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More Live Entertainment is Returning to Disney’s Animal Kingdom- What’s Still Missing?

We have seen lots of live entertainment returning to the Walt Disney World Resort over the past couple of months, and more performers, shows, and character experiences should be on their way back soon!

Viva Gaia Street Band

Credit: Disney

Over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, the latest entertainment to return to the park is the Viva Gaia Street Band, who is back on Discovery Island performing their festive live music sets daily. Viva Gaia’s Caribbean-style street party runs hourly in 30-minute sets throughout the day, currently scheduled for 10:45 AM, 11:45 AM, 12:45 PM, 1:45 PM, 2:45 PM, 3:45 PM, 4:45 PM, and 5:45 PM.

As for the rest of Animal Kingdom’s entertainment lineup? Here’s a look at which performers and shows are back in full force, and which experiences we are still anxiously awaiting to return:

A Celebration of the Festival of the Lion King

The-fan favorite Festival of the Lion King show has been performing in the Harambe Theatre once again for some time now, however, if you have not seen the performance since the park’s reopening, you may want to note some of the small modifications that have been made to the show.

With a slightly different title, A Celebration of the Festival of the Lion King is a modified performance primarily missing the Tumble Monkey sequence of the show. It is still an incredibly fun and memorable performance, and since Disney has been putting out lots of auditions for both trampoline stunt performers and specifically for the Festival of the Lion King, it is quite possible that the full show will be back soon.

For now, you can catch A Celebration of the Festival of the Lion King daily in Africa at 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 12:00 PM, 2:00 PM, 3:00 PM, 4:00 PM, and 5:00 PM.

Chakranadi

Chakranadi has been back performing in Asia at Disney’s Animal Kingdom for a couple of months now, with no modifications to how sets were prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Guests can find Chakranadi performing traditional Indian music on a sitar daily throughout the Andandapur village area of the park at 11:55 AM, 12:55 PM, 1:55 PM, 2:55 PM, 3:55 PM, and 4:55 PM.

Disney KiteTails

An all-new show that debuted during the park’s reopening phase for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World, Disney KiteTails continues to operate as usual (and by “as usual,” we mean yes, the kites are supposed to “crash land.”

Credit: Disney, Matt Stroshane, photographer

Disney KiteTails takes place throughout the day with 10-minute sets, and two different shows are available, so you may need to check it out more than once! The two performances focus on characters from The Lion King (1995) and The Jungle Book (1967.) See Disney KiteTails daily at 11:15 AM, 12:15 PM, 1:15 PM, 3:15 PM, 4:15 PM, and 5:15 PM.

Donald’s Dino-Bash

Donald’s Dino-Bash was a themed celebration in DinoLand U.S.A. that began in 2019. The celebration featured character meet and greets with Chip and Dale dressed in adorable dinosaur onesies, as well as Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, and additional characters all dressed up for the occasion.

Credit: Disney

In addition to the character experiences and decorations that still adorn DinoLand U.S.A, a main component of Donald’s Dino-Bash was a vibrant dance party that took place daily outside of Chester & Hester’s Dinosaur Treasures. The dance party, as well as much of the merchandise that was designed specifically for Donald’s Dino-Bash has yet to return to the park.

Characters can be seen wearing their Dino-Bash apparel on the distanced flotillas Guests may spot throughout the day, and the decorations are still up in DinoLand, but other elements of Donald’s Dino-Bash have yet to return.

Feathered Friends in Flight

This classic bird show continues to take place daily in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Current set times for the show are 10:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 1:30 PM, 2:30 PM, and 3:30 PM.

Flights of Wonder

Prior to the park’s closure in 2020, the show had been going through a bit of an identity crisis. The content of the show generally stayed the same with Guests still able to learn about a variety of birds that call the park home, but it went through various levels of theming and sometimes featured characters from Disney and Pixar’s Up! (2008). While the show is open, Disney has not commented on whether or not characters will return.

Finding Nemo: The Musical

Finding Nemo: The Musical never reopened following the park’s 2020 closure, however at last year’s Destination D23 event, Disney officially announced that a reimagining of the show would be coming to Animal Kingdom this year.

Finding Nemo

Credit: Disney

The new show, to be titled, Finding Nemo: The Big Blue…and Beyond! promises enhancements to the Theater in the Wild in terms of lighting, backdrops, costuming, and new effects, but will keep fan-favorite songs from the original show including “In the Big Blue World,” and “Go With the Flow.”

At this time, we do now have a more specific date for the show’s debut other than sometime this year, but we will keep you updated as soon as we know more about Finding Nemo returning to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Kora Tinga Tinga

A favorite among streetmosphere entertainment in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Kora Tinga Tinga is a live musical performer who uses a Kora, or a handmade African harp, to create some of the iconic ambiances that makes up Harambe Village. Performances currently run at 10:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 12:30 PM, 1:30 PM, 2:30 PM, and 3:30 PM.

Tam Tam Drummers of Harambe

Credit: Disney

Another street performance Guests can take in right in Africa, the Tam Tam Drummers of Harambe offer exciting performances throughout the day that give Guests a chance to dance right along to their music. The drummers bring traditional drumming to the Congo right to Walt Disney World, and we are excited to have their full sets back without any modifications. See them at 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 12:00 PM, 1:00 PM, 2:00 PM, 3:00 PM, and 4:00 PM.

Winged Encounters

Daily during daytime hours, Winged Encounters is taking place as usual in front of the Tree of Life on Discovery Island. This quick educational encounter with Disney Cast Members showcases the beautiful macaws that live in the park as they free-fly and soar over this Disney park. We recommend seeing the birds then exploring a Discovery Island Trail.

We are thrilled to see that most entertainment has returned to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, but we are still holding out hope that we will soon see the return of the Tumble Monkeys to the Festival of the Lion King show. And, we can’t wait to experience a brand new musical version of the story of Finding Nemo!

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."