‘The Lion King’ 30-Year Celebration Roars into Disney’s Animal Kingdom 

by Jun 11, 2024Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, WDW Parks0 comments

If you haven’t heard, Disney Parks has kicked off the special celebration of the 30th anniversary of “The Lion King” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park! From now until September 6, all of us fans of the original animated film can enjoy character greetings, themed food and drinks, unique merchandise items and other special “only at Disney” surprises. 

Here’s a quick look at some anniversary highlights you’ve got to experience this summer:

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park - Rafiki and Timon

‘Lion King’ Characters at Animal Kingdom

During “The Lion King” 30th anniversary celebration at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you can meet favorite characters Timon and Rafiki at Conservation Station at Rafiki’s Planet Watch. You can take the train to Conservation Station by entering near the exit of Kilimanjaro Safaris in the park and the My Disney Experience app has details on when both characters are available this summer. 

At Conservation Station, you can also learn to draw other favorite characters from “The Lion King” at Animation Experience.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park - "Lion King" 30th anniversary - Simba Paw Cookie

New ‘Lion King’ Anniversary Treats

As we shared in our exclusive Disney Eats update, there are new, limited time delights featuring characters from the film, including Simba, Rafiki, Timon and Zazu.  

The big (and adorable) Simba Paw Cookie is a perfect summer treat and can be found at outdoor food carts throughout the park during the celebration.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park - "Lion King" 30th anniversary - You Follow Old Rafiki Cheesecake

Another themed must-try is the You Follow Old Rafiki Cheesecake! This dessert is a combination of passion fruit mango cheesecake with a coconut-lime crust, vanilla bean chantilly, and a chocolate medallion on top. 

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park - "Lion King" 30th anniversary - Rafiki’s Squash Banana shake

Rafiki’s Squash Banana shake with squash bananas, baobab fruit, vanilla, cinnamon, and cardamom is another must try this summer. You can find it at Tiffins Restaurant along with the Remember Who You Are “The Lion King” 30th Anniversary Dessert. 

The Remember Who You Are at Tiffins Restaurant is Kenyan coffee mousse filled with caramelized bananas, chai chantilly, banana-caramel sauce, chocolate-coffee crumble, chocolate decoration, and a sugar sun. 

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park - "Lion King" 30th anniversary - The Simba slushy

The Simba at Eight Spoon Cafe is a mango-flavored slushy combined with grenadine and topped with two gummy candies. And Timon’s Luau is a unique dessert that pays homage to Timon’s iconic hula from the film.  

Timon’s Luau – which can be found at Isle of Java in the park – features vanilla chiffon, passion fruit curd, guava jam, vanilla chantilly cream, and an edible tropical flower for the lei and mint for the hula skirt.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park - "Lion King" 30th anniversary - Zazu Ice Cream Sandwich

The Zazu Ice Cream Sandwich will likely be one of your favorites all summer as well. As you can see, vanilla ice cream is sandwiched between two blue cake-coated sugar cookies with a chocolate medallion on top. You can find this treat at Tamu Tamu refreshments.

There are more “Lion King” treats you need to see, like the Zazu DOLE Whip Lime and Coconut Float in our original Disney Eats story. 

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park - Pumbaa Popcorn Bucket

New ‘Lion King’ Merchandise You’ll Want, ASAP

For the anniversary celebration, in addition to the Pumbaa popcorn bucket, there’s also a special merchandise collection. The new items and gear are perfect for a visit to our iconic “The Festival of the Lion King” show.   

"Lion King" 30th anniversary merchandise collection

This special collection includes an amazing sweatshirt for adults with Simba silhouetted against the setting sun and “The Lion King” logo as well as a blue and white tie-dye youth zip hoodie. The colorful “Hakuna Matata” ear headband also celebrates 30 years.

"Lion King" 30th anniversary merchandise collection

You’ll also notice new items include a trendy fanny pack, a youth shirt and short set that features Simba, Nala, Pumbaa and Timon silhouetted on both and an adult yellow sweatshirt featuring favorite characters as well.  

You can find these special items and more during the celebration at Island Mercantile in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

"Lion King" 30th anniversary merchandise collection - MagicBand+

“The Festival of the Lion King,” which is a larger-than-life show based on the classic movie, has even more magic during the anniversary celebration with MagicBand+ this summer.

Your MagicBand+ will come to life with dancing lights and haptic vibrations during key moments throughout the show.

Ready to plan your magical adventure? Contact a Dream Designer travel advisor at My Mickey Vacation Travel for all of your Disney Destination planning needs. They will listen to your hopes, desires, and dreams for your vacation and create a vacation plan that will give you memories that will last a lifetime. 

Join the Disney World Made Simple group to discuss this and many other Disney topics with other Disney fans. Learn tips, tricks, and more to help make your vacation as magical as possible! Be sure to follow My Mickey Vacation Travel on FacebookInstagram, and TikTok for all the latest Disney travel updates.