Lion King Roars into Vegas

rafikiThe Tony Award-winning Broadway show “Disney’s The Lion King” just opened at Mandalay Bay and anyone who sees the show’s elaborate sets and intricate costumes will realize that it must take a lot of work behind the scenes to stage the production.

There are 143 people directly involved with the daily production of the show – 53 cast members, 21 musicians, 17 wardrobe people, five hair/make-up artists, three puppet craftsmen, 13 carpenters, 10 electricians, eight administrative people, six creative associates, four props people and three sound people.

Some more amazing facts about “Disney’s The Lion King:”

  • There are more than 200 puppets in the show, including rod puppets, shadow puppets, and full-sized puppets
  • There are 25 kinds of animals, birds, fish, and insects represented in the show
  • There are 12 bird kites in the opening number of Act II, “One By One”
  • It took 17,000 hours to build the puppets and masks
  • Mufasa’s mask weighs 11 ounces 
  • Scar’s mask weighs nine ounces
  • The most complicated set piece is Pride Rock.  It is a battery powered piece that is 18 feet  long at its fullest onstage and compresses to eight feet when it is offstage 
  • The tallest animals in the show are the 18-foot exotic giraffes seen in “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King”
  • The tiniest animal is the trick mouse at the end of Scar’s cane:  five inches
  • The longest animal is an elephant:  13 feet  long, 11 feet, 3 inches high, and nine feet wide at the ears. It collapses to 34 inches wide to go down the aisle in the theatres
  • 300 feet of carbon fiber and 750 pounds of silicone rubber were used to make the masks
  • The Timon puppet weighs 15 pounds
  • Number of wigs in the show:  49

Buy your ticket to see Lion King in Las Vegas.


It’s not that warm in Minnesota. I know this from spending half my life freezing in the northern part of the state. So 20 years ago, I decided to thaw out and traded in scarves and mittens for tank tops and flip-flops (Take that, polar vortex!). I swapped snow for 300 days of sun a year. I may not have been born here, but there are hotels that haven’t lasted in Vegas as long as I have. The Sands, Hacienda, Aladdin, Desert Inn and the Stardust too. I've been to my fair share of implosion parties. (Yeah, that’s a thing.) As a writer for, I've applauded hundreds of shows, explored every major hotel in town and raised a few glasses at most of the city's bars and clubs. Now I'm the resident foodie here. I write about all things dining — from $3.99 shrimp cocktail at the Golden Gate to the finest sushi at Nobu, and everything in between.

There is 1 comment for this article
  1. spc702 at 2:37 pm

    My wife took me to watch Lion King last week… Magnificent! I was impressed by the costumes and how closely they followed the story line. Everyone was great; the ‘young Simba’- very talented!