To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of the Lion King animated classic, Disney has introduced a special summer celebration at Disney’s Animal Kingdom called “Harambe Nights”, which runs each Saturday night from June 7 to August 9, 2014.
This is a separately ticketed all-inclusive event and is the first time Animal Kingdom has hosted a ticketed evening event. At this time it is not known if this will become an annual event.
Harambe Nights is an exclusive live evening performance of the new “The Lion King - Concert in the Wild” theatrical show in the new Harambe Theatre (opening in June 2014), featuring a celebrity guest narrator, live orchestra and choir, dancers, dramatic lighting and clips from the movie. It runs for just under an hour.
The performance tells the story of Simba, the young lion cub, recreating iconic moments from the film.
The event starts at 7:00 pm with a welcome reception in the Harambe Village and ends with the Harambe Nights Street Party and a special finale to bid “kwaherini” (goodbye in Swahili).
A special menu has been created taking its inspiration from the foods of Africa and India so you can expect a fair bit of spices. At the welcome reception you will be served savoury appetisers and African themed drinks. During the Lion King performance there are snacks including sea-salted pretzel chips, sesame crumbles, nuts and dried fruits.
After the show, there is a buffet with a huge array of breads, salads, samosas, fish and meat dishes and gourmet desserts.
At the Harambe Nights Street Party you dance along with costumed stilt-performers and a live band and DJ playing Afro-pop music. There is also the opportunity to meet Disney characters, Disney Design Group artists or purchase special merchandise and collectibles celebrating the 20th anniversary including phone covers, clothing, pins, watches and jigsaw puzzles.
Tickets cost $119.00 for adults and $79.00 for children (aged 3 to 9) plus tax. Premium seating tickets were available for $134.00 for adults and $94.00 for children plus tax but have already sold out. There are no discounts for annual passholders.
Capacity is limited and advanced reservations are recommended; telephone 407–939–1319 or visit Disneyworld.com/HarambeNights to book tickets.
The celebrity guest line-up is:
- June 7 – Viola Davis
- June 14 – Avery Brooks
- June 21 – Montego Glover
- June 28 – David Alan Grier
- July 5 – Michael Beach
- July 12 – Harry Lennix
- July 19 – Joe Morton
- July 26 – Alfre Woodard
- August 2 – Patina Miller
- August 9 – Brian Stokes Mitchell
Alcoholic beverages are available for anyone aged 21 or over.
Note that Harambe Nights takes place after the park closes and the normal Animal Kingdom rides and attractions will not be running.
Parking for those attending the event is complimentary after 4:00 pm and guests are advised to arrive at least 45 minutes before the welcome reception which starts at 7:00 pm. The main theatre performance begins at 7:30 pm.