The Lion King Makes a Big Roar at the Box Office

Clifford Ishii
Clifford Ishii
David Chun
David Chun

HONOLULU (KHNL) - The first show hit the stage for the first time Saturday at the Neal Blaisdell Concert Hall. Organizers say about 1800 people packed the theater.

The musical has made such an impact, organizers say they extended the Lion King schedule, making it the longest running broadway show in Hawaii.

Hakuna Matata - two simple words have islanders pouring into the Blaisdell Concert Hall to get a bite of the Big Apple.

"I went to New York before and I wanted to see another broadway show," says Dakota Chun of Kaneohe.

The demand in Hawaii for Disney's The Lion King has been so intense, organizers say first-day ticket sales broke national records.

"I just love broadway plays. It's better than the movies it raises, I get chicken skin, really exciting," says Clifford Ishii of Kauai.

And that excitement is translating into big business for Honolulu. The American Theater League estimates the broadway musical will rake in $30 million dollars for the city.

For those paying to catch a glimpse of the Pride Lands of Africa, it's money well-spent.

"This is our anniversary present to us," says Linda Ishii of Kauai.

"We thought it was a good thing to bring Dakota as a family, something the whole family can do," says David Chun of Kaneohe.

Because the response to The Lion King has been so overwhelming, organizers added six more weeks to the schedule.

Many of the shows are already sold out, but staff says tickets are still available for select performances.