show. Uh, what's up with this newest change? It bugs me to no end. The theatre is so dark, the flashes right in your face (since the audience on the other side faces directly at you) are really distracting and annoying - at least to me. Why would the show go for so many years without flash photography and then suddenly make a change to allow it?
                            I'd like to address three of the points you brought up.

                            First, I believe the indoor theatre is much better than one that is outdoor. For one thing, the performers aren't exposed to adverse weather (which would lead to show cancellations). Also, lighting and sound are much better in a controlled indoor environment.

                            I agree with the third point you addressed. I saw the show in November and noticed that one of the four main cast members, the youngest male, spoke and sang with an obvious lisp. That was very distracting to me and was very out of character. I don't understand how something like that could get past Casting.

                            And for your fifth point, I couldn't agree with you more. I find flash pictures very distracting. It's very disappointing to hear that they changed their policy on this. In that environment, pictures look better without a flash anyway... As seen in my attached photo.


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                            • #15
                              Re: Changes to Festival of the Lion King

                              Originally posted by MJMcB View Post
                              Nemo is awful
                              Funny about other people opinion's, because I think the Lion King show is boring, but I love Nemo. My fiance is the reverse. Interesting.
                              It's a Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah...Tip for Today!









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