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Festival of the Lion King

Back in January it was announced that Disney's Animal Kingdom would be bringing back Festival of the Lion King sometime this summer in a modified format to be mindful of health and safety best practices. And now Walt Disney World President Jeff Vahle has announced on Instagram that the adjusted  “A Celebration of Festival of the Lion King” will debut in mid-May at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Cast Members are now in rehearsal for this adjusted show, which will include updates on stage and backstage, including changes to choreography to allow for appropriate physical distancing. In addition, seating will be limited and staggered throughout the theater (similar to the set up at For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-a-Long), and parties will all be seated individually to minimize contact with others. 

Image: Jeff Vahle's Instagram

Right now the scaled-down version of Festival of the Lion King is the only entertainment option that has been confirmed to be returning to Disney's Animal Kingdom but we'd guess that additional entertainment options will also be returning before the end of the year as Disney has said they are committed to "bringing back even more entertainment with a responsible and thoughtful approach". 

Disney will also have to grapple with increasing demand for the theme parks this summer, as almost all dates in both May and June are showing limited availability for theme parks thus far, and adding shows back to the lineup will help them deal with high guest levels, which could increase further if capacity restrictions are eased.

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