Magic Kingdom Tiana Viral Video Star Makes Her Broadway Debut in “The Lion King”

A viral sensation that took the internet (and Disney fan community) by storm a few years ago has now made her official Broadway debut as Young Nala in The Lion King.

What’s Happening:

  • Back in 2019, a magical moment became a viral video when young Sydney Elise Russell was dancing during a performance by the Main Street Philharmonic at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.
  • Flash forward to 2021, and the triumphant return of Broadway shows to New York City after being closed due to the Global Pandemic, and the name “Sydney Elise Russell” is on the cast list alternating as a performer of Young Nala in the ultra-popular, award-winning, theatrical presentation of The Lion King at the Minskoff Theatre.
  • It’s no coincidence either! Sydney has taken her personal stage of Main Street USA and moved into the theatrical Broadway stage of New York City.

  • Her original Magic Kingdom viral video was taken when she was celebrating her birthday at Walt Disney World, receiving a surprise makeover at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in Disney Springs before heading over to the Magic Kingdom where she started dancing along to music from The Princess and the Frog performed by the Main Street Philharmonic when a Disney Photopass photographer took her over and put her center stage with the band.
  • At the time, Sydney said “I made up that dance right off the top of my head. I was just in my world and I was just living my moment.  And when the moment was over, I was just like – did that just happen?”
  • The video took off, circulating the internet and Sydney even made an appearance on Strahan, Sara and Keke.
  • You can take a look back at our coverage of Sydney’s grand debut here, while she performs on Broadway in The Lion King alongside nearly all of the cast members who were performing when Broadway shut down last March.

  • Broadway World was there as the show returned and captured Sydney in her latest moment, taking a bow during the curtain call as Young Nala in the performance.

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