Disney’s Animal Kingdom at night is a relative rarity but as it transitions into becoming a much more complete theme park and grows into the park it always should have been, it must begin to offer entertainment experiences that draw crowds to stay once the sun sets. The first of these night experiences at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the newly announced Harambe Nights, that although in this case is a special ticketed event, still represents the first step in a road to Animal Kingdom’s newfound night glories. Harambe Nights begins with a reception in the heart of Animal Kingdom’s Africa as Harambe Village becomes a place for awakening the senses with appetizers and a selection of wines and beers.
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One theater, two shows.
Shortly after its off to enjoy the new theater stage show The Lion King Concert in the Wild that takes advantage of the brand new Harambe Theater designed to house the Festival of the Lion King stage show during regular park hours. The concert in the wild will be a new variation on the telling of the story of Simba’s journey. Guest narrators that include Viola Davis, David Alan Grier and Joe Morton amongst other notable actors, will help to blend excerpts from the classic Disney film alongside stage theatrics. Accompanied by a live orchestra, singers and dancers the narration and pageantry shall come alive before a backdrop of dramatic lighting, scenic pieces and projections exclusive to this production that will add to the African savanna story.
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When the 55-minute theatrical performance has concluded the nights’ festivities continue back out onto the streets of Harambe Village where food, music and entertainment round out the experience. Amongst the drumbeat of Afro-pop rhythms, dancers, costumed stilt-performers, puppets and a few characters you might just recognize from Disney’s “The Lion King,” you’ll be invited to participate in the festival under the night sky in Harambe Village as a DJ sets the mood for the celebration. Food with African culinary flair will be present as well, with multiple buffet stations of food set to be paired with beers, wines, specialty beverages (soft drinks and water as well) all included in the price of admission. Desserts are also present as the night winds down into a still unknown “farewell experience.” [/column]
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You haven’t partied until you’ve partied in Harambe.
June 21 – Montego Glover: “The Following,” “Memphis”
June 28 – David Alan Grier: “Porgy & Bess,” “In Living Color”
July 5 – Michael Beach: “ER,” “Third Watch,” “Sons of Anarchy”
July 12 – Harry Lennix: “The Blacklist,” “The Five Heartbeats”
July 19 – Joe Morton: “Scandal,” “American Gangster,” “The Good Wife”
July 26 – Alfre Woodard: “Desperate Housewives,” “Miss Evers Boys”
August 2 – Brian Stokes Mitchell: “Ragtime,” “Trapper John, M.D.,” “Glee”
August 9 – Patina Miller: “Pippin,” “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1”
Pricing for Harambe Nights is as follows: General admission tickets $119 for ages 10 and up; $79 for ages 9 and under. And for Premium floor seating tickets run $134 for ages 10 and up; $94 for ages 9 and under. The event runs from 7-10:30 p.m., and parking is complimentary. And for those of you who love exclusive merchandise, you’ll be happy to know that Lion King-themed merchandise and collectibles will be available for purchase. To learn more about this latest Disney ticketed event or to purchase your tickets you can visit Disneyworld.com/HarambeNights or call 407-939-1319.
So does this offering tempt you or are you more than happy enough that June shall see the Festival of the Lion King make its triumphant return to Disney’s Animal Kingdom?