Fans of ‘The Lion King’ won’t want to miss these foods, experiences, attractions, and even hotels when headed to Walt Disney World Resort!
There are so many amazing experiences at Disney World, but how do you know which to choose? Well, if you’re a fan of The Lion King, we’ve got you covered! Join our pride as we explore everything you can try in the theme parks to immerse yourself in the film, from Simba pretzels to Timon meet and greets to Tumble Monkeys!
Here’s your theme park and hotel guide to indulging in your love of The Lion King throughout Walt Disney World Resort.
Animal Kingdom has by far the widest selection of Lion King experiences. After all, the whole park’s mission is about wildlife preservation!
Festival of the Lion King
This larger-than-life show celebrates the 1994 movie through songs, puppets, and acrobats. If there’s anything on this list that you choose to experience as a “must-see,” make it the Festival of the Lion King! The acrobats as Tumble Monkeys are always my favorite.
The Simba Pretzels are the Animal Kingdom equivalent of Mickey Pretzels at the other parks. This item can sometimes be hard to find as it only comes out seasonally. But when it is available, check out the food kiosks in the Africa section of the park.
Simba’s Sunset DOLE Whip
If you’re looking to plus up your DOLE whip, this treat is for you! It’s a classic pineapple DOLE whip, but topped with strawberry sauce. Alternatively, if you’re looking for something less sweet, there’s another Lion King treat you can try: Get the Scar’s Lair, which is pineapple DOLE whip with sour apple syrup! Both can be found at Tamu Tamu Refreshments in Africa at Animal Kingdom.
You can’t have a Lion King day without seeing some real lions! On Kilimanjaro Safaris, you’ll get the chance to see a wide variety of animals native to Africa, lions included. The Imagineers even built up a real Pride Rock for the lions to lounge about on! Plus, you’ll also likely spot other animals featured in the background of this classic animated film, from giraffes to gazelles to zebras to antelope.
Discovery Trading Company
If you’re looking for the best Lion King souvenirs, good news: You’ll find them at Animal Kingdom! Specifically, you won’t want to miss the Discovery Trading Company shop. From plushies to pins and everything in between, you’ll find what you’re looking for here.
Meet Timon and Rafiki
Animal Kingdom has some wild (pun intended!) character meet and greets. It’s the only park where you can meet Tarzan, Flik, and Kevin! So, of course, guests can also find their favorite Lion King icons like Timon and Rafiki. Check the My Disney Experience App the day you go to see where and when you can meet your favorite characters.
While you may not come across characters or any attractions featuring the characters and story moments of The Lion King, it’s still a theme park that features representation for the film! Here’s where we suggest all Lion King fans head first.
Magic Kingdom is home to one of my favorite Lion King experiences: Mickey’s Philharmagic! This 3D show follows Donald Duck on an adventure through the most iconic musical sequences of classic animated movies (and yes, Lion King is included!)
Walt Disney World Resort Hotels
While all the hotels throughout Walt Disney World Resort are beautifully designed with exceptional theming, there are two in particular that’ll make you feel like you’re the King of the Jungle!
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
If you want to be truly immersed in The Lion King, then you need to stay at the Art of Animation. Different sections of the hotel are themed to different movies like The Little Mermaid, Cars, and Finding Nemo.
But obviously, we’re here for The Lion King! The exterior of this hotel features larger-than-life character statues, Pride Rock, and even an Elephant Graveyard! The rooms themselves are fantastically themed, too. There’s colored furniture, large characters cut out from key film scenes like the “I Can’t Wait To Be King” musical number, and the bathroom tiles are even painted like the “Circle of Life” sunset!
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
The Animal Kingdom Lodge doesn’t have the same flashy theming as Art of Animation, but it has something unique: a savanna!
You can feel like Simba standing on Pride Rock overlooking the prideland, except it will be you on your balcony overlooking the savanna full of zebras and giraffes. At the heart of this resort’s “courtyard” is an expansive enclosure where animals roam freely – and you’re likely to spot some of the familiar faces of The Lion King during your stay! If you want to immerse yourself in African culture opposed to just the animated movie itself, this is a great hotel choice for you.
Bonus: Disneyland Paris
If you’re headed across the Atlantic Ocean to visit Disneyland Paris, there’s an opportunity fans of The Lion King won’t want to miss! Be sure to check out “Rhythm of the Pride Lands.” It’s a Broadway-style show with some of the most talented performers I’ve ever seen at a theme park. They even sing my favorite song from The Lion King II, “He Lives in You.” You won’t be disappointed!
Let us know, which of these experiences have you done? And which will you be checking out on your next Disney vacation? You can make your trip even more fun with a special Lion King inspired Disney outfit, too!