It’s spring break all around the country. While the annual week off from school is most known as the time of year when college kids make pilgrimages to warm weather destinations like Florida and Mexico, revelers in Panama City got an unexpected dose of early morning Disney as their hotel blasted "Circle of Life" from The Lion King. Watch their reaction for yourself below.
You may not automatically equate spring break, which is usually thought of as a bawdy, R-rated affair (or at least hard PG-13, with lots of drinking and exposed skin), with the animated saga of Simba, but this is apparently an annual tradition at this one particular Holiday Inn. Every morning, promptly at eleven, they play the Elton John song over their loudspeakers to get the parade of revelers up and moving and ready for another day in paradise.
You can see how into this tradition some of the people are, waving flags on their balconies, singing along arm-in-arm with friends, and there is a rather loud cheer at the end. But there are still a few who look utterly baffled, peering out of their curtains, and wondering what the hell is going on out there.
Eleven is a reasonable time get up in the morning—even if your body is on West Coast time, it’s still eight—so it’s not like the moment dawn strikes, the soundtrack from The Lion King is echoing all over the empty Florida beaches. One vacationer told Fox LA,
It's the best thing ever. Every morning when we wake up we look forward to it, it's like an entire Panama City Beach Holiday Inn family just singing together.
Still, as stoked as some people are about this, it has to play hell with more than a few blinding hangovers. Then again, maybe it’s a learning experience. If you know this is coming every morning, maybe you’ll be more inclined to keep your nighttime partying in check.
According to the report, this has actually become as selling point for the hotel. Every year, the Holiday Inn fields hundreds of calls from people wanting to make sure that the song will in fact play during their visit, and they see visitors return year after year. Now if only they could get the staff out there in costume to reenact the scene where Rafiki presents baby Simba to the Pride Lands, that would be something to behold.