Who hasn't hummed the song "Hakuna Matata" from the movie "The Lion King"? Now you have the chance to hear it again in the Broadway show, in one of the most impressive theatres in the world. Because going to see a musical is an experience that you have to live at least once in your life. I assure you that you will repeat!
The performance of "The Lion King", one of the best Broadway musicals that has captivated more than 100 million spectators around the world, has been roaring for more than two decades with Simba on the boards of Broadway, the Mecca of New York theatre, where it has become a classic.
If you are already determined to see the most acclaimed show of all time, whether you are travelling alone or with your family, this article explains how to get the best value tickets to see the Lion King musical on Broadway.
How much do tickets for The Lion King musical on Broadway cost?
The minimum ticket price for The Lion King, if booked in advance, is usually around £80 for a randomly assigned seat or usually on the sidelines. Although I personally think it's worth paying a little more to fully appreciate it - it's once in a lifetime!
If you're on a budget and want to enjoy it from a privileged position, the maximum price for the central seats, which are the ones with the best views (and where you can almost touch Simon and Pumba), is around 400 €.
The price also fluctuates throughout the year. Christmas in New York is one of the most magical times in the city, but also one of the most expensive when it comes to musicals. The city is filled with Christmas trees, lights, carolers... And thousands of tourists in search of its endless cultural offerings.
As a result, the price skyrockets and the minimum ticket goes up to 120-150 € for the worst seats. So if you're going on these dates, you're already late in buying your pass!
Tips on how to get your tickets
Save money: buy tickets in advance
The most important tip I can give you to save money on Lion King tickets is to buy them online as far in advance as possible. This is similar to booking a flight to New York. If there is a lot of demand and there are few seats left, the price of the plane will go up, while on days with few passengers, the tickets will go down. It works exactly the same with this musical. In general, the closer you get to the date, the more the price goes up.
You should also bear in mind that this musical inspired by the African savannah is the quintessential Broadway show. If you want to buy tickets at the box office, it can take hours to get them and possibly only the seats furthest away and with the worst visibility will be available. He who warns is not a traitor.
Save time: avoid the long queues at one of the most famous theatres in the world
What is the advantage of buying online? It saves you endless queues on Broadway, which you'll appreciate, especially in winter when it's cold in the Big Apple. You'll only have to worry about singing "Hakuna Matata" comfortably in your seat, which you'll have got at the best price and with much better visibility than if you'd bought them at the last minute.
What are the best seats at the Minskoff Theatre?
Here are the two types of seats available, from the cheapest to the most expensive:
Mezzanine: if you want good value tickets this is your option. This area is on the first floor of the theatre and is cheaper than the main hall. However, don't worry, because the front seats also offer a great view of the stage.
Orchestra: on the other hand, if you want something more exclusive and a first class experience, because as the song says "you only live once", this is the place for you. This section is located in the main hall in front of the stage and has the best views of the whole theatre.
The Lion King Broadway Showtimes
The Lion King generally plays eight performances a week on Broadway at the Minskoff Theatre. Typically, one each weekday (Monday through Friday) late in the evening and on Saturdays and Sundays two each day (one at noon and one in the afternoon).
Mondays are off. In total, in case you want to schedule your sightseeing day, you should know that it lasts two and a half hours with an intermission. Take note:
- Monday: closed
- Tuesday: 7 p.m.
- Wednesday: 7 p.m.
- Thursday: 8 p.m.
- Friday: 8 p.m.
- Saturday: 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
- Sunday: 1 p.m. and 6.30 p.m.
Which theatre is The Lion King playing on Broadway and what is the address?
The Minskoff Theatre is located at 200 West 45th Street (corner of 45th Street and Broadway). I find the easiest way to get there is by underground. Several lines stop nearby, including the N, Q, R, W and the 1, 2, 3, which stop at Times Square - 42nd Street. You can also take the A, C, E to 42nd Street - Port Authority Bus Terminal.
Here are some basic tips for getting your bearings on the underground and making the most of the Big Apple's fastest transportation. To start with, I suggest that you download the underground map onto your phone so that you always have it with you. Tickets cost around €2.60.
What to expect from The Lion King Broadway musical
The Lion King is a magnificent theatrical adaptation of **Disney'**s Oscar-winning 1994 film. Is it worth it? Yes, yes and yes. It's a unique show loaded with family values, demonstrating the connection of each of us to our roots and what better place to see it than where it all began: in New York.
With spectacular staging and music by Elton John, it has won six Tony Awards and an Evening Standard Award. If you've seen the film, you'll know by heart the story of Simba, a lion cub destined to become king of the African savannah, whose evil uncle Scar wants to take the throne from him and forces the little feline to flee to distant lands.
During his long exile, Simba grows up following a carefree and crazy lifestyle, accompanied by his two faithful friends Timon and Pumba, and without looking back. But, as an adult, he discovers that he cannot escape his destiny and decides to return to his homeland to confront Scar and reclaim his place in "the cycle of life".
Can I be impressed by The Lion King musical if I've already seen the film?
Yes, it has been wowing millions of people for almost 25 years, many of whom keep coming back for more. There must be a reason for that. For me it was like fulfilling a dream and I'm sure you will experience the same feeling and end up doubting the real existence of Simba, Mufasa and company. Immerse yourself in the exotic African wildlife with its animals and? Enjoy! Grrrrrr!
Is The Lion King recommended for children?
The million dollar question: better with children or without? If you are travelling to New York with children you should know that "The Lion King" is a musical for all audiences and both children and adults will enjoy it equally. In fact, seeing "The Lion King" as a family is a great plan and will fill them with values such as the importance of friendship, blood ties and love for nature and animals. It is a hymn to life!
I am sure it will be an unforgettable experience for the whole family. When I was there, there were several children around me who didn't bat an eyelid - they will love Simba's story! However, children under 4 years old are not allowed in the theatre and it is a show recommended for children over 8 years old.
Tips for seeing The Lion King on Broadway with children
Broadway for children will be like an amusement park. The lights, the colours, the people... But all outings with children have their little tricks. Here are a few tips to make your visit to the musical a success:
- Before going to the musical: so that your child is interested in the plot, enjoy the film with him or her first and discuss the plot.
- When buying tickets, it is best to book them in advance and online, as children can have a hard time queuing!
- Before the show starts: I suggest that you take your child to the toilet and, last but not least, explain the importance of being quiet in the theatre - the golden rule!
- During the play: What if my child has a tantrum? Don't worry, the ushers are used to these situations and will indicate the best time for you to make a short exit from the auditorium.
Nuria's Traveller Tip
A good plan after the musical is to go to the Top of the Rock, the most famous skyscraper in the city, and climb to the 70th floor. You'll have the best views of Manhattan!
What level of English do I need to see The Lion King on Broadway?
None, because you'll enjoy the show anyway. It's been the number one musical in New York since 1997, do you think everyone spoke English? Clearly not. In this musical, literally, words are superfluous. The scenery, the make-up and the music will be more than enough.
In fact, musicals in English, because of their combination of film, dance and music, are an entertaining and very effective resource for practising and learning the language. It has been proven that music activates more parts of the brain than any other human stimulus, so you'll get a 2 for 1!
The great story of Disney's "The Lion King" is the best musical to learn this language because of its dialogue and simple vocabulary and the perfect fusion between British and American English, which will allow you to recognise the different accents. You'll get a crash course.
Did you know?
Simba's name means "lion" in Swahili, a language with around 45 million speakers in Africa. And the beautiful Nala? Nala means "gift".
Is the Lion King musical accessible for people with disabilities?
Yes, it is one of the most accessible musicals on Broadway. Specifically, it has wheelchair seating, assistive listening devices, hand-held captioning and audio description for the hearing impaired. In addition, for theatregoers who are blind or have vision loss, pre-recorded narration is provided through headphones. The philosophy is that all people, regardless of disability, should have access to the performing arts - I love the idea!
If you want to check the accessibility of a show, the Theatre Access NYC platform has created a pioneering initiative so that, through its website, you can check which performances have adaptations and which do not. You can also find out if it is an autism-friendly performance, the location of the seats for wheelchairs and the accessible route to follow inside the venue.
Do you have to dress up to see this Broadway musical?
If you're one of those who doesn't like to wear a suit, even to weddings, you can breathe easy. There is no specific dress code for entering the Minskoff Theatre and you don't have to be overdressed. Although you can dress up if you want to, no one will demand it and you won't show off.
At the theatre you'll find everything from smartly dressed New Yorkers to tourists in their "work clothes": comfortable jeans, T-shirt and trainers. So if you have any doubts about what to pack, my recommendation is to take something comfortable but nice that will allow you to last the whole day of sightseeing and then finish the day at the theatre and with a good fast food dinner on Broadway.
Nuria's Traveller Tip
If you go in summer, don't forget to take a jacket to see the show because otherwise you'll freeze with the air conditioning. In New York they put it on full blast!
Where to dine after seeing "The Lion King" on Broadway
Hard Rock Cafe
If you've worked up an appetite after seeing the show, then I suggest you recover your energy with a good fast food meal at Hard Rock. You know, where you go, do as you please. The bar has become one of the main attractions in Times Square with its rock-inspired décor. A tasty place to eat a good burger and sample the classics of American cuisine.
- Prices: from €25 per person
- Where: In Times Square, at 1501 Broadway.
- Hours: Open every day from 11am to 10pm.
If fish is your thing and you're already bored of so many burgers, the best thing to do is to drop by Bubba Gump restaurant, inspired by the iconic film Forrest Gump, which offers a wide variety of seafood. You'll be able to enjoy their shrimp-based dishes in a fun atmosphere full of memories of the wonderful film. After all, "life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to find". On Broadway either. And for the thrifty: Happy Hour is from 15h to 18h.
- Prices: from €17 to €25 per person on average.
- Where: in Times Square, at 1501 Broadway.
- Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 11:30am to 9pm. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 11am-10pm.
Other similar musicals that might interest you
If after enjoying like a dwarf the musical "The Lion King" you are already thinking about what will be the next show to keep on daydreaming, here you have the definitive guide with the 10 best Broadway musicals in New York.
List of the best Broadway musicals: