Looking Back: Legend of the Lion King

We are traveling back to the 90's (and early 2000's) today to reminisce about The Legend of the Lion King. This attraction was the predecessor to the successful Lion King show on Broadway.

Legend of the Lion King opened in 1994 in Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland Theater and replaced the Magic Journeys 3D movie, which had been the main attraction at the Fantasyland Theater since 1987. Interestingly enough the Lion King show and the Lion King movie were being developed at the same time.

The Show
The pre-show involved a costumed Rafiki who told the story of Simba while The Circle of Life was shown on a screen behind Rafiki.

After the pre-show, guests would enter into the main theater to view the show. During the show, scenes from the Lion King movie were acted out with puppets, animation, and special effects. Some of the puppets were so elaborate that they took eight people to operate.

Songs from the feature film were also played during the show. Fan favorites such as "I Just Can't Wait to be King," "Be Prepared," "Hakuna Matata," and "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" were all a part of the show's song repertoire.

See It For Yourself
Check out this video of the Legend of the Lion King Show. Warning: it is a little hard to see as the video is older, but you can still get the idea.

The End...and the Beginning
In 2002 Legend of the Lion King closed to make way for Mickey's PhilharMagic. And while some Lion King fans may be disappointed that the show is closed, you can still hear "I Just Can't Wait to be King" in Mickey's PhilharMagic and see Legend of the Lion King in the round over in Animal Kingdom!

Do you remember the Legend of the Lion King? Was it a favorite attraction? Let us know in the comments below!

Photo Courtesy SILive.com

jbarkee wrote on Sat, 09/17/2011 - 17:42:

jbarkee's picture

It was a fun show.
But Mickey's PhilharMagic is a solid replacement.

Trueblue63 wrote on Sun, 09/18/2011 - 01:29:

Trueblue63's picture

Just got back from Lion King 3D. What a great movie. 7:00 show mainly adults, pretty good crowd. A classic.

Now I can't wait to see the Festval of the Lion King again. And I'm guessing that a trip cross the river for the Bway show is in my near future.

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