Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Lion King Show at Disneyland - Hong Kong

The show is featured in the "Theater in the Wild" in Adventureland. Similar to the theater setting in Disney's Animal Kingdom, The show in Hong Kong has been arranged to a simplified version of the story of The Lion King along with the songs in the movie. 

The performance is mainly in English, but two actors dressed as monkeys summarize and translate Rafiki's lines into Cantonese in order to accommodate guests who do not speak English. Simplified Chinese subtitles, for Mainland Chinese visitors, are also projected onto the screens above each seating section. The show is presented to Simba by Rafiki (portrayed by a female actress, as in the Broadway musical) as a re-telling of Simba's life. Simba is represented by a large, elaborate puppet on a parade-style float decorated as a tribal-styled Pride Rock.

In contrast to the Simba of the Animal Kingdom production the puppet in this production wears red and black tribal bracelets and has braids in his mane.
simba friend

Unlike the Festival of the Lion King in Orlando, which merely uses songs and imagery from the film, the Hong Kong version of the show contains a coherent narrative. It acts as a truncated version of Disney's movie "The Lion King," in which Simba the lion reclaims leadership of his pride after his uncle Scar usurps it. An actress dressed as Rafiki the baboon hosts the proceedings, revealing highlights of Simba's life and recounting specifics to the audience.

The 28-minute production includes live renditions of songs from the movie (composed by Tim Rice and Elton John), including "Hakuna Matata," "The Circle of Life" and "Can You Feel the Love Tonight." Acrobats dressed as monkeys perform on trapezes and trampolines, fire dancers spin torches, and puppets on stilts dance to the music throughout. The entire production adopts a carnival-like atmosphere, orchestrated by Rafiki, but adopting freewheeling choreography with performers in animal costumes.


The Hong Kong version of the festival takes place in a theater in the round, divided into four sections. Each section is named after an animal and faces a stage decorated with a giant representation of the animal. The first stage contains Simba on his rock, the second features a giraffe, the third an elephant, and the fourth holds versions of Simba's friends Timon the meerkat and Pumbaa the warthog.


 The stages roll and rotate during the show, giving all audience members a chance to see them. The theater itself, called Theater in the Wild, is much larger than the corresponding theater at Florida's Disney World, which seats 2,250 people.

Theater in the Wild

The wait for the Festival of the Lion King can often be longer than the show itself, hampered by slow entry times and the fact that if you don't get into the next show, you need to wait 28 minutes before the line begins to move again. Disneyland Hong Kong has mitigated this somewhat by adding a FastPass system. Guests pick up a FastPass, which lists a time for them to return (usually several hours). When they do, they can proceed directly into the theater.

festival of the lion king


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