Posts Tagged ‘Kilimanjaro Safaris’

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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Updated Details about the Nighttime Safari for Kilimanjaro Safaris

by on March 17, 2016

©Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

April 22 is quickly approaching! That’s the day the new nighttime safari debuts at Disney’s Animal Kingdom as part of Kilimanjaro Safaris. (Along with a few other things, such as Rivers of Light, the Tree of Life Awakening, Discovery Island Carnivale, and Harambe Wildlife Street Parti.) The nighttime experiences are certainly going to transform this park into a whole new experience.

Of course, one of the more unique aspects of the evening options is what will occur with Kilimanjaro Safaris and how they will transform the attraction into a nighttime experience, as well as what Guests should expect when visiting the attraction in the evening hours.

Kilimanjaro Safaris won’t be billed as a new attraction, but instead it is simply an extension of the hours the attraction will be open. Thanks to some great technology, the attraction will appear as though it is constant sunset.

One thing to keep in mind, for those of you who are planners is that the attraction itself will unfortunately have no set start time for the nighttime option, since it will depend on what time the sun set is nightly. However, the everlasting sunset is expected to last approximately 4-5 hours each evening. 

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Rivers of Light and More to Debut on April 22 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

by on March 2, 2016

©Disney

©Disney

Have you been impatiently waiting for the brand new Rivers of Light nighttime spectacular slated to take place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom? Well, I’m happy to tell you your wait is almost over. This fantastic nighttime event is slated to begin on April 22, which is fittingly the park’s birthday, as well as Earth Day! But that’s not the only thing that’s slated to debut! Many of the other fantastic nighttime elements are also going to premiere that day as well!

First things first…let’s talk about the coolest thing — Rivers of Light. The show, which is set on the Discovery River in the Asia section of the park will feature two storytellers who guide you through an ancient lantern festival. These guides will call forth four animal Spirit Guides that will include a Tropical Turtle, an African Elephant, an Asian Tiger, and a Great Horned Owl. The Spirit Guides will also help to lead the audience through their journey through the story. This mystical show will combine water and fire effects like never before.

Disney also released this fantastic video to showcase what we can expect to experience in this brand new beautiful and touching nighttime event. I’m telling you…you are not going to want to miss this!

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Christmas Day at Animal Kingdom

by on December 30, 2015

Christmas Day at Animal Kingdom

Enjoy Christmas Day at Animal Kingdom without getting out of your pink bunny pajamas. (Photos by Seth Kubersky)

No matter which park you pick, the Christmas holiday is one of the busiest times to visit Orlando. But if you must attend a Walt Disney World theme park during the peak travel system, I discovered that you could do worse than spending Christmas Day at Animal Kingdom.

Animal Kingdom may seem like a strange Christmas Day selection, since the park is positively Scrooge-like in the seasonal cheer department when compared to the other WDW parks. There’s nothing at Animal Kingdom on the scale of Magic Kingdom’s Holiday Wishes, DHS’s Osborne Family Spectacle, or Epcot’s Holidays Around the World; there isn’t even an Animal Kingdom Christmas parade anymore.

But that lack of seasonal draws made Christmas Day at Animal Kingdom a great idea, if your plans included enjoying attractions without asphyxiating in capacity crowds. This may change after Avatar arrives, but as the least-attended Walt Disney World park Animal Kingdom was a relative oasis for those seeking a smidgen of elbow room.

On my way into Walt Disney World property on Christmas morning, road signs advised that the Magic Kingdom was closed. Over at Animal Kingdom, however, there were acres of empty parking spot. Since this lot is the easiest of the four parks to get in and out of, consider using it when heading to one of the other parks on peak days.

 

For Christmas 2015, the entrance to Animal Kingdom was decked out with the usual giant tree, and new security scanning stations. Unless you are one of the few folks randomly selected for scanning, the new procedures appear have little to no effect on your entry speed.

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Trivia Tuesday: Animal Kingdom Attractions + Video

by on December 15, 2015

Photo - Katie McNair

Welcome back to Trivia Tuesday! Today, I’m going to give you the 411 on Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World.

For more videos and posts, check us out on Facebook and YouTube.

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Updates for Disney’s Animal Kingdom

by on December 8, 2015

Disney's Animal Kingdom's Tree of Life

©Rikki Niblett

There are quite a few new additions that are coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom here within the next week. Here’s what you can expect to see when visiting.

The Riverside Depot, a 4,700 square foot merchandise location connected to Disney Outfitters opened today. The location is themed to animals that live around and in rivers and is your stop to purchase Disney character souvenirs. Because of this new merchandise location opening, after the holiday season, Disney Outfitters will be closing for a refurbishment.

Also, the pathways around the Tree of Life will be closed for refurbishment from now through the first few months of 2016. Because of this, Tarzan will be moving to an area near Island Mercantile.

Over at Kilimarjaro Safaris, a new species has been added to the mix. Guests will have the chance to see a pack of six  painted dogs, who are joining the savanna. Unique to Africa, these rare animals are among the continent’s most endangered species and are easily identifiable by their oversized ears and unique multi-colored coat patterns.

Finally, on December 12, Thirsty River Bar and Trek Snacks is set to join the line-up of dining options when it opens in Asia. The location will offer grab-and-go snacks along with alcoholic, as well as non-alcoholic beverages.

That’s it for the major updates to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Things are rapidly changing to get ready for the transition of this park into a right full day experience.

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Disney Park Strengths and Weaknesses: Animal Kingdom

by on November 30, 2015

©Disney

©Disney

Are you a Disney Park critic? I know, it’s hard to be critical of anything Disney (at least I think so), but even I have to admit that I’ve experienced a few things that some parks don’t do as well as others. Of course, there’s also a number of things that each park does very well! Today, I’m breaking down Disney Park Strengths and Weaknesses beginning with a park that’s somewhat in transition right now: Animal Kingdom.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park is still a new park when compared with the other Disney World Parks and perhaps the most difficult to explain. What you should know right off is that Disney did not intend for this park to be a zoo, but rather a new type of theme park where the entertainment and is living and breathing. Animal Kingdom opened for guests appropriately on Earth Day in 1998 and is currently home to more than 2,000 animals and currently in a transition as construction continues for new nighttime entertainment and the addition of Pandora – The World of AVATAR.

So let’s start with Animal Kingdom’s strengths, shall we…

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Details on Pandora-The World of Avatar and Other Disney’s Animal Kingdom Enhancements

by on August 15, 2015

Avatarland has been under construction for some time at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, but today at the D23 Expo, we got a few more details about what we can expect with this new land.

First of all, I guess we’ll need to stop calling it Avatarland. Its official name will be Pandora-The World of Avatar. According to Imagineer Joe Rhode, when visiting Pandora, you are not visiting moments from the film, the adventure is one that is yours. The goal is to create a place that you believe to be real.

This will be apparent when you ride the banshee attraction, which will be called The Flight of Passage. Guests will ride on the backs of the banshees giving guests a birds-eye view of the beauty and grandeur of the world of Pandora on an aerial rite of passage.

©Disney

©Disney

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Seth Kubersky’s Best Week Ever June 25, 2015: Rainy Day at Animal Kingdom

by on June 25, 2015

best Week Ever Animal Kingdom

Rain or shine, it’s another Best Week Ever at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (photos by Seth Kubersky)

The humidity percentage and heat index have both been hovering around one hundred in Orlando, so where better to spend an “Africa hot” Best Week Ever than in Disney’s Animal Kingdom? Kidding aside, Animal Kingdom holds a special place in my heart, since it’s the first Disney park I ever got to attend before its official opening date, and it remains to this day the most beautifully landscaped of Mickey’s American parks.

Unfortunately, Animal Kingdom is probably also my least-often-visited WDW park, partly because there are only three rides there that I consider must-dos. While I love the Broadway-style shows at DAK, and the animal walkthroughs are truly world-class, it’s inevitable that thrill attractions are what I first focus on when picking a park to attend, and that’s one area in which Animal Kingdom lacks — at least until Avatar-land comes online in 2017.

Happily, there are a number of improvements coming to Animal Kingdom before then, so I headed out on an overcast Friday afternoon to explore the newest one.

My day started out on an awkward foot, as only one tram was servicing the parking lot when I arrived. By the time it finally arrived and transported me to the entry plaza, I practically had to sprint past the front ticket booths…

 

…Through the touchpoints…

 

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Where to Find Walt at Disney World

by on May 17, 2015

Walt and Mickey

Walt and Mickey

When comparing the Disneyland Resort to Walt Disney World, one of the biggest differences that always comes up is that Disneyland was Walt’s park while Walt never lived to see Disney World completed. While this is true, that doesn’t mean you still can’t find Walt’s attractions and touches on the East Coast. So keep reading to discover just a few of many places where to find Walt at Disney World!

The Hub: One of the most popular places to take a photo at the Magic Kingdom is in front of the statue of Walt and Mickey with Cinderella Castle in the background. Known as the Partners Statue, it’s appropriately positioned at the center of the park known as the Hub, where paths branch off towards the different lands of the Magic Kingdom. Just seeing the statue at the end of Main Street, U.S.A. and at the park center brings it all back to Walt and his most famous creation, Mickey Mouse.  The Hub has undergone some changes lately, but you can still find statuettes of other characters that contributed to Walt’s success, such as Goofy, Donald, Minnie, and more.

101_3519Main Street, USA: Did you know that you can find Walt even before you enter the Magic Kingdom? When approaching the park entrance, you will probably hear a train whistle and the clang of a bell from up above as a train pulls into Main Street Station. This is because Walt loved trains! The Main Street Train Station, along with Main Street, U.S.A, provides guests not just a look at what Walt’s creations, but what was in his heart. Trains were one of Walt’s hobbies and he spend his free time planning and constructing a miniature train that he and his guests could ride on in his backyard. He called it the Carolwood Pacific Railroad. Once you enter the park, you have to pass under the Main Street Train Station; but I encourage anyone who’s interested in learning about Walt to check it out. It’s filled with nods to railroad history and Walt’s passion for this vintage form of transportation. Main Street, USA was inspired after Walt’s hometown of Marceline, Missouri. Walt loved growing up in Marceline and wanted to recreate his memories of the town in his park. He even included a few odes to his family and Imagineers in the names found on the windows above the street. Fun Fact: Walt has two windows of his own. One of them is on the Main Street Train Station and faces out at the entrance while the other is above the Plaza Restaurant and faces Cinderella Castle!

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