Festival of the Lion King returns. But not really. | Uncle Walt's Insider

Festival of the Lion King returns. But not really.

View from the front row of the slightly-scaled-down show. Photo by ellenm1 & Wally Gobetz [CC BY-NC 2.0] via Flickr. Inset photo by David162se [CC BY-SA 4.0] via Wikimedia. Cheerios by General Mills.

We prefer it being part of the Safari queue.

DISNEY’S ANIMAL KINGDOM, WDW, FL, USA, EARTH, MILKY WAY — Park officials at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park, Resort, Spa & Butcher Shop claim that The Festival of the Lion King has returned. This news is, in fact, wrong. What has “returned” is a smaller show, with just 35% of the fun.

The new show, called A Celebration of Festival of the Lion King, still features all of your favorite songs, but with a catch. Rather than a live performance, audiences will view the show on videotape.

Betamax rules ruled

The videoed performance was taped by Robert Williamson of Celebration, FL, on the show’s opening date in 1998, using his Betamax camcorder.

Sony Betamovie BMP-100P. Quality.

Quality.

“It’s a Sony, good quality build,” Williamson tells Uncle Walt’s Insider. “I’m a self taught cameraman, been behind the camera on all of our family vacations since I was a young boy growing up on the banks of the Suwannee River.

“I took my wife, Roberta, and our two kids, Robert Jr. and Bobby, to check out this new creation by those guys that feller John Lennon sang about in that song Imagine. Anyway, we were front row center, which was great since I had my camera up on my shoulder. I captured the entire thing, start to finish, in one take. Only had to shush my kids a few times as they sang along. They know I like clean audio.”

We would have asked for free churros

“Anyway,” Williamson continues, after conveniently pausing for a section break, “after I posted about this video on an internet messaging board dedicated to filming, some feller from Disney asked if I still had a copy, and if I could lend it to them. I said sure, I don’t know why they need it, but he offered me a single day ticket for my family to borrow the tape. I think I made out on that deal.”

Disney does plan to enhance the experience, showing the video on all four screens. Officials with the Disney Company have assured us that they can display the same video on all four screens at once, with sync’d audio. Due to Disney’s made-up guidelines, each section will just accommodate four groups of people at one time, with a maximum of four people per group.

Look for A Celebration of Festival of the Lion King to open soon!

We’re thinking they could scale it down more. How about you? Let us know in the comments below!

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Cover photo: View from the front row of the slightly-scaled-down show. Photo by ellenm1 & Wally Gobetz [CC BY-NC 2.0] via Flickr. Inset photo by David162se [CC BY-SA 4.0] via Wikimedia. Cheerios by General Mills.