The Disney animated classic "The Lion King" opens with all the animals inhabiting Africa's savanna gathering to celebrate the crowning of the new lion prince, Simba, while the unmistakable chanting at the start of Elton John's "The Circle of Life" plays in the background.
"Nants ingonyama bagithi baba," is the chant in the opening of the song at the start of the film. It's Zulu for, "Here comes a lion, Father"
The song kind of serves as a tribute and formal salutation to the rising sun each day for all of the animals of the savanna. At spring break in Panama City, Fla., it serves a similar purpose.
Every morning in March, at the crack of 11:00, guests at the Holiday Inn in Panama City get the chant as a hotel-wide wake-up call. The tradition is quite popular with spring breakers, many of whom stream out onto their balconies to celebrate with their fellow guests, according to WJHG television, the Panama City NBC affiliate.
"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," Holiday Inn guest, Jessica Young, told WJHG TV.
The hotel gets flooded with spring break goers every March, so in the past, the house DJ would play hip-hop or other pop music to get their guests out of bed. In 2012, the DJ wanted to start a tradition that would give guests a unique spring break memory and started playing the song from the movie and it was an instant hit.
"The morning that he did it that he had more kids out on the balconies and more kids that came up to him afterwards and said, 'dude you gotta do that again that was awesome,'" Holiday Inn Marketing Director, Philip Corvin told WJHG. "It was a song that worked real well as a wake up call because of the loud beat in it and it also works real well because of the message of the song. It fits with the kids and the mood and what they're going through right now."
The song has become such a staple of the Panama City Beach spring break experience, the hotel claims hundreds of people call before booking their accommodations to make sure the hotel still plays "The Circle of Life, reports Fox's Atlanta affiliate.