A new ‘Lion King’ themed show is coming to Disneyland soon

In January, Disney announced that Disney Parks would celebrate Black History Month with “Celebrate Soulfully.” This celebration included food, music and more focused on black culture and heritage. “The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure” debuted at EPCOT at Walt Disney World, centering on jazz music featuring characters from Disney and Pixars Soul (2020).

Credit: Kent Phillips, photographer

Just today, the Disney Parks Blog announced that Disneyland will continue celebrations of Black history and culture this summer at Disneyland, with new musical performances, food offerings and a new show. on stage, which will premiere on May 28.

celebrate with emotion at disneyland graphic
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Tale of the Lion King will tell the story of how the now famous lion cub, Simba, became king through “dialogue, song, dance and percussion”. Excerpt from the Disney Parks Blog:

Starting May 28, 2022, Disneyland Park will welcome “Tale of the Lion King” to its new home at the Fantasyland Theater where this original, story-driven adaptation of Disney’s “Lion King” will be staged in an all-new presentation (as pictured in this artist rendering). At the heart of the production is a traveling troupe known as The Storytellers of the Pride Lands who tell the story of how a bear cub becomes king through dialogue, song, dance and drumming. From stage designs and costumes to new musical arrangements and original choreography, every aspect of “Tale of the Lion King” honors and draws inspiration from the cultural roots of this timeless story.

This tale will transport guests to the lands of pride and honor the aspects of black culture that are woven into Disney history and music. The Lion King (1994).

concept art
Credit: Disney

The Lion King is no stranger to adaptations – it’s the focus of a fan-favorite show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Festival of the Lion King. This Broadway-style show celebrates the music, characters and spirit of the 1994 film with talented singers, acrobats and puppeteers. From Disney:

Enjoy a Broadway-style show filled with song, pageantry, and puppets celebrating the classic film, The Lion King.

The Lion King was also made into a live-action movie of the same name in 2019, and features a star-studded cast including Beyoncé, James Earl Jones, Keegan-Michael Key, Billy Eichner, John Oliver, and more.

The Lion King
Credit: Disney

If you plan to go to Disneyland this summer to see Tale of the Lion King at the Fantasyland Theater you can enjoy special dishes inspired by the Troubadour Tavern show.

If you’re visiting Disneyland Resort between June 1 and July 4, you can celebrate with live music at Disney’s California Adventure. Excerpt from the Disney Parks Blog:

From June 1 through July 4, you can enjoy Celebrate Soulfully at Disney California Adventure Park with daily live music celebrating black music genres from Doo-Wop to Motown. Feel the nostalgia of Carthay Circle and enjoy the Philly Phonics, an a cappella vocal group, performing snazzy, jazzy tunes from the 1920s through today. Five & Dime will also sing and swing tunes from the 1920s and 30s in style with brass and boldness!

In the evening, head to the Hollywood Backlot to soak up the summer vibes at this special block party, with live musical performances seven nights a week.

downtown disney at disneyland resort
Credit: Disney

The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure from Walt Disney World’s EPCOT will also make its Disneyland Resort debut! It will be located in Downtown Disney next to star wars Trading Post and be free for all resort guests. Described as a “travelling exhibit” by the Disney Parks Blog, it looks like this won’t be the last time we see Joe Gardner and the rest of the Soul thrown into this musical celebration:

In “Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure,” Joe Gardner – musician, mentor and star of Disney and Pixar’s original animated film, “Soul” – takes guests on a musical tour across America, showcasing the rich history of jazz all the way.

As a tribute to a musical art form created by African Americans, the exhibition illustrates the many different cultures and creators who have influenced this evolving genre. Walt Disney Imagineering has partnered with cultural institutions and subject matter experts to bring this story to life.

Credit: Kent Phillips, photographer

To accompany the exhibit, guests can enjoy evening music and a weekend DJ at the Downtown Disney District.

Are you excited for Tale of the Lion King at Disneyland Resort? Let us know in the comments.

If you want to visit Disneyland or Walt Disney World on your next family vacation but don’t know where to start, feel free to reach out to our friends at Academy Travel Certified Disney Vacation Planners for a free quote.

James C. Tibbs