** Stereo Audio **
Come and join us for another installment of the WDW-Memories podcast, where I try to make it possible for you relive your Walt Disney World Memories when you can’t actually be there.
Ok, fall is officially here. The leaves are changing to beautiful colors here in Kentucky, the heater is on in the house, and the World Series of Baseball has begun. Yeah, my Orioles didn’t make the post season, but this is still top quality baseball that is worth watching, even if you’re daydreaming about being in Walt Disney World. Sometimes when I daydream about being back in the Magic Kingdom, I’ll revisit those memories of attractions that were retired, attractions like The Legend of The Lion King, which used to run in the Fantasyland Theater. You know, the place where Mickey’s Philharmagic now lives?
So right now, I don’t have a request I can fulfill (hint hint: great time to send your request in), so I got to choose. So I started going back through my older recordings to see what I might not have shared at all yet and I came across Legend of The Lion King.
Most folks may not remember Legend of The Lion King, but it was an awesome show. It was a puppet show, but on a larger scale. These puppets were on such a large scale that some of them actually lived on carts that the puppeteers would push around from below, and use various controls to articulate expression or emotion. For example, I think I saw something on The Disney Channel years ago (I may try and link the video here if I can find it on YouTube) where they showed behind the scenes footage of how the characters worked. I believe characters like Pumba, and the Lions were actually controlled by 2 or even 3 puppeteers. I can only imagine this was an athletic choreographed dance each and every show, but to use the audience it was a wonderful way to tell the story. Sadly, this attraction was retired from the Magic Kingdom.
As always, I tossed it out to social media, and got the following responses:
On Facebook, Frederick wrote:
Yet another one I’ve never seen. I hope you aren’t running out of attractions to post!
Don’t worry Frederick, I’m not running out yet. And sadly it seems most of you don’t have a memory off this attraction to share. Also, don’t be confused by Festival of The Lion King in the Animal Kingdom. That is not going away… well not totally. I heard on another podcast it’s moving locations in the Animal Kingdom to make room for the Avatar Land expansion, and the show itself will be changing a bit, but it’s not going away.
So like I said, this is an old memory. I recorded it in 2001,while I was in Orlando for a convention. After the seminars were done for the day, I hopped aboard a bus and headed over for some fun in the parks. The Magic Kingdom was warm that evening, and as the night was winding up, I made my way back to Fantasyland to see this show for the first time. I was let into the pre-show area where in front of me is a large tree, in fact it’s Rafiki’s tree. Suddenly, Rafiki appears, he is a full sized character that will be our guide through this story. Rafiki sets up the story for us, and then encourages us to follow him into the main stage to continue this story. The doors open to our right and we enter into the main stage, where you feel like you stepped onto the African Savanna. We take our seat and the show begins.
Today’s memory is in only in stereo, so while not required, I’d still suggest putting those headphones on to fully immerse yourself in the memory.
Now sit back. Relax. Close your eyes. And come with me as we go way back in time to watch a retelling of one of the best ever Disney animated movies.