Animal Kingdom is a fantastic theme park, but many Disney World guests can be frustrated by how early it closes. Most days, Animal Kingdom closes around 6, but sometimes as early as 5 pm. If you’ve ever wanted to be in Animal Kingdom after dark, your opportunity has arrived in the form of a special, hard-ticketed event called Harambe Nights. It’s Party for the Senses meets Candlelight Processional meets The Lion King that comes at a premium price-tag. So, what is Harambe Nights all about, and how much will it cost you to party Animal Kingdom style?
Harambe Nights will take place every Saturday night this summer from June 7th to August 9th in celebration of the 20th anniversary of The Lion King (Has it already been that long?). After a welcoming reception, guests will make their way to the Harambe Theatre for a special performance of The Lion King: Concert in the Wild. Much like the very popular Candlelight Processional in Epcot, this performance will feature a live orchestra, choir, and celebrity narrator, except this performance will tell the story of The Lion King, of course.
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The celebrity narrator lineup is as follows:
- Viola Davis – June 7, 2014
- TBD – June 14, 2014
- Montego Glover – June 21, 2014
- David Alan Grier – June 28, 2014
- Michael Beach – July 5, 2014
- Harry Lennix – July 12, 2014
- Joe Morton – July 19, 2014
- Alfre Woodard – July 26, 2014
- Brian Stokes Mitchell – August 2, 2014
- Patina Miller – August 9, 2014
After the 55 minute performance, guests will head outside for “fun, food, and merchandise” at the Harambe Nights Street Party. A live band and DJ will fill the Harambe Village with Afro-pop music, encouraging guests to dance the night away. Dancers, puppets, and stilted performers will join in on the fun.
If theatre and a dance party wasn’t enough, Harambe Nights will feature multiple buffet stations and a selection of beers, wines, and specialty drinks, all included with admission. The offerings will naturally be a taste of Africa, all ending with a selection of gourmet desserts to give a sweet end to the evening.
Exclusive merchandise opportunities and signings with Disney Design Group artists will also be available to guests at Harambe Nights.
The evening runs from 7 pm – 10:30 pm, and theme park admission/parking is included. A ticket to Harambe Nights will not get you admission into Animal Kingdom before the event, and it does not seem like other attractions will be open during Harambe Nights.
Tickets are $119 for ages 10 and up and $79 for ages 9 and under. For Premium floor seating, the prices go up to $134 and $94 respectively.
Overall, this seems like a combination of Disney’s previous successful nighttime entertainment ventures. The celebrity narrator and theatricality of the Candlelight Processional, the wining and dining of the Party for the Senses, and the fun dance party of Electronica/Mad T Party — all combined and presented with a theme perfect for Animal Kingdom. While the price is definitely steep, it promises to be a memorable event for those in attendence.
If you want to purchase tickets, go to Disney’s official site.
(Images Copyright Disney)