NEWS: Disney Reveals Limited-Time Offerings to Celebrate the 30th Anniversary of ‘The Lion King’ at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Summer 2024

This summer “The Lion King” will celebrate its 30th anniversary and Disney’s Animal Kingdom will celebrate with new merchandise, a limited-time popcorn bucket, and the return of a popular character meet and greet! Learn more below.


Here are all the details from Disney Cast Member Mallory Heinz Ledet:

Credit: Disney

There’s no better way to start this announcement than with … NAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANTS INGONYAMA BGITHI BABA!!!

That’s right – get ready to roar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park where the celebration for the 30thanniversary of “The Lion King” animated film will prowl throughout the entire park from June 10 through Sept. 6. (How has it been 30 years?! I feel like I just went to see it in theaters yesterday… and begged my mom for Lion King-themed wallpaper in my room. She said no.) But even better than wallpaper, there is a whole new merchandise collection so you can see the iconic Disney’s Animal Kingdom stage show, Festival of The Lion King, in style.

Credit: Disney

Ready to rustle up some grubs?  There will be special menu items to snack on … and this adorable Pumbaa popcorn bucket to add to your pride! Stay tuned, because our friends at Disney Eats will have more to share on delicious treats later.

Credit: Disney

To fully embrace that “Hakuna Matata” lifestyle, head on over to Rafiki’s Planet Watch where you can once again meet Timon and Rafiki. Figuring out when these furry friends are available for hugs or advice on finding the most delicious bugs is as easy as checking out My Disney Experience. Now that’s a problem-free philosophy I can get behind!

And, while you’re at Rafiki’s Planet Watch, you can visit Animation Experience and learn to draw characters from “The Lion King.”

RELATED ARTICLE: What You Need to Know: 7 Points to Understanding Disney’s Animal Kingdom

by Matt and Kim

Maybe you’ve heard about Disney World’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park but just really don’t know much about it. Well, here’s a little guide to help you better understand Animal Kingdom and its spectacular opportunities!


1 – Animal Theme Park

Animal and nature lovers – Disney World Imagineers had you in mind when they constructed Animal Kingdom, Theme Park. Dedicated on Earth Day, April 22, 1998, Animal Kingdom is the 4th and largest theme park at Disney World. Not only is it the largest theme park at Disney World, but it’s the largest theme park in the entire world – scaling 580 acres! Animal conservation and natural environment desires in a park, came to fruition in Animal Kingdom. Their dedication to these themes is proven through their accreditation with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. When visiting Animal Kingdom, you can trust you will encounter wildlife and beautiful nature along your adventure through the park.

2 – Scaling the Park

Animal Kingdom is divided into seven very distinct areas, which include the Oasis, Discovery Island, DinoLand U.S.A., Asia, Africa, Rafiki’s Planet Watch, as well as Pandora-The World of Avatar. As you enter each section of the park, you are immediately greeted with atmosphere changes from the scenery, sounds, sights, and even smells! No one area is like the other, making each experience unique. Exploring the highlights of Animal Kingdom in one day is possible, but it seems like even though we’ve gone numerous times, we are always finding something new, which makes this park one of our favorites to explore.

3 – Tree of Life

If there is one thing most people know about Animal Kingdom, it is the Tree of Life. Standing 145-feet tall and 50-feet wide, this artificial (yet life-like) tree is undoubtedly the icon that represents Animal Kingdom. The Tree of Life boasts over 300 animal carvings and a winding path called Discovery Island Trails for guests interested in encountering the tree up close. Much like Epcot’s Spaceship Earth, the Tree of Life also has a fun attraction inside called “It’s Tough to be a Bug.” It’s an excellent experience to see the Tree of Life at different angles throughout the park as you have the chance to try to see how many carved animals you can spot on the tree’s trunk.

4 – Animal Encounters

What would an animal-themed theme park be without a plethora of animals? With around 1700 animals at Animal Kingdom, you’re sure to find your favorite animal while adventuring through the park. Birds, snakes, insects, tigers, lions, giraffes, apes, gorillas, elephants, hippopotami, and SO many more! Cast Members are also on hand to provide informative information about the animals and their habitats. With walking trails, safari rides, viewing spots, and petting areas, animal encounters are around every curve at Animal Kingdom!


5 – Much To Do

Whether you want to watch a live, Broadway-style show (The Lion King), dance in the streets of Africa (Tam Tam Drummers of Harambe), take a bumpy ride and encounter animals (Kilimanjaro Safaris), face your Yeti fears (Expedition Everest), check out the Jurassic period (DINOSAUR), explore the wonders of animal and nature conservation (Rafiki’s Planet Watch), or even meet Kevin from Up! – Animal Kingdom has something for everyone! Entertainment, attractions, characters… the options seem endless at Animal Kingdom.

6 – Cuisine Array

It’s easy to find grab-and-go tasty treats and snacks or even full-on award-winning meals at Animal Kingdom. Kiosks, stands, lounges, quick service, table service, and even character dining restaurants are available at Animal Kingdom. Plus, as you browse each section of the parks, the flavors change slightly to match that location’s cuisine. So, don’t fill up in one spot; instead, be prepared to taste some delightful dishes throughout your visit to Animal Kingdom.

7 – Pandora – The World of Avatar

The land, the most significant expansion in the history of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, is based on Oscar-winning filmmaker James Cameron’s record-breaking box-office hit, Avatar, which was released in 2009. The land is a fantastic spectacle of Disney Imagineering, creativity, and story-telling. As you explore the vibrant terrain sprawling beneath mountains that appear to float in the sky, you’ll see waterfalls cascading down the mountainside into meandering streams and pools. Then you’ll discover two thrilling expeditions: Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey. Grab a bite to eat at the quick-service restaurant Satu’li Canteen, or grab a drink and snack at Pongu Pongu. There are so many amazing things to explore. Visiting Pandora an absolute must-do on your trip to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

For a no obligation, FREE Quote on a Disney vacation package, please contact our travel partner Magical Vacation Planner at 407-442-0227 (407-442-0215 for Spanish). You can also request a FREE quote online by Clicking HERE.


Chad & Cindy Nykamp

After years of multiple Walt Disney World vacations, Cindy and Chad's dream of living in Orlando came true in 2010. After friends and family made them their go-to-people for Walt Disney World advice, Cindy and Chad launched DisneyLists.com in August 2015 to share their knowledge and love of Disney. Chad and Cindy have been Disney World Annual Passholders for years, DVC members, together have raced more than 70 runDisney races, and particularly love cruising on the Disney Cruise Line. Chad and Cindy also regularly represent DisneyLists.com at Walt Disney World media events. While attending these events, they get an insiders view of all the new things that have come to Walt Disney World. These experiences have helped them gain knowledge and expertise they happily pass on to their followers. They still can't believe how lucky they are to have such an amazing opportunity and will continue to share Disney with anyone who will listen!
Back to top button