HONOLULU (KHNL) -- It's a first for Hawaii. The cast and crew of the broadway musical "The Lion King," is in Honolulu, preparing to bring the "Pride Lands" of Africa to the islands.
They received a surprise aloha Thursday in front of the Blaisdell Concert Hall from the keiki of Halau Ka Waikahe.
"We've been all over the United States but this is the first time we've ever been welcomed in this way and the culture people are welcoming so much it's amazing," said Ntombikhona Dlamini, one of the members of "The Lion King" ensemble.
Among the cast members -- the cheetah, who happens to be local.
"I've been away for 13 years now pursuing my goals and this is a great way to show everybody what I've been doing," said Charlaine Katsuyoshi.
To say mahalo, "The Lion King" ensemble gave Hawaii a surprise of their own -- South Africa's version of aloha.
Many of the cast members said they're already getting a kick out of their visit in Hawaii.
"So far it's been amazing and I sat on the beach every single day and I'm in heaven," said Clifton Oliver, who plays Simba in the musical.
And with a taste of aloha and hakuna matata, "The Lion King's" very first debut in Hawaii already appears to be a hit.
Organizers said first-day ticket sales in Hawaii broke national records. Because of that demand, they extended the schedule for six more weeks.