Well, folks, the live-action version of The Lion King is officially in theaters!
And in celebration, Disney has released a bunch of new Lion King stuff around Disney’s Animal Kingdom, including a brand-new Dooney & Bourke collection and a limited edition MagicBand! So, follow along with us today as we explore all of the new Lion King items throughout the park!
We kicked off the day by adventuring into Africa to ride Disney’s Kilimanjaro Safaris.
Fun fact — the Disney Conservation Fund will be donating $2 to help save the lions for each person who rides this attraction from July 19th through July 25th.
You can also purchase a special-edition plush to contribute to Disney’s conservation efforts. For each plush sold, Disney will donate $5 to the Wildlife Conservation Network in support of the Lion Recovery Fund (and its local partners).
While on the ride, we learned that the animators for The Lion King went on an African safari to gain inspiration for the new film. They were astonished by the wildebeests and spent a great deal of time rendering and capturing their movements.
After our safari, we hopped on the Wildlife Express Train and ventured to Rafiki’s Planet Watch.
This location closed last year and has recently reopened with a new animation opportunity.
First, we watched a video about Dakari, an African lion. This is actually how all of the new Animation Experiences begin now. Guests get to watch a movie about the animal they will draw, which is a ton of fun!
Since it’s Lion King day, we had the opportunity to draw Simba!
Our animator made sure to point out that Simba’s nose is curved because he is not a villain. Therefore, his nose should not be drawn with sharp edges or points. The animators save all the sharp edges for the villains!
Next, we checked out the new Dooney & Bourke Lion King Collection. This collection features a new print with Simba, Nala, Timon, and Pumbaa.
As far as we know, these bags are only sold at Mombasa Marketplace and Discovery Trading Company in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
And beginning today, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is offering a new Lion King scavenger hunt activity throughout the park! You can purchase the map for $6.99. When you’re finished, you can turn in the map for a sweet prize.
Our prize was a magnet! Each one will be a little different, due to the fact they are created on wood.
The characters that we hunted for were pretty hard to spot since they blend into their surroundings so well!
We also received a little Lion King activity packet.
Looking to get your face painted? Well, if you head over to the Harambe Market Face Painting Kiosk, you’ll find that they have a Lion Paw Prints face paint option for $16.00. You can complete the look with The Lion King Minnie Ears.
The new limited edition Lion King MagicBand can be found at Mombasa Marketplace for $34.99.
Annnnd we’re continuing on with our expedition today!
We were also able to get a sneak peek at a few of the treats that will be offered during Circle of Flavors: Harambe at Night. This new nighttime dining experience will begin on July 24th and will be offered on select nights. According to the Walt Disney World website, the current dates offered are each Wednesday through October 23rd.
A few of the treats that we saw today that should be available at the Circle of Flavors event were the S’more Lion Pops, S’mores, Brownie Pot de Creme Whiskey Caramel, and the Lavender Caramel Bar.
We love the intricate details on the S’more Lion Pop!
And the S’more itself almost looks too pretty to eat. Well…almost.
The Animal Cupcakes are topped with the most adorable animal print ears.
Here’s a look at the Brownie Pot de Creme!
And last but not least, the Lavender Caramel Bar! (:
We cannot wait to give everyone a full review of each of these treats — and of the Harambe at Night experience — soon!
Be sure to check back as we will continue to update this post with the latest and greatest in The Lion King stuff throughout the day!
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Disclosure: In nearly all circumstances, Disney Food Blog writers and photographers pay full price for their own travel, hotel, food, beverage, and event tickets. We do this because it’s important to us as journalists to ensure not only that we give you unbiased opinions, but also that you can trust us to do so since we’re paying our own way. On rare occasions, when we are invited by a company to attend a preview as media, and when we choose to accept that invitation, we will always make you, our readers, aware of that situation. Today, we were invited by Disney World to attend their Lion King Media Event. Note that when we attend events as media we are 1) Not required to review that event/food on any of our channels, and 2) Not required to review that event/food favorably. You can always count on DFB to give you a 100% unbiased and honest review of any event that we attend, food that we eat, or beverage that we drink. You can see more in our Disclosure Policy. Thank you for reading. — AJ