This special marks the first time in Disney history that Robert Guillaume (the original voice of Rafiki) did not reprise the role of Rafiki.
Kion says "Hyenas! Put Bunga down! Pick on somebody your own size!" to Cheezi and Chungu. This is a reference to The Lion King when his father says the exact same thing to Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed, who are also hyenas ("Hey! Why don't you pick on somebody your own size?").
Simba told his daughter "Everything the light touches is part of our kingdom." This is another reference to The Lion King as his dad told him the exact same thing. ("Look Simba. Everything the light touches is our kingdom.")