Festival of the Lion King and Other Coming Events

Laurie gives us some info on some upcoming events…….

We were first to announce that Fastpasses are now available for the Festival of the Lion King with dates starting June 1, 2014. I loved the old version of the Festival of the Lion King.Lion King6 It was as if a small town gathered in a warehouse to honor their king. It was not big like Las Vegas or Broadway. It was a place friends gathered to sing, dance, clap, laugh, and celebrate life. Nobody cared that the floats were from a parade as they were part of the Circle of Life gathering to honor their King. Guests wanting to avoid the hoopla can head to their right toward Dinosaur and Flights of Wonder.

Father’s Day is June 15, 2014 so make your dinner plans now. Usually there are a few collectible items for sale but not much else going on that day. That will be the last day for Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. At the American Gardens Theater in Epcot mostly tribute bands will be onstage in Sounds Like Summer. Dates are June 08 – July 26 and shows are 5:30 pm, 6:45 pm and 8:00 pm (except July 4: shows at 5:15, 6:30, 7:45 and 9:00 pm). Gay Days Orlando is an unofficial event that has been running a long time that will be held June 3-9, 2014. They do not affect park attendance and are in the parks only a few days. There are expos, shows, parties, and lots of fun at various locations in the Orlando area. Some events like the art auction are free but most of the parties and entertainment charge a fee. Disney Soccer Academy is being offered at ESPN Wide World of Sports this June and July. It is $390 per four day session of intense training for children ages 5 – 19. See https://www.espnwwos.com/events/soccer/disney-soccer-academy/ for more details.

June has some great kid friendly activities including Pollinator Day on June 10th in Animal Kingdom and on June 4th it is World Oceans day at The Seas with Nemo and Friends in Epcot.

Epcot has celebrations for most countries throughout the year. July 1st is Canada Day, July 7 is Tanabata Star Festival in Japan Pavillion, and July 14th is Bastille Day in France Pavillion. September 16 is Mexico’s independence day. October 1st is China Day, October 3rd will be German Reunification Day, and Wednesday (no date given) is Eid al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifices) in Morocco. November 5th is Guy Fawkes Day in the United Kingdom pavilion, November 18th is Morocco Independence Day, and the American pavilion maybe will have Chickahominy Tribal Dancers and a Pilgrim Storyteller on Thanksgiving Day. January 18th is Scottish Heritage Celebration in the Showcase Plaza. Tuesday and Wednesday in February come celebrate the Year of the Snake and Chinese New Year’s Day. April 25th might, this is tentative, be Italian Liberation Day. May 5th is Japan’s Children’s Day and May 17th is Norway’s Constitution Day. Most events run 11 am to 5 pm at the Kidcot station of that pavilion so check your times guide for more information. Events may change or cease to exist while new ones are added.
Labor Day weekend from Friday through Monday is the Great Irish Hooley Festival at Raglan Road in Downtown Disney. They are offering entertainment, food, and lots of fun in this annual event. Festival of the Masters is in November in Downtown Disney. This art show features artists and their wares, live entertainers, hands on things for kids to do, and food. On September 11th the Magic Kingdom will have a special flag retreat in Town Square in honor of Patriot’s Day. Check with ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex if you are interested in the Disney Fit Challenge on September 26 – 28, 2014 where you test your power, strength, endurance, and limits in this new athletic event. Not much yet on the Orlando International Dragon Boat Festival that takes place on Village Lake in Downtown Disney on certain weekends in October. Night of Joy is happening September 05 – September 06, 2014 at the Magic Kingdom. This is a Christian music festival with rock, pop, and gospel singers that runs each night from 7:30 PM to 1:00 AM. Purchase a 2-night ticket through August 5, 2014 and enjoy one admission to a Disney water park or DisneyQuest® Indoor Interactive Theme Park. For those not attending be warned that the park closes early on those days. Big River Grille will be having an Oktoberfest tapping party on September 12th. Epcot and the Magic Kingdom celebrate their birthdays on October 1st.

At Animal Kingdom
July 29: Big Cat Day
August 5: Primate Day
September 23: Elephant and Rhino

Future updates will cover Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Halloween, and other holidays. There is a lot out there to do beside rides. I will be at Animal Kingdom for the first show of the Lion King Festival if you want to meet me.

Thank you, Laurie.