Since The Festival of the Lion King, one of the most popular shows in all of Walt Disney World, closed back on January 5, 2014, many folks have been anxiously awaiting the reopening of the show.

At long last, on June 1, 2014, the show has roared back to live.

Why It Closed

The show closed when Disney shut down the entire Camp Minnie-Mickey land of Disney’s Animal Kingdom as part of the preparations for construction of the new Avatar land.

According to a Disney Cast Member I spoke with, the new show is 99% the same as the old one. I haven’t seen the show in its new home in the Harambe Theater in the Africa section of the park, but when I do, I will tell you all about it.

However, I did get a chance to see the area that Disney opened around the theater. In addition to the theater, it also includes a new small gift kiosk and a new set of bathrooms.

The details are amazing.

Disney did a great job of blending the buildings into the look of the Africa section of the park.

Let’s take a look.

View of new theatre area.

View of new theatre area.

Walkway near the Tusker House restaurant leads to the Harambe Theatre.

Walkway near the Tusker House restaurant leads to the Harambe Theatre.

Interesting boat along the river.

Interesting boat along the river.

Weathered signs look old on the first day this section of the park opens.

Weathered signs look old on the first day this section of the park opens.

Disney presents the Lion King show many times each day.

Disney presents the Lion King show many times each day.

New home for the Festival of the Lion King.

New home for the Festival of the Lion King.

Great details everywhere, like this gate.

Great details everywhere, like this gate.

This boom box was pumping out the tunes - or so the Imagineers wanted us to believe.

This boom box was pumping out the tunes – or so the Imagineers wanted us to believe.

This cannon is cool.  I can't wait to figure out the backstory for it!

This cannon is cool. I can’t wait to figure out the backstory for it!

You will find great carvings all around the area.

You will find great carvings all around the area.

The walkway wraps around the river toward a new set of restrooms.

The walkway wraps around the river toward a new set of restrooms.

Roots, roots, everywhere.

Roots, roots, everywhere.

New Guide Map

Disney has also started to distribute a new Guide Map for Animal Kingdom. The map shows how this new section of the parks hugs the Discovery River and heads south. When comparing the old map to the new one, it is easy to see how Disney might connect up the south end of this Africa extension with the north end of the new Avatar land. I don’t know if that is the plan, but it looks like it could turn out that way.

Here is the old Guide Map that still shows Camp Mickey Minnie in the bottom left.

Here is the old Guide Map that still shows Camp Mickey Minnie in the bottom left.

The new map shows how this section curves down and along the river.

The new map shows how this section curves down and along the river.

Do you like the new location for Festival of the Lion King?