Disney’s The Lion King at Mandalay Bay Extends Through Dec. 2011

Disney’s award-winning Broadway phenomenon The Lion King has extended its engagement at Mandalay Bay Theatre by 14 months through December 30, 2011. Already seen by nearly 800,000 people to date, the production named “Best Show” in the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s annual “Best of Las Vegas” awards will have played 31 smash months and over 1000 performances at the conclusion of its run. Apart from the still-running Broadway production, this marks the longest run of the show in any US city, eclipsing even the record-breaking 27 month Los Angeles engagement, which concluded in 2003.

The Lion King immediately established itself as one of the most critically-acclaimed productions in the history of Las Vegas when it opened in May 2009. Las Vegas Magazine, noting that it has raised the cultural bar on The Strip, declared it, “the pride of Las Vegas…The Lion King transcends cultural boundaries and the limits of the imagination.” The Las Vegas Review-Journal hailed the production as “innovative and gorgeous” while a follow up review declared it, “the best New York import I’ve seen on The Strip.” The Las Vegas Sun raved, “a dazzling dramatic enterprise and an emotionally gripping triumph” while CityLife called it simply, “flat-out brilliant.”

Proving equally popular with audiences, The Lion King broke the Mandalay Bay box office record just weeks after it opened and went on to break its own record four more times. The extension allows Disney and Mandalay Bay to meet continued ticket demand for the next 14 months while allowing elements of the physical production to be committed to upcoming new productions of the show. 2011 engagements include stands in Montreal, Toronto and Providence, RI.

“We are proud beyond measure of the way that Las Vegas has embraced The Lion King and we anticipate a strong final 14 months of performances, given the continued strengthening in the Vegas economy,” said Thomas Schumacher, Producer and President Disney Theatrical Productions. “We look forward to opening two new productions in the coming year – one in Singapore next March and another international production we’ll be announcing soon.”

Bill Hornbuckle, Chief Marketing Office for MGM Resorts International, said, “You need only to stand outside the theater at the conclusion of the show to get a sense for how beloved this production of The Lion King is. We’re thrilled that the cast and crew will be part of our family for another year.”

Around the world, The Lion King continues ascendant in its 13th year. For three of the show’s seven productions, the fiscal year just ended was the highest grossing ever in their respective lives: Hamburg, Germany in year nine; London, which just passed its 11th anniversary; and the flagship New York production, approaching its 13th anniversary with a momentum unprecedented this deep into any Broadway run.

For Las Vegas, Disney hand-selected an international cast of performers who have won acclaim in productions of The Lion King across the globe, including Broadway, Taipei, South Africa, London, Los Angeles, Australia, Toronto, Shanghai, Paris and Holland.

Mandalay Bay’s production of The Lion King is the acclaimed full-length version seen around the globe and is staged with all of the same spectacular music, sets, and costumes that have made it a cultural phenomenon, reaching more than 50 million people in 13 countries. In addition to Las Vegas and the landmark Broadway production, The Lion King also can be seen on stages across North America, in London’s West End and in Hamburg, Paris and Tokyo. In March 2011, a sit down production will open in Singapore – a first for Disney Theatrical Productions.

At Mandalay Bay, the show is performed Tuesday through Friday evenings at 7:30 p.m. with weekend shows at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. For more information, please visit www.lionkinglasvegas.com.