Harambe Nights Sneak Peek

Harambe Nights Logo
Harambe Nights: Every Saturday from June 7 – August 9, 2014, with a Welcome Reception starting at 7 p.m. and a 7:30 p.m. show time for “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild.”

Harambe Nights kicks off its ten week run at Animal Kingdom this Saturday, and we got sneak peek at what you will be able to experience during this limited run special event!

Harambe Nights Welcome Reception

When you are thinking about making the investment to purchase a Harambe Nights ticket, I would encourage you to think of your evening more in terms of a Tables in Wonderland Event rather than a Hard Ticket Event, like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, because of the quality and exclusivity of the food & beverage, merchandise, and entertainment options you will be experiencing.

Harambe Nights Welcome Appetizer

Harambe Nights begins with a Welcome Reception, where guests get a chance to spend some time in their host village of Harambe where will be greeted with a variety of appetizers like Moroccan beef kefta with tamarind glaze, pickled fennel paneer cheese with tomato, Durban-spiced chicken bites, and a safari cheeseburger slider with tomato curry aioli that can be paired with African-inspired wine and beers.

Harambe Nights Beverages

After the Welcome Reception, grab your ‘Lion Chow’, a salty-sweet snack combo of sea-salted pretzel chips, benne (sesame) crumbles, cardamom candied pecans, golden raisins, dried cherries, and candied ginger served in a beautifully made wooden roll, and head down to the newly renovated Harambe Theatre for a unique and what is sure to be unforgettable performance of “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild.”

Harambe Nights Lion Chow
The Lion Chow is so yummy!!! I seriously couldn’t stop eating it!

The Lion King – Concert in the Wild” brings a bit of Broadway to Animal Kingdom as this marks the first time that Walt Disney World Parks have collaborated with Walt Disney Studios and Disney Theatrical Productions to create a full length Theatre experience to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of “The Lion King”.

Harambe Nights Harambe Theatre
The new Harambe Theatre area at Animal Kingdom is beautiful!

A company of over 50 members, including a live orchestra, narrators, chorus, and troupe of dancers, help create this unique re-telling of the classic “Lion King” story through movement, music, and song where the Village of Harambe draws from their rich history of storytelling from around the drum circle to celebrate Simba’s evolving story in a way that pays tribute to their culture and the of film and stage productions.

The Lion King – Concert in the Wild” has an approximate run time of 55 minutes, and features new music and arrangements inspired by the music of the film and stage scores.

Harambe Nights Harambe Theatre 2
Details from the outside of the new Harambe Theatre.

Each week a new celebrity narrator will join the company for “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild”, and the line-up of talent is exciting.

The celebrity narrators for the ten week run of Harambe Nights are:

  • June 7 – Viola Davis: “The Help,” “Ender’s Game”

  • June 14 – Avery Brooks: “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” “American History”

  • June 21 – Montego Glover: “The Following,” “Memphis”

  • June 28 – David Alan Grier: “Porgy & Bess,” “In Living Color”

  • July 5 – Michael Beach: “ER,” “Third Watch,” “Sons of Anarchy”

  • July 12 – Harry Lennix: “The Blacklist,” “The Five Heartbeats”

  • July 19 – Joe Morton: “Scandal,” “American Gangster,” “The Good Wife”

  • July 26 – Alfre Woodard: “Desperate Housewives,” “Miss Evers Boys”

  • August 2 – Brian Stokes Mitchell: “Ragtime,” “Trapper John, M.D.,” “Glee”

  • August 9 – Patina Miller: “Pippin,” “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1”

In addition to the live performances on-stage, “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild” will also utilize new screens that will show iconic clips from ‘The Lion King’ film and be used to advance the story through the performance in a dynamic way.

Harambe Nights Marsha Jackson Randolph

Marsha Jackson Randolph and Choreographer & Stage Director Warren Adams, who’s recent work on Broadway includes Of Mice and Men, Motown, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch, guided us through the run through of a few numbers from “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild” in their rehearsal space during our sneak peek, and it was awesome! The performance is more of movement piece with nods to iconic choreographers that catches the spirit and energy of ‘The Lion King’ film and stage production. I can only imagine how it will look when it is in its full form!

After “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild” you will take to the streets of Harambe for a party like you have never experienced!

Harambe Nights Street Party Concept

Harambe Nights Street Party is a totally immersive experience,” said Show Director Forrest Bahruth. “There will be opportunities for guests to get involved, to dance, to be entertained or just to relax and enjoy the evening.”

During the Harambe Nights Street Party, the streets will come alive with your favorite Disney characters, stilt walkers, and specialty performers who encourage you to join in their traditions through some glow-in-the-dark face painting and Afro-pop music from the Harambe Nights Band and DJ Khalifa.

Harambe Nights Street Party Performers

The Mickey’s Jammin Jungle Parade floats, puppets, and performers will also be out for unique photo opportunities.

Harambe Nights Characters

And you can’t have a party without food! The streets of Harambe will be filled with a buffet of amazing African inspired dishes. If you’re a fan of Jiko—The Cooking PlaceBoma—Flavors of Africa or Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge or Tusker House at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, chances are you’ve tried some global flavors on the menu.

Harambe Nights Plate

During our sneak peek at Harambe Nights, we also got the chance to sample these great dishes and my biggest piece of advice is to come hungry!!!

The Harambe Nights Menu Includes:

Fresh Cooked Breads, Salads and More

Harambe Nights Salads
The assorted salads were a great palate cleanser between all the savory and rich spices of the Harambe Nights Menu. The ingredients were fresh and crisp!
  • Watercress, melon, feta and berry balsamic onion salad
  • Kachumbari salad with tomato, paneer, carrot and cilantro
  • Roasted beetroot salad with sunflower seeds
  • Creamy mac ‘n cheese
  • Spicy vegetable samosa with mango chutney
  • Traditional naan, onion kulcha and pappadum breads
  • Roasted pepper hummus, raita and garlic-ginger pickle


Surf and Turf

Harambe Nights Lamb Shank
The on-stage-seared lamb chops with tamarind pomegranate sauce was tender, but the sweet and earthy potato medley side was amazing. I **may** have gone back for more potatoes…
  • Mango, radish, lime and mustard seed salad
  • Watermelon, cucumber and fennel salad
  • Coriander chutney roasted potatoes
  • Line-caught corvina filet with goan curry sauce
  • On-stage-seared lamb chops with tamarind pomegranate sauce

Slow-cook Action Stations

Harambe Nights Eggplant
This was my favorite dish that I tasted at Harambe Nights Sneak Peek! The vegetarian eggplant tikka masala curry was spicy while still retaining the taste of the eggplant and it was served over creamy goat cheese pap that was tender and creamy. It was perfect!
  • Fork-tender peri barbecued pork
  • Vegetarian eggplant tikka masala curry served over creamy goat cheese pap
  • Butter chicken thighs
  • Vegetarian legume wat served over basmati rice


Harambe Nights Dessert
These bits were equal parts amazing and wonderful, because the texture and taste were spot on! It was the perfect sweet and slightly salty combination with a kick of coffee.
  • Golden pineapple with toasted coconut
  • Apple slices with Amarula caramel sauce
  • Ripe melon with minted lime yogurt dip
  • Rice pudding, dried fruit compote and pistachio gremolata
  • Caramel salted Tanzania chocolate Kenya coffee bite
  • Chai cream with zebra stripes
  • Ice cream bars
Harambe Nights Samosas
The Spicy vegetable samosa with mango chutney are one of my most favorite dishes ever! You can never go wrong with the hot and spicy vegetable filling combined with the cold and sweet mango chutney!

There will also be Lion King merchandise and collectibles that have been exclusively created for Harambe Nights that will be available for purchase during the event.

Harambe Nights Merchandise
Photo: Disney
Harambe Nights Merchandise Coin
Photo: Disney
Harambe Nights exclusive tshirt
Photo: Disney
Harambe Nights exclusive watch
Photo: Disney

Harambe Nights will end with a special finale to bid “kwaherini” to a magical evening that could only happen at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

Harambe Nights is scheduled for every Saturday from June 7 – August 9, 2014, with a Welcome Reception starting at 7 p.m. and a 7:30 p.m. show time for “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild.” You should note that tickets for Harambe Nights first Saturday, June 7, are sold out.

Harambe Nights Wristband
A wristband is required to enter the special event. To retrieve your wristband, please show your event ticket at the Main Entrance. If you are already inside the park prior to the start of the event, you can show your ticket to a Cast Member at the entrance of Harambe Village instead to receive your wristband.

Tickets are $119 for adults, $79 for ages 3-9, plus tax, and also includes complimentary parking for the event starting at 4:00 pm. Great seats are still available for all nights, but capacity is limited.

For tickets, visit Disneyworld.com/HarambeNights or call (407) 939-1319.





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Author: Shelley

When she isn't chasing her chihuahuas, daughter, or cheering for her Hokies you can find Shelley On the Go in the Central Florida Area and on-air with WDBO News 96.5 on Friday evenings!

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