In the first film, Timon and Pumbaa bring Simba to the oasis after rescuing him from dying in the desert. They did not seem attached to any one place, but simply assumed home to be wherever they were. Simba grows to adulthood while living an enjoyable easygoing life in the oasis and later encounters an adult Nala. Nala notes the place's beauty, but becomes confused as to why Simba never returned home. Simba is eventually convinced by Rafiki to return to the Pride Lands. After helping Simba and the Pridelanders defeat Scar and the hyenas, Timon and Pumbaa end up residing with Simba and Nala in the Pride Lands.
In the midquel, Rafiki unintentionally directs Timon toward the area, where, on the way, he meets and is escorted by Pumbaa. The two eventually arrive at the oasis while looking for their dream home. They name the oasis "Hakuna Matata" after the philosophy they both chose to live under upon arriving. The area apparently possesses everything Timon was searching for. He and Pumbaa claim it as their own territory, later raising Simba in the oasis. By the end of the film after Scar's death, Timon allows his former meerkat colony to reside at the oasis, thereby giving them a predator-free home.
Other animals are revealed to live here as well; for example, Kataka, Growler, and Zak from the "Hakuna Matata" books.
The oasis appears in the 2019 CGI remake of The Lion King. In this version, the oasis is inhabited by other animals aside from Timon and Pumbaa, such as an elephant shrew, a bushbaby, a guinea fowl, some antelopes, and a bat-eared fox (the novelization based on the remake's plot also includes a talking honey badger not in the film itself). When Timon and Pumbaa take Simba to the oasis, a guinea fowl tells the other fowl that what her flock seeing is a lion while a bushbaby spies on the three. When Simba asks Timon and Pumbaa for a zebra, two kudus and a bat-eared fox hear what Simba is saying, believing he could eat them to which Timon explains that there is no food like this in the oasis and when Simba asks them for antelope, some antelopes react to what Simba said about them believing he could be their prey while an elephant shrew tells him not to eat animals like his own species. The three come across a log as Timon, Pumbaa, and Simba discover grubs inside it, alongside the elephant shrew, the bushbaby, the guineafowl, the bat-eared fox, and a pair of dik-diks arrive and snack on the grubs as Timon tells Simba to try a grub like what he and his neighbors are eating to which Simba accepts. After eating a grub, Simba feels satisfied of himself just as he and Timon and Pumbaa walk across several environments as Simba grows up into an adult lion as he adapts his new life in the jungle.
The next day, Simba chases a topi across the jungle while trying to catch butterflies to which he decides not to play with Simba as he is no longer a cub. Upon seeing a termite mound and as the animals are catching termites from it, Simba topples over the mound to cause dozens of termites flying around as Timon, Pumbaa, and the other jungle animals happily get more termites to eat. Later that night, Simba observes the stars at night to remind him of his late father Mufasa who told him about the Great Kings of the Past, to which Timon and Pumbaa believe they are fireflies as Simba grieves over his late father after the conversation.
The following day, Timon and Pumbaa sing the musical number "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" to tell the other animals that Simba is not around as bee-eaters and gray parrots react to their singing, As Timon and Pumbaa trot across the jungle, an aardvark, two impalas, the bushbaby, the bat-eared fox, and the elephant shrew follow alongside two only to be stalked by Nala as Simba faces her to which she recognizes him, much to the meerkat and warthog duo's worry. Simba and Nala fall in love together during the musical number "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" while exploring the jungle. However, Nala tells Simba that he must return home to the Pride Lands due to Scar's tyranny to which Simba refuses to trust her as she decides to return to the Pride Lands alone, leaving Simba to be upset. Upon encountering Rafiki, he tells Simba to look at his reflection to which he sees Mufasa who tells him to return to the Pride Lands and take his place as king to which upon remembering this, Simba decides to return and confront his uncle after not believing what Nala said at first, but to his courage, he decides to follow what Nala said afterwards.
- The oasis is named after the song "Hakuna Matata", as Timon and Pumbaa chose to live there with "no worries".
- According to Kingdom Hearts II, the lionesses knew about the oasis, but Scar refused to let them leave to live there.
- Despite Timon and Pumbaa opting to live in Pride Lands along Simba after helping him in defeating Scar, the duo are still living in the jungle in the Timon & Pumbaa TV show.
- In Disneyland Paris, there is the Hakuna Matata Restaurant based on the phrase, and it also features murals based on the oasis.