Disneyland Tale of the Lion King Review and Viewing Tips

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Disneyland’s Fantasyland Theatre is home to a new musical production. Tale of the Lion King replaces Mickey and the Magical Map, which closed in 2020. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because this show briefly ran in Disney California Adventure in 2019. In this post we’ll review this new upgraded and restaged version the show and share some viewing tips.

Tale of the Lion King takes place in the Fantasyland Theatre, which is located near ‘it’s a small world’ and the Mickey’s Toontown train station. During the show’s DCA run it took place in the plaza near the Little Mermaid ride, which had no seats or cover from the sun. This 5000 square foot, 1800 seat shaded theater is a huge improvement over the show’s previous setup.

The show will usually have five performances a day at 4:50 PM, and 6:00 PM. It runs every day of the week, except for Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

So far we’ve observed guests lining up starting at about 45 minutes before each show time. So if you want a seat close to the stage you should arrive early. It’s worth mentioning that the queue to get in to Fantasyland Theatre is in mostly direct sunlight. For some reason Disney holds the line outside the venue until 10 minutes before the performances start, so be ready to be overheated.

The cast is made up of around 20 performers, which include singers, dancers, and drummers. They’re all incredibly talented. This is one of those Disney theme park shows where you won’t believe you’re watching a theme park show.

The star of the show is the storyteller character that takes the place of Rafiki. She briskly moves the story along through the show’s 25 minute runtime. She also gets show off her singing skills.

The Lion King story is told through the storyteller character and dancing from the cast. The story obviously needed to be truncated, but it’s done so in a way that all the major plot points can fit. Some characters have been left out, such as Zazu and the previously mentioned Raifiki. Also, two major songs have been combined, I Just Can’t Wait to Be King and Be Prepared. This may sounds like a bad idea but it comes together shockingly well and I consider this to be the highlight of the show.

New to the Disneyland version of the show is a screen in the background of the stage. Overall it looks nice and without any other major set changes the screen does a good job to set the mood.

All of the props and costume have a great handmade look to them. I’m a big fan of how colorful everything in the show is.

Overall Tale of the Lion King is energetic, colorful, and a lot of fun. It’s got most of the songs you love along with some great chorography. It’s well worth making time out of your day to see. I expect this show to get more popular as positive word of mouth reviews roll in.

The neighboring Troubadour Tavern quick service location is now serving a Lion King inspired menu featuring a Chicken-Coconut Curry Sweet Potato, cookies, and drinks. They’re all fantastic but we’ll cover that more in our review next week.

Don’t miss Tale of the Lion King, as well as returning favorites Fantasmic! and Main Street Electrical Parade. TouringPlans can help you plan the perfect day at Disneyland. Be sure to check out our Disneyland Crowd Calendar, which rates every day of the year on a scale of 1 to 10 so you can see how busy Disneyland and DCA will be during your visit. Also check out our Disneyland Touring Plans which show you how to beat the crowds and spend less time in line at your favorite rides. We can even book your vacation for youOur agents are the best in the world and they’re ready and waiting to help you plan your perfect Disneyland trip. Click here to get a quote!

Let us know your thoughts about Tale of the Lion King. Are you sad to see Mickey and the Magical Map be retired? Leave a comment below.

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Guy Selga Jr.

Disneyland writer for TouringPlans.com and co-author of the Unofficial Guide to Disneyland. Also a Disneyland local and appreciator of Disney theme park history. Twitter and Instagram: @guyselga

One thought on “Disneyland Tale of the Lion King Review and Viewing Tips

  • June 16, 2022 at 11:47 am
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    Wow that looks so fun!

    Reply

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