Disney’s Animal Kingdom Launches ‘Harambe Nights’ to Celebrate Grandest Tales and Tastes of Africa

Filed in: Disney's Animal Kingdom

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Harambe Nights, which pairs a dazzling theatrical production based on the beloved Disney classic film, “The Lion King” with a high-energy street party featuring Africa-inspired food, beverage and entertainment, treats Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests to an after-dark spectacular Saturdays throughout the summer.

A 55-minute theatrical extravaganza, “The Lion King Concert in the Wild” comprises celebrity narrators, a live orchestra, choir and special effects to present the story of Simba’s coming of age like never before.  A lively welcome reception and the post-show street party featuring Afro-pop rhythms, performers and a buffet of culinary creations keep the celebration rocking through the evening.

This is the first-ever ticketed special event at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which welcomes guests every Saturday from June 7 through August 9 to a memorable evening of theatrical storytelling, inspired dining, live music and dance amid the non-stop fun of an immersive street party.

It all begins with a welcome reception in the park’s Harambe Village where savory appetizers, a specialty cocktail, and a selection of refreshing wines and beers are on the menu.

Soon after, guests will find their seats waiting at the brand-new Harambe Theatre, where dramatic lighting, breathtaking scenic pieces and projection exclusive to this production will transport them to the African savanna. “The Lion King Concert in the Wild” brings the humor and heart of the story to life by blending excerpts from the Disney classic film with stage theatrics.

Each week, a celebrity narrator backed by a live orchestra joins a company of singers and dancers to recreate the drama of an African story circle. The lineup of narrators:

  • Viola Davis — June 7, 2014
  • Avery Brooks — June 14, 2014
  • Montego Glover — June 21, 2014
  • David Alan Grier — June 28, 2014
  • Michael Beach — July 5, 2014
  • Harry Lennix — July 12, 2014
  • Joe Morton — July 19, 2014
  • Alfre Woodard — July 26, 2014
  • Brian Stokes Mitchell — August 2, 2014
  • Patina Miller — August 9, 2014

Beginning with the iconic birth-of-Simba scene and continuing through the show’s gripping climax, guests are immersed in Simba’s journey to find his place as the Lion King. The guest narrator adds emotional perspective to the original tale inspired, in part, by African folklore and Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.”

As the show wraps, the celebration continues in Harambe Village to the tune of live Afro-pop rhythms. Dancers, costumed stilt-performers, puppets, popular characters from “The Lion King” and a DJ ratchet up the fun and encourage guests to participate in the street party.

The celebration will feature a culinary nod to Africa with multiple buffet stations of perfectly seasoned dishes for pairing with a selection of beers, wines and specialty beverages all included in the event admission. Soft drinks and water also are offered.  Sweet bites of gourmet desserts under the stars and a special farewell experience will delivers a delicious ending to a magical evening.

Exclusive Lion King-themed merchandise and collectibles are available for purchase to Harambe Nights guests. A limited-release case for iPhones 4 and 5 designed by Disney Design Group artist Randy Noble will feature imagery from “The Lion King,” and a 20th anniversary “The Lion King” puzzle areoffered. Other exclusive merchandise will includes art and apparel.

General admission tickets for Harambe Nights run $119 ages 10 and up; $79 ages 9 and under. Premium floor seating tickets run $134 ages 10 and up; $94 ages 9 and under. The event runs from 7-10:30 p.m., and parking is complimentary.

For more information, guests can visit Disneyworld.com/HarambeNights or call 407-939-1319.