Magic Behind the Music: Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Parades & Shows – Festival of the Lion King ~ 01 ~ Circle of Life

On the Jukebox, the D-COT Jukebox, the Lion sings tonight! Start with the Circle of Life as you listen to the Festival of the Lion King!

Disney's Animal Kingdom - Parades & Shows - Festival of the Lion King

It. Is. Time…These three words formally open the show that is the Festival of the Lion King at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. It’s no secret that The Lion King (1994) remains one of the most popular and memorable films to be released by the Walt Disney Animation Studios. Both in its story and in its song, children and children at heart found it to be an instant classic. So when it came to using the movie as inspiration for the Disney Parks around the world, Disney embraced the motto from the film and said, “Hakuna Matata!” Well, they probably didn’t actually say that, but still, they came up with multiple attractions in multiple parks. Most of these attractions have been shut down since then, but Festival of the Lion King remains strong since its premier with the grand opening of Disney’s Animal Kingdom on April 22, 1998.

Festival of the Lion King is a stage show featuring, primarily, the music from The Lion King along with acrobatics, dancing, costumed performers, and animatronic puppets. The acrobatics of the Tumble Monkeys are a crowd favorite. Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, and Ernie Sabella lent their voices to their characters in the show: Simba, Timon, and Pumbaa respectively. Guests in the audience are seated on all four sides of the staging area and are encouraged to participate as giraffes, elephants, lions, or warthogs depending on what section they are seated in. Four human hosts direct the audience and make introductions (and a few jokes) and the show formally begins as the movie does with the song, Circle of Life; the feature track of this article. The soundtrack for the entire show, starting with this first track was added to the Jukebox on February 25, 2009. Since then, our feature track has been played 9,512 times with a weekly count of 6. The track is a favorite of 209 members and Supporters have added it to 16 Custom Playlists. The track gets a 4.7/5 average rating with 41 votes cast. The show has been continuously running multiple times a day for over 21 years now, except for a few months in 2014. At that time, it had to go on hiatus as they moved it from its original location in the Camp Minnie-Mickey area to the Africa area of the park. Camp Minnie-Mickey was subsequently torn down and rebuilt into Pandora. Next time you’re in Disney’s Animal Kingdom or on the D-COT Jukebox, don’t let the rides and area loops keep you too busy. A side-track to this show in the mighty jungle is just a whim away…a whim away…a whim away…

RocketEAR99 is one of our contributors that specializes in Disney music in the series we call "Magic Behind the Music". You will find some fun and exciting information about the music you can listen to in the jukebox.


  1. I’m not joking when i say, i think i’m responsible for 5 of the 6 weekly plays! I play it every day haha. Great Article, thank you :D

    • Thanks! :) Always fun to write about the things you all enjoy listening to on here! :note:

  2. I once heard a CM say this is the most popular show on property, and I believe it!!!! It’s really great with a fun energy!!! :heart:

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