Posts Tagged ‘Disney’s Animal Kingdom’

Walt Disney World Holiday News and Updates

by on December 22, 2016

Walt Disney World Christmas

©Rikki Niblett

The busy holiday season is coming up this weekend at Walt Disney World and because of that, here are a few things you should keep in mind if you are planning on visiting the theme parks to celebrate.

First, at the Magic Kingdom, Guests will be able to experience many of the events that typically occur during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Here is the schedule of events:

December 23-28

  • Voiceplay (musical group) – 3:10 p.m., 4:10 p.m., 5:15 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

December 23-29

  • Holiday Wishes – 9:00 p.m.
  • Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration (Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage) – 7:15 p.m., 8:15 p.m., 10:15 p.m. and 11:15 p.m.
  • Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! Street Party – 1:45 p.m. and 5:15 p.m.

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Express Transportation Being Added to the Walt Disney World Resort

by on December 2, 2016

Express Transportation at Walt Disney World

©Rikki Niblett

Beginning December 7, the Walt Disney World Resort is introducing Express Transportation, a brand new transportation option that provides Guests a faster and convenient way to travel between the four Walt Disney World theme parks, for a price.

This Express Transportation is a special add on that can purchased by Guests who have purchased park hopper tickets. For single-day service, Express Transportation can be added for $15 per person. For multi-day service, it is $24 per person which is valid for seven consecutive days from the day of sale. (Annual Passholders can also chose to add on the single-day option.)

This option will take Guests from inside one them park and transport them straight into another by allowing Guests to travel between backstage locations.

Pick up locations in each park will be found near the exit of Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom, east of Spaceship Earth at Epcot, near Rock n’ Roller Coaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and near Kilimanjaro Safaris entrance at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Express Transportation is available from 10:00 a.m. until park close. Pick up will occur every 30 minutes.

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Pandora – The World of Avatar to Open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Summer 2017

by on November 19, 2016

Who is ready to travel to Pandora? it was announced today that the lush world from the movie Avatar will open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in the Summer of 2017.

Guests will enter Pandora through a bridge found near the new table service restaurant, Tiffins. According to the backstory of the land, “the bridge was built during a time when a destructive company called the RDA came to Pandora. Now that they’re long gone, nature is breaking down evidence of their presence.”

Guests will enter Pandora into the Alpha Centauri Expeditions base camp. Alpha Centauri Expeditions, for those who don’t know, is the eco-tour group that is preparing Pandora for further exploration.

Pandora will feature two attractions. One is a boat ride that will take Guests into a visually stunning world where they will travel into a bioluminescent rainforest through a sacred river. The journey will end with an encounter with a Na’vi Shaman. The family friendly attraction will be called Na’vi River Journey.

Pandora Boat Ride

©Disney

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Dani’s Best Week Ever October 6, 2016: Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and staying on Disney property

by on October 6, 2016

A few weeks ago during my last Best Week Ever post, I discussed how I am learning a lot about fear. This week I am experiencing a lesson in enjoying the moment. This week provided some best ever moments and yet I don’t feel like I really took the time to savor it all and enjoy. I experienced Disney’s Animal Kingdom during the DVC Member event, stayed the night at Beach Club Villas, woke up and checked into Bay Lake Tower for the night, enjoyed Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, and capped it all off with cocktails and fireworks at Top of the World Lounge.

Even though I feel like I didn’t really soak it up, I get to share it with you, helping it to make one the my Best Weeks Ever! And since many of us in Florida, and at the Atlantic Coast, are getting ready to face Hurricane Matthew, let’s take a break from storm prep and bask in some pixie dust.

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Disney’s Beach Club Villas

DVC Member event at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

img_4294Disney Vacation Club is celebrating its 25th year of existence. This year members have seen a slew of perks and free events roll out to them not only in order to mark the special occasion, but to help boost member satisfaction as well.  During a few nights in September DVC Members enjoyed Animal Kingdom all to themselves from 9:30 PM – 12:30 PM.

While I worked, my parents enjoyed Disney’s Beach Club Resort and then checked us in for the event, at the hotel lobby. This enabled us to have our event wristbands ahead of time and although it may not have saved us a ton of time, we simply had one less thing to worry about. Once inside the park we stopped at one of the many tables being manned by an event Cast Member who handed us each a card to get into the night time Kilimanjaro Safari between 9:00 PM – 9:30 PM and two tickets each to play the midway games in Dino-rama in Dinoland USA.

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We headed straight for Nomad Lounge. I bragged about this place to my parents and wanted them to experience what has become my favorite lounge inside any Walt Disney World theme park. Nomad Lounge now has an updated food menu; you can check out my quick review about it here.

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My parents relished the décor and adventurous spirit of Nomad Lounge. The perfect balance between sophistication and casual approach-ability is struck here. Starting our evening here set the tone for a pleasant and memorable night together.

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Nomad Lounge is now better than ever before

by on October 5, 2016

Nomad Lounge, along with Tiffins Restaurant, is the place that Disney’s Animal Kingdom needed. It is casual yet sophisticated, incredibly detailed and inviting, and offers a great selection of inventive cocktails. And now, Nomad Lounge is even better with a new menu that is more approachable and provides better value.

I recently visited with my parents, who hadn’t been to Animal Kingdom in a few years. We sat at the bar, soaking in all the details, discussed the past and the future of this, my favorite park. We made a meal out of four of the dishes on Nomad Lounge’s food menu. Here’s a quick review of some of the new menu items.

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img_4329Wagyu Beef Sliders ($14.00)

Sliders are a popular small plate on many a lounge menu. Easy to share, easy to eat, and typically satisfying, they make a great choice. Two sliders are presented with a handful of small roasted potatoes. The patty is seasoned well and very juicy and tender. A rich tomato jam is spread on the top bun, adding a savory flavor, and an inexpensive way for Disney to add a vegetable element to this slider without the cost of actual fresh veggies. The bun is dense, with a sweet flavor.

These three flavors: the seasoned beef, the tomato jam, and the sweet bun come together to make a nice blend. However, I would prefer the patty to be regular ground beef rather than Wagyu because to me this high quality blend of beef gets lost in slider form, and I’d rather pay $10 – $11 for two sliders as opposed to $14.

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TouringPlansTV: Kilimanjaro Safaris Ride-Through at Disney’s Animal Kingdom + Video

by on September 27, 2016

AK - Kilimanjaro Safari (13)Today is Double Video Day!

Not only will I be giving you deets on Kilimanjaro Safaris (found at Disney’s Animal Kingdom), but I will be providing you with both a short and long video featuring the attraction.

This is where we need your help: Which version do you like better? Shorter glimpses of the attraction or longer ride-throughs? Does Angela blab too much? Let me know!

We at TouringPlans.com strive to provide viewers with the information and footage YOU want to see. Let us know your thoughts in the comments, or “like” your favorite video on our YouTube page.

Enjoy!

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The 5 W’s of Pre-Park-Open Dining at Disney World

by on August 19, 2016

Did you know that it’s possible to enter the parks at Walt Disney World before they officially open for the day? A valid park ticket and dining reservation for one of seven restaurants is all you need to get into the park before regular guests. Read on to learn about the who, what, where, when, and why of these reservations.

Who?

Regardless of whether you’re staying on or off site, guests with valid theme park admission are eligible to enter the park early if they have an Advanced Dining Reservation scheduled for before the park’s official opening time. Since these are some of the hardest reservations to score, guests staying at a Disney resort have an advantage due to the extended 180 day + length of stay window for dining reservations for on-site guests. Our dining Reservation Finder can also help you snag those hard to get reservations.

Walking through World Showcase before Epcot's official open

A perk of early reservations – walking through a nearly empty Epcot

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The Jungle Book: Alive With Magic to End at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

by on August 12, 2016

©Disney

©Disney

It is time to say goodbye to The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic nighttime show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The show will end its limited engagement on September 5.

With this change, I am happy to report that the other nighttime festivities, such as the Kilimanjaro Safaris at night, Harambe Wildlife Parti, Discovery Island Carnivale, and the Tree of Life Awakening will continue to take place each night in the fall. Disney’s Animal Kingdom hours will continue to fluctuate during the fall season.

One would expect that with the ending of this show, Disney will be able to continually tweak and test Rivers of Light to prepare it for its eventual debut. More information on Rivers of Light is expected to come soon.

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A Guide to Single Rider Lines at Walt Disney World

by on July 27, 2016

Hello TouringPlans readers! My name is Ben Crain and I’m so excited to be joining the tremendous team of bloggers here. I am the creator and host of the WDW Ride Guide Podcast, and an Authorized Disney Vacation Specialist. I’m passionate about helping others explore Walt Disney World one ride or attraction at a time. With my introduction out of the way, I would like to introduce you to the Single Rider Line at Walt Disney World.

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Expedition Everest, Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, and Test Track are three of the most thrilling attractions in all of Walt Disney World. These attractions whisk you through exciting environments at speeds up to 65 mph! Thrill seekers live for inversions, loops, and 80 foot drops–however, chances are you will be visiting Walt Disney World with someone that isn’t quite ready to face the menacing Yeti, or have Aerosmith music pumping into their ears while racing through the dark. Or, maybe you have a little one that feels the need for speed, but doesn’t yet measure up to the height requirement.

Whatever the scenario, there is a way to satisfy the thrill seeker without sacrificing an hour separated from your group.  Say hello to the Single Rider Line!  This a way for one or several riders in your group to experience these 3 attractions with a shorter wait.  Here is how it works:

Step 1: Enter the queue designated Single Rider Line.

Step 2: Wave as you pass the poor souls in the standby queue!

Step 3: Proceed to the next Cast Member.

Step 4: Wait to fill a seat created by an odd number group in the standby queue.

The Single Rider Line offers varying degrees of time savings across the 3 attractions. Let’s break down each one.

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Tiffins Introduces New Lunch Offerings

by on July 6, 2016

Tiffins

©Rikki Niblett

If you have been curious to try the all-new signature restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Tiffins, you now have a great opportunity to do so.

A brand new lunch menu has been introduced for the restaurant which features small portions of some of Tiffins’ most popular dishes. From 11:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. each day, Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy the Taste of Tiffins options. This offering allows Guests to explore the standout dishes from this restaurant. Guests can choose from a pairing of two different options, alongside a Jade rice blend for $28.00, plus tax and gratuity.

Options that Guests can select from include: flash-fried blue mussels, black-eyed pea fritters, crispy Yellowtail Snapper, sustainable fish crudo, 72-hour beef short rib, salad of roasted baby beets, market vegetable curry, marinated grilled octopus, Chermoula-rubbed chicken, or the masa and pulled pork tamale. (My suggestions…the octopus and the beef short rib. I’ve tried both and they were both excellent!)

In addition, a light bites menu has been introduced as well, including:

  • Archaeologist Salad ($12.00)- Spring Vegetable Variations, Pumpernickel Soil, and a Champagne Vinaigrette
  • Tiffins Signature Bread Service ($10.00) – Pomegranate Olive Oil, Harissa Yogurt, Zhough Yogurt, Black-Eyed Pea Hummus
  • House-made Head Cheese and Chicken Liver Pate ($14.00) – Goji Berry Chutney, Accouterments, Whole Grain Mustard
  • Lobster-Popcorn Thai Curry Soup ($13.00) – Basil Emulsion, Popped Sorghum

Should you choose, you still do have the option to order off the regular, all-day menu at lunch, as well. The choice is yours, but I think this new offering is certainly a great way to sample some great dishes without over-stuffing yourself during the lunchtime hours.

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