From the Vault: Tarzan Rocks!

By: Adam F Manfredo

In the third installment of “From the Vault”, we will take a look back at one of my favorite shows ever to be on Walt Disney World property: Tarzan Rocks!  The musical show Tarzan Rocks! featured all the classic Phil Collins songs alongside Tarzan, Jane, Terk, and rollerskating Monkeys.



Tarzan Rocks! debuted in July of 1999 in Dinoland, U.S.A., and ran until January 2006 when it was closed and refurbished.  The show’s music was performed by a live band and singers, and complimented by the performance art of rollerskating, dancing, and the swinging from ropes we have grown accustomed to in Festival of the Lion King.


This show ticked all the boxes for me: great music from movie I love, cool stunts preformed by monkeys on roller skates, some fancy rope swinging by Tarzan and Jane, and all that combined to tell a beautiful story.  The monkeys stole the show the way they do in Festival of the Lion King, and when you compare the two shows; they actually were very similar to the point that Disney probably felt there was only room for one.  The roller skating stunts were fun to watch, especially for a young boy who was in to the X-Games world growing up.  It is an attraction that I miss, and I feel would still be going if not located in the same park as Festival of the Lion King.  Thus is life at the ever-changing Walt Disney World Resort.

Luckily it is preserved in video form for saps like me to watch online:

What Took Its Place:

Finding Nemo – The Musical opened in the newly renovated “Theater in the Wild”, in January of 1997.  The musical is the story performed through some amazing puppet work, and features original music developed by Disney just for this attraction.

It is something should be experienced at least once because the puppet work is absolutely amazing, but it is a show that has never connected with me.  I guess I was a bit bitter to losing a favorite attraction, but also do to the fact that the music is original to the Musical.   I have trouble with the fact that they took great film and transformed it into a musical.  I mean if Pixar had made Finding Nemo a musical to begin with, it would have felt natural, but it comes across to me as forced.  The other down side for me is that Finding Nemo – The Musical lasts for 40 minutes, so it is an attraction that if you do not use a Fastpass+ for it, you will be sacrificing a good hour and a half with waiting in line and the show itself.  The good thing is there is plenty to be explored at Disney’s animal Kingdom, so I encourage you experience the attraction and make the decision for yourself.

I think today, I am OK with the decision.  Tarzan Rocks!, “you’ll be in my heart”.

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