Today is the 25th anniversary of the Lion King’s release and there are tons of ways to celebrate the milestone at Disney World! There are plenty of ways to live the “Hakuna Matata” life at the parks this summer like Simba-inspired snacks, delicious dining experiences, new evening entertainment, and more!
Limited Time Lion King Treats
This summer, several dining locations at Disney’s Animal Kingdom are serving up delicious treats inspired by The Lion King. Some items you can be on the lookout for while in the park include:
- Simba Ice Cream Sandwich (Tamu Tamu): Vanilla ice cream sandwich between two chocolate chip cookie with an icing tail and Simba face
- Simba’s Sunset Dole Whip (Tamu Tamu): Pineapple Dole Whip with watermelon and coconut syrup
- King’s Cooler (Tamu Tamu): Pineapple Dole Whip with rum, watermelon, and coconut syrup
- Asante Slush (Harambe Market): Shaved ice topped with watermelon and passion fruit-mango syrup
- Serengeti Sangria (Dawa Bar, Harambe Market, & Boneyard Bar)
- Bugs ‘n Grub Waffle Cone (Andapur Bus & Trilo-Bites): Chocolate soft-serve ice cream in a green cone with cookies and cream “dirt”, gummy worms, and a chocolate beetle
- “The Lion King” Latte Art (Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Co.): Special Simba latte art
- Lion’s Latte (Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Co.): Hot or iced latte with a blend of espresso, white chocolate, and coconut
- Simba Cupcake (Pizzafari): Yellow vanilla cupcake with a white chocolate mousse filling, topped with buttercream icing and an edible Simba
- Simba and Nala Waffles (Tusker House): Only available for breakfast
- “The Lion King” Novelty Sipper & Popcorn Bucket (various Outdoor Vending Locations)
Lion King Dining Experience at Jiko – The Cooking Place
For a limited time, you can celebrate The Lion King at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge with an amazing prix fixe dining experience at Jiko – The Cooking Place. The restaurant will host a three-course dinner inspired by the flavors of Africa starting June 30. Each course will feature delicious food and wine pairings that are inspired by scenes from the beloved movie.
The menu will be inspired by The Circle of Life: Nants’ Ingonyama, which is the story of the Lion King’s journey through life. Every dish is a creative culinary depiction of an iconic stage in Simba’s life.
Starter – I Just Can’t Wait to be King
Each meal begins with an appetizer that is meant to represent the joy of Simba’s childhood and his dream of one day becoming the king. This dish is made up of Young Cedar Creek clam malata, potatoes, and pomegranate with a bone marrow finish.
Main Course – Be Prepared.
For the main event, you’ll have the choice of two different entree options. Both dishes are inspired by the elephant boneyard and Simba’s determination even during challenges. You can choose between the following dishes:
- Bone-In Ribeye Steak with Hibiscus, Nettles, and Fregula.
- Lobster Sosatie with Red Shrimp, Squid, Mussels, and Fragrant Rice
Dessert – Hakuna Matata
The dessert course symbolizes Simba growing up and learning how to be a successful leader of the Pride Lands. The dish is a sweet combination of caramelized orange, chocolate choux, and bright edible foliage.
Night Cap – Can You Feel The Love Tonight?
Finally, you can reflect on your dining experience while enjoying a variety of friandeses (small cakes and fruit preserves) and teas.
The limited-time dinner will be available in addition to Jiko’s regular menu starting June 30. Prix fixe dining costs $65 per person, not including tax and gratuity. You can reserve your spot by calling (407) WDW-DINE.
Circle of Flavors: Harambe at Night
A unique new culinary journey is also coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom this summer! Circle of Flavors: Harambe at Night is a dining experience that celebrates The Lion King and some of the most amazing endangered creatures found in Africa.
After a welcome reception at the Wildlife Express Train Station, you’ll board the train for a trip to Rafiki’s Planet Watch before ending with course meal at Harambe Market. During the adventure, you’ll experience the sights, sounds, and flavors of The Lion King as well as the big five game animals (the African Elephant, Rhinoceros, Cape Buffalo, Leopard, and Lion). Throughout the evening, you will learn a lot about the challenges that these big five animals face around the world as well as how Disney is working to protect them. Each stop on the journey will have its own special menu and lineup of entertainment!
Wildlife Express Train Station: Welcome Reception
- Light Hors D’Ouerves
- Alcoholic & Non-Alcoholic Beverages
First Stop: Rafiki’s Planet Watch
- Light Bites and Snacks
- Meet and greets with Timon and Rafiki
- Interactive activities for guests of all ages
Main Course/Final Stop: Harambe Market
- Savory Dishes
- Sweet Treats
- Unique Beverage Pairings
This exciting dinner adventure begins July 24. Tickets will cost $125 plus tax for adults and $99 plus tax for kids ages 3 – 9. You can book your trip now by calling (407) WDW – DINE.
Festival of the Lion King
The Festival of The Lion King is an exciting live theatrical performance of the classic Disney movie at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Puppets, dancers, acrobats, a fire dancer, and stilt walkers all come together to light up the theater. The Broadway-style show features the inhabitants of the Pride Lands coming together to celebrate Simba, the soon-to-be Lion King. In addition to the brilliant performers and the stunning colors that illustrate the show, you will enjoy a variety of favorite songs from the movie including “Hakuna Matata”, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?”, and “Circle of Life.”
Hakuna Matata Time Dance Party
The Hakuna Matata Time Dance Party at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a family-friendly dance party that takes place several times daily on the Discovery Island Stage. Join characters like Timon and Rafiki for games, dancing, and live performances of Disney hits by an awesome world beat-style band!
Rivers of Light: We Are One
Rivers of Light has illuminated the waters of Disney’s Animal Kingdom every evening for two years. The nighttime spectacular uses lantern floats, stunning special effects, and music to celebrate the wonder of the animal kingdom.
This summer, an updated version of the show will debut at the park. Rivers of Light: We Are One will feature scenes from Disneynature films and scenes from The Lion King. The new scenes will portray our connection with animals and moments that we all share in the circle of life.
The soundtrack for Rivers of Light: We Are One is a combination of the original music and familiar Disney tunes. You can catch the updated water pageant at the Discovery River Amphitheater starting Memorial Day Weekend.
Tree of Life Awakenings
Tree of Life Awakenings is Animal Kingdom’s evening spectacular. Projections and lights illuminate the Tree of Life with brilliant colors and stunning animations. This summer, the show is celebrating The Lion King with animations and music from the classic Disney movie. The show takes place when the sun goes down and occurs every ten minutes until the park closes. Tree of Life Awakenings will include the Lion King at every show through September 30.