Keith Lapinig reimagines The Lion King and Jungle Festival at Disneyland Paris

Published on August 20, 2019

Stomp to the rhythm of The Lion King and Jungle Festival until 22 September at Disneyland Paris where the entertainment will make you roar with delight. Cast Member and US artist Keith Lapinig wanted to pay tribute to these two great Disney classics for the event. How? By incorporating well-known characters, such as Simba, Baloo and Pumbaa into the landscape of Disneyland Paris using paper cut-outs.

Keith Lapinig: a true artist’s life

Keith Lapinig is an artist and designer who has lived in New York and studied at the School of Visual Arts. He started out in sales at the Disney Store in New York before moving on to become an Interactive Design Manager for The Walt Disney Company. As a big Disney fan, he produces Disney-inspired creations in his spare time, such as Vinylmations (paintings of vinyl figures in the shape of Mickey Mouse), 3D paintings and digital illustrations. Paper cut-outs are the latest form to capture his creativity, which he then photographs in Disney Parks to interact with the landscape. He revealed his aspiration for the collaboration: “Being able to photograph Disneyland Paris with my art was a dream come true, and I can’t wait for everyone to see how I reimagined many of their favourite spots in the resort”.

Roar in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle

Keith Lapinig chose this particular rock as he thinks it represents “a Mini-Pride Rock that was just asking for iconic Lion King treatment!” So he did it the honour.

The famous music from The Lion King, enjoyed by several generations, is performed at the show “The Lion King: Rhythms of the Pride Lands” with a new twist, telling the legend of Simba, Nala, Rafiki, Mufasa, Scar, Timon and Pumbaa. Singers, dancers, acrobats and drummers add a new dimension to the Pride Lands with original routines and costumes, performing classic songs such as “The Circle of Life” and “Hakuna Matata”.

A captivating musical invitation to the Indian jungle

Guests are invited on a colourful and immersive journey full of new experiences evoking the Indian jungle during this show at Central Plaza, in front of the Sleeping Beauty Castle. Guests will be treated to a whole bundle of fun with Baloo and King Louie, and, of course, Mickey and Friends will be our explorers for the season. They will be accompanied by artists from India, inviting guests of all ages to swing along to the sound of favourite songs such as “The Bare Necessities”, “I Wanna Be Like You” and a rousing new version of “Trust in Me” from Kaa the Snake. This part of the show is what inspired Keith Lapinig for this photo: “The song “Trust in Me” is a fun part of the entire festival, so I thought I would honour that with Kaa and Mowgli at the Adventureland sign

Dance to the rhythm of Timon and Pumbaa’s “MataDance”

Timon and Pumbaa are making their own special appearance in Adventureland. Accompanied by dancers, they will invite guests to dance along with them, teaching them the craziest savannah routine: Timon’s “MataDance!” as festive vibes fill the air to the sound of the emblematic song, “Hakuna Matata”. It was this photo that Keith Lapinig liked doing the most: “This piece was a lot of fun to make because it’s Timon and Pumbaa! I had to do something with them in front of the Hakuna Matata restaurant, so I thought it would be funny if they were swinging in fast to get their next meal.

The King of the savannah in shops

Like Rafiki, the Disneyland Paris teams are proud to present their new range of Simba products to guests: The Curious Giraffe in Adventureland features the biggest selection as well as a new store called Savannah Souvenirs which has opened at the Djembe Joy Village. There are also special products linked to the “The Lion King: Rhythms of the Pride Lands” show, and fashion and lifestyle items focused on the iconic Simba.

Keith Lapinig wanted to use the entire rock as the finishing touch to the castle to illustrate this very special moment in the animated film.

Resting between two explorations

You follow old Rafiki. He knows the way!”: Guests can explore all of Adventureland, like Simba discovering his Kingdom as a cub: climbing the Swiss Family Robinson tree house, crossing the suspension bridge, walking on Pirates’ Beach, getting lost in the caves at Adventure Isle, or boarding the Pirates of the Caribbean or Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril to satisfy a desire for new experiences. Guests can also meet Rafiki by going along to Hakuna Matata restaurant throughout the entire season for a brand-new table service, where they can recharge their batteries and meet Mickey Mouse his special explorer’s outfit.

Keith Lapinig “kept searching for the perfect place where he would find Rafiki completely at ease and meditating. Once he saw the crates in front of the Adventure Isle sign, he felt Rafiki would appreciate his placement there.”

The Bare Necessities

Look for the bare necessities / The simple bare necessities / Forget about your worries and your strife / I mean the bare necessities / Old Mother Nature’s recipes / That brings the bare necessities of life” All of that is possible at Disneyland Paris. Guests can wander around Frontierland like Baloo and Mowgli as well as board an elegant steamboat at Thunder Mesa Riverboat Landing for a cruise to discover the wild landscapes, geysers, Indian camps and daily scenes of the Far West before arriving at Big Thunder Mountain for the wildest ride in the West.

There were so many places I could have placed Baloo and Mowgli as they made Disneyland Paris into their own lazy river, but I finally decided on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, it’s my absolute favourite attraction in the entire resort!

The Lion King and Jungle Festival is taking place at Disneyland Paris until 22 September 2019.

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