Modified Celebration of Festival of the Lion King Show Won’t Include Tumble Monkey Act

Disney announced yesterday that the beloved show, The Festival of the Lion King, will return in some form this summer. Disney informed us that the show will return in a modified form to include safety measures meant to keep performers and audience members safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Considering the tight indoor space of the Harambe Theatre at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and some of the intricate dances and acts including groups of performers and acrobats, we’re wondering how much of the heart of the show will return with these safety measures in place. In October of last year, the entire equity cast of the Festival of the Lion King was laid off.


One of the most beloved acts in the show are the Tumble Monkeys, a group of four skilled gymnasts that preform an impressive trapeze and gymnastics routine. Many of the flips, twists and swings that are preformed in the act are done by the Tumble Monkeys in tandem, flipping close together or holding each other up with joint hands or legs. It has been confirmed that this act will not be part of the modified version of the show coming later this year.

Image courtesy of Joshua Meyer

While we’re definitely excited for the return of this crowd favorite, but it is worth noting just how different it will be.

We will keep you updated as more details on the return of the Festival of the Lion King are announced.

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    1. It’s almost like there was a pandemic or something that was making things have to change…

      Oh, wait, there IS a pandemic that is making things have to change. Anyone wanting things to go “back to normal” is either not paying attention or is just selfish and doesn’t care about over 400,000 dead in the U.S. alone and thinks their vacation is more important than those lives. There can be no “magic” when people are dying at these rates. And if you take Disney taking precautions as “less magic” under these circumstances, you are a monster.

  1. It’s offensive to our intelligence to blame COVID-19 for this cut, considering that the most dangerous activity being performed on stage COVID-wise is singing. If the singers can sing there’s no reason at all why the acrobats can’t perform. With the high contagiousness of the new mutation no distance on that stage can protect any of the performers…it’s either a safe COVID free cast or not.

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