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‘Tale of the Lion King’ and ‘The Soul of Jazz’ are coming to Disneyland

by Samantha Davis-Friedman

In February, Disneyland Resort introduced ‘Celebrate Soulfully’ experiences to honor Black heritage and culture, and this summer, the celebration will continue with daily live entertainment and specialty offerings, including the debut of “Tale of the Lion King” on May 28, 2022, and “The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure” on June 1- July 4, 2022.

Disneyland - Tale of the Lion King
Images courtesy of Disneyland Resort

“Tale of the Lion King”

The original, story-theatre adaptation of Disney’s “The Lion King” at the Fantasyland Theater will be staged in an all-new presentation featuring a traveling troupe known as The Storytellers of the Pride Lands, who tell the tale of how a cub becomes a king through dialogue, song, dance, and percussion.

Disneyland - Tale of the Lion King

“Sometimes we collaborate on a project where suddenly time seems to stop, and […] we know, deep in our hearts, that the show that we are creating will be an extraordinary experience for our audiences, our cast members, and the entire Disney Live Entertainment team engaged in bringing it to life,” said Disney Live Entertainment Creative Director Susana Tubert. “As we build on the success of our original story-theater production ‘Tale of the Lion King’ (featured in 2019 at the small Palisades Stage in Disney California Adventure Park), we are excited and profoundly proud to bring Simba’s journey to Disneyland’s beautiful 1,800-seat Fantasyland Theater.”

The show’s new scenic and costume design and new original musical arrangements and choreography honor – and are inspired by –  the cultural roots of this beloved Disney story. Also, on May 28, 2022, Troubadour Tavern will return with new menu items inspired by the show. Click here for more information.

“The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure”

From June 1 to July 4, 2022, “The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure,” a touring exhibit showcasing the history and legacy of jazz, will be on display in the building adjacent to Star Wars Trading Post at the Downtown Disney District – complimentary to all resort guests.

Disneyland - The Soul of Jazz

Through the exhibit created by Walt Disney Imagineering (in partnership with cultural institutions and subject matter experts), Joe Gardner – musician, mentor, and star of Disney and Pixar’s original animated film, “Soul” – takes guests on a musical tour across America, showcasing the rich history of the musical art form originated by African Americans.

This June, Downtown Disney District will feature nightly live music with genres including jazz, R&B, Funk, Motown, and Doo-Wop. Plus, a DJ will perform at the Downtown Disney Live stage on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Celebrate Soulfully at Disney California Adventure

Also from June 1 to July 4, 2022, California Adventure park will offer daily live music celebrating Black music genres from Doo-Wop to Motown.

Disneyland - Philly Phonics
Philly Phonics

“Feel the nostalgia of Carthay Circle and enjoy Philly Phonics, an a cappella vocal group, performing snazzy, jazzy tunes from the 1920s through today [and] Five & Dime will also stylishly sing and swing 1920s and ‘30s tunes with brass and sass,” wrote Disneyland Public Relations Director Kelsey Lynch in the Disney Parks Blog. “In the evening, head to the Hollywood Backlot to enjoy the summer vibes of this special block party, featuring live musical acts seven nights a week.”

Disneyland will continue to “celebrate soulfully” this summer, with additional details coming soon.

Check out our video of the original “Tale of the Lion King” show at California Adventure:


Tale of the Lion King - Full Show at Disney California Adventure
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