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Lion King celebration kicks off at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Gear up for special photo ops and nighttime entertainment

Nants ingonyama bagithi baba. We're sure everyone has yelled that at the top of their lungs at least once while watching the sunrise. If you haven't, hakuna matata. 

The 25th anniversary of the 1994 film is quickly approaching and to help you celebrate, Disney's Animal Kingdom is offering new ways to show your Lion King pride, while also preparing you for the summer release of the live action version of the film.

New PhotoPass opportunities

PhotoPass photographers at Disney's Animal Kingdom have great opportunities for new profile pics inspired by the characters from the film. Guests can also enjoy brand new Magic Shots featuring Timon, Pumbaa, Simba and other characters from the film.

Beginning Friday, you can enjoy these photo opportunities from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day this summer when you visit the locations below.

  • On the bridge leading into Africa 

  • Near the Harambe Market

  • Near the exit of Kilimanjaro Safaris

  • Near the ticket windows

  • In Africa overlooking the Tree of Life

"Disney PhotoPass photographers will also capture photos of you stepping into the colorful backdrop at the entrance of the park, posing with themed props from “The Lion King” near the Tree of Life, or striking a pose at Lion King Corner near Pizzafari. These photo ops are sure to leave you roaring with excitement," Disney officials said.

Experience new magic

Rivers of Light: We Are One” will debut at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, this weekend. According to the Disney Parks Blog, this nighttime show tells the story of our connection with animals and the emotions and milestones we all share in our journey through the great circle of life.

"This re-imagined version of the show introduces additional stunning imagery and familiar animal characters from Disneynature films, along with a colorful tapestry of classic moments from Disney animation," Disney officials explained.

Insider tip: If this is your first time seeing "Rivers of Light," I strongly recommend making a FastPass. The section with the best viewing is reserved for those who have a FastPass. Keep in mind that nighttime shows at Animal Kingdom do not include fireworks.

Also beginning this weekend, the Tree of Life will wake up every evening and dazzle guests with a new story inspired by the upcoming release of "The Lion King."  

According to a news release, moments from Simba’s journey are depicted in a beautiful artistic style, set to an evocative musical score comprised of new arrangements of familiar tunes.

For the rest of the summer, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is celebrating “The Lion King,” from the Hakuna Matata Time Dance Party to the ever-popular “Festival of the Lion King” including special decorations throughout the park.

There has never been a better time to visit Animal Kingdom and take a walk on the wild side along with your favorite characters from "The Lion King."


How well do you pay attention on Kilimanjaro Safaris? Take our quiz below on the different animal group names. 


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