Posts Tagged ‘Kilimanjaro Safaris’

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 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.


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SATURDAY SIX: Six Reasons We LOVE Disney’s Animal Kingdom

by on July 2, 2016

This week’s SATURDAY SIX looks at Reasons We LOVE Disney’s Animal Kingdom. For July, we are going to try something new around here. It’s our first ever themed series of articles for the SATURDAY SIX, and we’re going to put a spotlight on Walt Disney World. That’s right, we are going to take a look at each one of Disney’s four parks and explain why they are some of our favorite places on Earth. First up, the oft-maligned Animal Kingdom which has completely transformed itself from a “half day park” to possibly the best theme park in all of Orlando.


Disney’s Animal Kingdom. (photo by Tim Grassey)

While Animal Kingdom was originally designed to keep people on WDW property, and not make a side trip to Tampa for Busch Gardens, it has become one of the most interesting theme parks you’ll ever see. By far and away the biggest park at Disney (the Kilimanjaro Safaris attraction by itself is larger than the entire Magic Kingdom) Animal Kingdom has a combination of terrific thrill rides, world class shows, and amazing safari adventures. Filled with unforgettable experiences, Animal Kingdom simply has it all. But what do we love most about this park? Well, sit back, pour out a 40 for Little Red, and let’s start our countdown with…

# 6 – The Tree of Life

With Cinderella Castle and Spaceship Earth, WDW already had two of the greatest – and most recognizable – theme park icons in the world. With the majestic Tree of Life, Animal Kingdom’s park icon immediately joined them. Despite being completely man-made (even the leaves are made out of a special plastic called Kynar), the Tree of Life looks as if it sprung from the ground and it’s only when you stare at it do you begin to see over 300 animal designs carved into the trunk and roots. The details will make your jaw drop.

Recently the Tree of Life became even more breathtaking with the introduction of projection mapping for the Tree of Life Awakens shows. These three minute shows make it appear that some of the animals in the trunk come alive before your eyes, along with spellbinding special effects in the leaves above. This is true Disney Magic.


Tree of Life. (photo by Brian Carey)


The Tree of Life Awakens. (photo by Brian Carey)

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Animal Kingdom at Night: What You Need to Know

by on June 22, 2016



Ever since the Animal Kingdom Park opened in 1998, guests could only enjoy the park during the day as it regularly closed at dark. Fortunately, that has now changed! On May 27th, Animal Kingdom introduced new extended hours and rolled out a variety of new nighttime entertainment and experiences. However, it’s important to note that Animal Kingdom is a different creature at night; and its signature nighttime show, Rivers of Light, and new land, Pandora – The World of AVATAR, haven’t even made their debuts yet. So, if you’re planning a night venture to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park in the near future, here’s what you need to know…


Kilimanjaro Safaris Artificial Sunset

Opt for a Sunset Kilimanjaro Safaris

When Animal Kingdom first announced it was staying open after dark, it also promised a nighttime version of the park’s famous Kilimanjaro Safaris attraction, but with a constant sunset! While it sounds awesome and was highly anticipated, it has been met with criticism since it debuted. Why? The problem is that animals can’t be controlled. If they don’t want to be in view of the safari vehicles, they won’t; and while this is true of the daytime safaris as well, the animals are still often visible. This is not the case at night, even with new lighting effects.

Speaking of lighting, I can say that I was impressed with the constant sunset. While it wasn’t totally realistic, it looked fantastic and the glow and shadows from the effect looked great. I was, however, completely fooled when it came to the artificial moonlight towards the end of the safari, but it still did little to reveal the animals.

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom Nighttime Activity Dates Officially Announced

by on May 20, 2016



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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What I Wish I Knew Before My Trip to Animal Kingdom

by on May 13, 2016

Head under this majestic sign to enter the wild Magic Kingdom.

Head under this majestic sign to enter the wild Magic Kingdom.

If you are planning your very first visit to the Walt Disney World Resort, I’m sure you’ve made lists of what attractions you want to see, what characters you want to meet, and I bet you even made those dining reservations the day you booked your trip, right? But despite all your planning and newly accumulated park knowledge, it’s still easy to make those Disney World Rookie mistakes. My goal today is to let you in on some tips and info that I wish I had known before my park visits to help your first time trip to Walt Disney World run smoothly. I’ve already covered What I Wish I Knew Before My Trip to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot; and so for today, I’m tackling What I Wish I Knew Before My Trip to Animal Kingdom!


Asia’s Maharajah Jungle Trek

It Is Meant To Be Explored & Discovered

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is all about the magic of nature and living things, and in staying true to that theme this park features a more organic design and encourages guests to explore. The Oasis–the entryway into the park–is quite a departure from the Magic Kingdom’s Main Street, U.S.A. or Hollywood Studios’ Hollywood Boulevard in that there’s no one way to reach the main part of the park and no visible icon pulling you down the pavement. Instead, The Oasis is thick, lush, and has a number of exhibits to enjoy at your own leisurely pace.


A resident of the Discovery Island Trails

Animal Kingdom also offers a number of wildlife trails throughout the park, such as the Discovery Island Trails and the Maharajah Jungle Trek. Unlike centerpiece attractions or eye-catching shops, these trails somewhat blend in with the environment and may be missed if you’re not looking for them. Unlike shuffling through a line or seeing a choreographed show or effect, the trails are self-guided and can be enjoyed at a guest’s own pace. I also appreciate the little paths and hidden seating areas that lay off the beaten path throughout the Animal Kingdom Park and some of which offer spectacular views! So when you visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom, remember that this is a different kind of park that it’s meant to be explored and discovered.

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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:




  • 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



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.

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