Posts Tagged ‘Disney’s Animal Kingdom’

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.

Single Rider Header-01

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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Kali River Rapids to Test Single Rider Option

by on July 2, 2016

©Disney

©Disney

For those of you visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom and who would like to get drenched on Kali River Rapids while potentially waiting in a shorter line, I have news! A single rider test will be taking place from July 3-17 in an effort to allow more Guests to experience the attraction.

To enter the single rider line, Guests will use the FastPass+ entrance where they will be separated into a different section further down the queue. Guests will then be placed on boats needing single riders when necessary.

For those looking to take advantage of this particular line, do keep in mind that testing is not guaranteed and may stop and start at any time.

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Experience the New Savor the Savanna Evening Safari at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

by on June 3, 2016

©Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is certainly becoming the place to be at night. The beauty of the park really begins to unfold when that sun goes down. (Plus, the heat subsides too!)

Beginning June 26, Guests will have one more way to experience the uniqueness that is Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s evenings and that is through a brand new safari experience. During the Savor the Savanna Evening Safari Experience, Guests will be able to enjoy the beauty of the savannas while dining on African-inspired food and beverages.

The Safari will allow Guests to travel Kilimanjaro Safari’s Harambe Wildlife Reserve in a private safari vehicle, where they will then be taken to an exclusive viewing area that overlooks the savanna. Here Guests will be able to enjoy tapas as well as specialty drinks, beer, and wine. During the tour, a guide will be on hand to share information about the animals that Guests will be able to see, as well as the care that these animals receive at the park. At the end of the tour, Guests will receive a special keepsake.

Reservations are now available and can be made by calling (407)WDW-TOUR. The cost is $169 per Guests and valid theme park admission is required, in addition to the tour. Participants must be at least 8 years old and the safari is limited to 12 Guests. Guests are asked to arrive at least 10 minutes prior to their tour.

Tours take place daily at 4:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. Currently this tour is only being offered thorough Labor Day.

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Tiffins Dining Review

by on June 3, 2016

We’ve spent many months anxiously awaiting all of the new offerings at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and while many of my friends couldn’t wait to try out the new nighttime Kilimanjaro Safaris or see the Jungle Book: Alive With Magic show, I’ve been counting down the days to the opening of Tiffins (and neighboring Nomad Lounge). I dropped in for a dinner reservation this past weekend with several friends to see if Tiffins could meet the high standard set by other signature dining locations around Walt Disney World. You’ll find my thoughts on this epic meal below, along with those from a revisit a few days later (to see if the high-quality service and food was consistent).

When my party arrived, we were promptly greeted at the host stand and checked in, but also warned that they were running about ten to fifteen minutes behind in seating tables; we were told we could wait in the lobby, or next door in Nomad Lounge, and that we’d receive a text message once our table was ready. We didn’t much mind the wait, and a few of us took a chance to wander the indoor and outdoor seating areas of Nomad in the meantime (what an incredibly gorgeous space – this really set the tone for what to expect inside the restaurant). About ten minutes later, we were summoned to be seated, and led to our table – not a bad wait at all! Our server, Deandra, was incredibly knowledgeable and friendly – she gave us a quick introduction to the restaurant and then went through the menu with recommendations and commonly asked questions.

I was happy to hear her make solid suggestions, rather than just dance around which dishes were her personal favorites compared to what the house suggests. As we were a larger party, we chose to sample several appetizers and then each ordered an entrée for ourselves, both orders taken at once by Deandra. I have to admit – sometimes this approach by servers scares me; it definitely speeds up the meal by not waiting around to order after appetizers arrive, but it can sometimes throw off the pacing of a meal (like the dreaded “ending up with appetizer and entrée plates on the table at the same time” debacle that can put a halt to a good meal). As we discovered later, and you’ll see below, though, this fear was absolutely unfounded.

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7 new things we didn’t expect at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

by on June 1, 2016

Night has awakened at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Thousands of guests descended upon Walt Disney World’s youngest park this past week to check out all the new night time entertainment, as well as the new signature restaurant and lounge, Tiffins and Nomad Lounge respectively. I was one of those guests and encountered a view surprises during my adventures in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Overall, the night time offerings are great additions, as are Tiffins and Nomad Lounge. But there are some aspects that might be a little unexpected to some guests, including myself.

Souvenir cups (that strongly resemble Rivers of Light)

The most discussed component of night time at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is “Rivers of Light” night time spectacular,… and sadly it’s not ready to debut. But of course, some of the merchandise that is not specifically labeled as such did make its debut this weekend. The most notable items are a pair of souvenir cups.

Photo by Julia Mascardo

Photo by Julia Mascardo

These little beauties light up and change color. One is a collapsible cup that resembles a paper lantern ($12.99). The other is more detailed, resembling an ornate oil lamp ($13.99). It is pretty clear that these were designed to match the style of the Rivers of Light show, however, they do match the Indian style of “Jungle Book: Alive with Magic“. While selling souvenir cups is nothing new at Disney, to say the least, I don’t think many of us were expecting these cups to debut with the temporary Jungle Book show.

Size and scope of Nomad Lounge

Tiffins restaurant and Nomad Lounge are two highly anticipated dining venues that debuted this weekend. Both bring a necessary sophisticated flair to the park; Tiffins especially is a signature experience. We’ll discuss the difference between Nomad Lounge and Tiffins momentarily, but I just have to point out how pleasantly surprised I am at the size and scope of Nomad Lounge.

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When I arrived I headed left and didn’t even bother going inside. The outdoor, wrap around seating area is the most posh outdoor seating area I’ve ever seen at one of the four Walt Disney World theme parks. Plush sectional couches flank the right side of the porch, while pairs of chairs line the outer rim and overlook the water.

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IMG_0234

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom Nighttime Activity Dates Officially Announced

by on May 20, 2016

©Disney

©Disney

We’ve all know that the new nighttime events for Disney’s Animal Kingdom were debuting Memorial Day Weekend. That was pretty much the only information that Disney would give us though; no official dates for these events had been released. That is until today. I have a whole host of information for you to prepare your trek into Disney’s Animal Kingdom at night!

First and foremost, beginning in one week, on May 27, Guests will be able to experience Kilimanjaro Safaris at night, with the savanna basked in an eternal sunset. Also debuting on May 27 will the the Tree of Life Awakening, which will include different short projection shows on the Tree of Life that will occur at various times throughout the evening. In addition, Guests will be able to dance the night away with the Discovery Island Carnivale and experience the spectacle that is the Harambe Wildlife Parti.

Also debuting on May 27 will be the signature restaurant Tiffins, as well as the Nomad Lounge. The restaurant is situated near Pizzafari on Discovery Island and will feature African, Asian and South American flavors. Here is a look at the menu offerings that was shared today. I have to say, Tiffins has an intriguing menu, as does the Nomad Lounge.

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom Nighttime Festivities Begin Memorial Weekend

by on April 20, 2016

While Rivers of Light may be delayed for who-knows-how-long at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney has announced that they will begin showcasing their nighttime events staring this Memorial Day Weekend.

In the interim, while the issues delaying Rivers of Light are being addressed, a temporary nighttime show will take place on the Discovery River. The show, which will take place during the summer, will take it’s influence from the recent release of the live action version of The Jungle Book. Called Jungle Book: Alive with Magic, this limited-engagement show will include music and special effects that celebrate the film and the classic songs, while being infused with an Indian flair.

In addition, the other nighttime elements that had previously been announced will also debut Memorial Day Weekend.  They include:

©Disney

©Disney

 

  • Kilimanjaro Safaris After Dark – Enjoy the attraction in the evening thanks to special lighting that will allow guests to explore the savanna even in the nighttime hours.  Plus, there are two new species to discover: African wild dogs and hyenas.

 

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