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Camp Minnie-Mickey closes, Lion King on hiatus to make room for Avatar land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

by Banks Lee

End of the Festival of the Lion King show in Camp Miniie-Mickey

Yesterday, Jan. 5, 2014, Camp Minnie-Mickey, a section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom that’s been around since the park’s opening day, closed to make way for the Avatar expansion.

Camp Minnie-Mickey was originally supposed to be temporary, as the Phase 2 expansion of Animal Kingdom was going add a land called Beastly Kingdom in its place, but when that project got canceled, the land stuck around. A reminder of what almost was could still be seen up until the closing day. As you crossed the bridge to Camp Minnie-Mickey, you could look down at the river on the right and spot a running waterfall coming out of a rock formation shaped like a dragon.

Camp Minnie-Mickey area highlights at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Throughout its years at Animal Kingdom, Camp Minnie-Mickey served as a place to meet Disney characters and take in a couple of shows. One, Pocahontas and Her Forest Friends, ran off and on until 2008. The other, Festival of The Lion King, continued to entertain guests daily until closing day. Eventually the theater space for Pocahontas was used as stroller parking for the Lion King show.

Festival of The Lion King will be on hiatus while the new theater is being built in the Africa section of the park. The interior of the new theater will be similar to the old one, with air conditioning and the same audience capacity. Rumors say the show may undergo some changes during the downtime. You can watch the final showing of Festival of The Lion King in its original Camp Minnie-Mickey theater here:

Full Final Festival of The Lion King show in Camp Minnie-Mickey at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Over the next three years, the area will transform into the world of Avatar as Pandora comes to life. You can read more about it and see some concept art for the area on our blog.

Festival of the Lion King Photo Gallery:
[nggallery id=12]

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2 comments

totalorlando (Kev) January 7, 2014 - 8:23 am

With a very sad tone, the appropriate words have got to be: ‘at last!’

I’m not at all impressed by the gap in the Festival of the Lion King show, (I’m sure Disney could have done more), but thank goodness that Disney’s Animal Kingdom is moving forward.
As one of my favorite parks, it really needed the boost of a major new development to keep guests happy, but the limelight is going to shine on Universal for a long while yet until this exciting new area opens.

Golden Snitch to Universal for amazing planning and foresight!

Reply
James Marshall January 8, 2014 - 4:02 pm

It will be good to get something new to DAK, but I’m not sure I’m ready to see Avatar Land there.

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