Disney’s Animal Kingdom

/Tag: Disney's Animal Kingdom

‘Disney After Hours’ returns to Walt Disney World® Resort

Walt Disney World® Resort has announced the extension of events giving guests after-hours access to some of the resort’s favorite attractions and character experiences.

On select nights, Magic Kingdom® and Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Parks will remain open 3 extra hours for those with special event tickets for Disney After Hours. Admission, which begins early at 7p, includes select attractions and character meet & greets as well as food and beverage offerings like ice cream novelties, popcorn, and select bottled beverages. A limited number of tickets will be sold for each night of the event.

Here’s more details on the event:







Contact your Magic Maker® for more details and to secure your tickets!

Parks will officially close to Guests who haven’t purchased Disney After Hours tickets. Number of tickets available is limited. All tickets are non-refundable, non-transferrable and are only valid for admission during the special event date and hours. All attractions, entertainment and experiences are subject to change without notice.

8 Things We’re Excited About in 2018 at Disney Destinations

While it’s hard to believe that 2017 is almost over, we are overflowing with excitement and anticipation of what’s coming in 2018 for Disney Destinations!

Here’s 8 things (in no particular order) that we can’t wait to experience!

1 Toy Story Land- In Summer 2018 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, the all-new Toy Story Land will open to guests. Shrinking guests to the size of a toy, three attractions and a new quick-service dining location will await guests in the 11-acre play space. Slinky Dog Dash (a family-style coaster) and Alien Swirling Saucers will be the new attractions joining the already existing guest favorite Toy Story Mania!®. Woody’s Lunch Box will offer several meals and old-fashioned soda floats. No exact opening date in 2018 has been announced.

2 Disney Springs™ Additions- When you’re visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort, Disney Springs™ is your place to eat, drink, and shop! And in 2018, the list of options is growing! Eight new dining concepts will open in 2018! The Edison will open as a lavish “Industrial Gothic” restaurant, bar and nighttime destination. Adjacent to that is a trio of modern Italian restaurant and bar concepts – Maria & Enzo’s, Enzo’s Hideaway, and Pizza Ponte. Terralina Crafted Italian will feature dishes inspired by “Top Chef Master” Chef Tony Mantuano ‘s adventures in Italy. Master Sommelier George Miliotes’ Wine Bar George will offer more than 100 wine selections by the bottle and glass along with shareable plates, cheese and charcuterie. Jaleo, a Spanish concept by world-renowned Chef José Andrés’ and Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill are also slated to open in 2018.

3 Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park Celebrates 20 Years- Opening its gates for the first time on Earth Day in 1998, Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park will celebrate 20 years in 2018! As part of the celebration, the Flights of Wonder show is being retired to make room for the debut of a new show featuring Russell and Dug from Disney•Pixar’s film UP! The new show will feature species of birds from around the world at the Caravan Theater in Anandapur Village. We’re sure that more special events will be announced before the big day, so stay tuned to our Facebook page for more details!

4 Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort Transformation- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is currently receiving some major enhancements that are set to be completed late Summer 2018! For our guests that have stayed at the resort before, the biggest change will be the elimination of the Customs House! Old Port Royale will act as a centralized location for check in/out as well as merchandise and dining. Other updates include an all-new Centertown Market for casual eats, waterfront dining at an all-new Shutters restaurant, a new Banana Cabana outdoor bar and lounge, and an refurbished Calypso Trading Post for shopping.

5 Return of Disney on Broadway Much to our delight, the Epcot® International Festival of the Arts will return from Jan. 12 – Feb. 19, 2018! Also returning is what we believe to the highlight of the festival, the Disney On Broadway performances which happen each weekend (Fridays through Mondays at 5:30p, 6:45p and 8:00p) in the America Gardens Theatre. This years performers include:

  • Jan. 12-15 and 19-22: Kara Lindsay and Kevin Massey
  • Jan. 26-29 and Feb. 2-5: Kissy Simmons and Alton Fitzgerald White
  • Feb. 9-12 and 16-19: Ashley Brown and Josh Strickland

The concerts are included with standard Epcot® admission but because of popularity, we suggest experiencing Disney on Broadway with a dining package that includes preferred seating!

6 Pixar Fest and Pixar Pier For over 20 years, the beloved characters of Pixar Animation Studios have found a special place in our hearts. And in 2018, they’ll come to life like never before with the addition of Pixar Fest and Pixar Pier at the Disneyland® Resort! Pixar Fest, the biggest theme park celebration of stories and characters from Pixar, will feature a new “Together Forever—A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular” plus the return of ‘Paint the Night’ and ‘Pixar Play Parade.Pixar Pier will transform the area that is now Paradise Pier inside Disney California Adventure® Park with the thrilling, reimagined Incredicoaster, four new imaginative neighborhoods, plus entertainment, themed food and beverage, and more! CLICK HERE for more details on everything Pixar coming to Disneyland® Resort.

7 Downtown Disney® District Additions- There’s no doubt that the west end of the Disneyland® Resort’s Downtown Disney® District will see a lot of changes in the next 4 years with the construction of a new Disney-owned Four Diamond hotel that is set to open in 2021! But in 2018, you’ll see a few new locations open for your enjoyment. Splitsville Luxury Lanes will open in early 2018 with 20 bowling lanes, four dining areas, and much more. The New York-based Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer will open its first California location offering award-winning burgers and signature CrazyShake™ milkshakes that boast whimsical and over-the-top decorations and flavors. And in early 2018, D-Street will be re-imagined into a Disney-themed home goods store with products that change with each season.

8 Enchanting Enhancements for Disney Magic- Exciting new spaces and new experiences are coming to the Disney Magic in March 2018! An all-new enchanting dining experience will be created for families at Rapunzel’s Royal Table! Guests will be treated to live entertainment during their dinner, and maybe even an appearance by Princess Rapunzel herself. A redesign is coming for the Vibe, the space on the ship reserved for teens ages 14-17, which will be transformed into a trendy urban loft environment. And Cove Café, an adult-exclusive retreat located near the Quiet Cove Pool, will be redesigned in a sophisticated tropical style. The new enhancements debut on the Disney Magic’s Mar. 9, 2018 sailing.

What new addition at Disney Destinations are you excited about? Contact your Magic Maker® today and start planning your next getaway!

Request a Quote

6 Must-Do Experiences in Pandora – The World of Avatar

On Saturday, May 27th, the Walt Disney World® Resort welcomed guests to experience the largest expansion in the history of Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park. Unlike anything ever before, Pandora – The World of Avatar immerses guests in a mystical world of massive floating mountains, bioluminescent rainforests and breathtaking new experiences.

We’re so excited for our guests to experience Pandora – The World of Avatar. With so much to explore and discover once you enter the Valley of Mo’ara, we thought we’d highlight a few of our must-do experiences!

Click the Boxes Below to Explore Our 6 Must-Do Experiences in Pandora – The World of Avatar

1. Take Flight on Avatar Flight of Passage

1. Take Flight on Avatar Flight of Passage

What if you could climb on the back of an Ikran and explore the beauty of Pandora from the air? Well, thanks to this immersive new adventure, now you can! Trust us, this is unlike any other ride you’ve experienced before! After spending a few minutes inside the genetic matching room where you are scanned and connected to personal avatars, you’ll board link chairs, don your special flight visors and prepare for the flight. We’re not going to give any spoilers of what’s in store, but you’ll be amazed! TIP: This is a Disney FastPass+ attraction (which we highly recommend) reserved for explorers 44″ or taller.

2. Set Sail on Na'vi River Journey

2. Set Sail on Na'vi River Journey

Climb aboard the reed boats and enjoy a family-friendly cruise of the sacred Kapsavan River into a bioluminescent rainforest of Mo’ara. After being granted passage by a Na’vi warrior, you’ll be amazed at the sights and sounds found deep in the jungle. Surprises are around each bend of the river, including a big one at the end of your journey. TIP: This is also a Disney FastPass+ attraction, but since you are limited to only selecting one of the two attractions in Pandora – The World of Avatar, we only recommend selecting this for guests who won’t/can’t ride Avatar Flight of Passage.

3. Explore Unique Merchandise at Windtraders

3. Explore Unique Merchandise at Windtraders

Everyone is going to want something to help them remember their experience on Pandora – The World of Avatar. From Na’vi cultural artifacts and animal toys to science kits and Alpha Centauri Expeditions (ACE) apparel, Windtraders is an out-of-this-world shopping location with something exciting for every member of the family. Our favorite part of the store is the Banshee Rookery, where you can select your own banshee to take home and care for. A trained naturalist will help you find the banshee that’s just right for you! It’s both a fun experience and the coolest souvenir to take home from your trip! TIP: The majority of this merchandise can only be found in Pandora – The World of Avatar, so if you see something you want be sure to purchase it before heading back to Planet Earth.

4. Experience the unique Na'vi cuisine

4. Experience the unique Na'vi cuisine

When in Na’vi territory, eat like a Na’vi! Satu’li (Sa-too-lee) Canteen  is the land’s fast-casual restaurant that serves a surprising twist on familiar flavors for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You’ll find wholesome grains, fresh vegetables, and hearty proteins on the menu here. And for dessert, options include Blueberry Cheesecake with a Passion Fruit Curd or Chocolate Cake with a Crunchy Cookie Layer. Nearby the Canteen is Pandora’s specialty beverage kiosk, Pongu Pongu, which means “party party.” Options here include a non-alcoholic Frozen Nectar and for adults a Screaming Banshee Margarita and Avatar Private Label Ale. TIP: Pongu Pongu also serves our favorite snack/dessert in Mo’ara, the Lumpia – a pineapple cream cheese spring roll! Don’t miss it!

5. Don't forget to visit the Valley of Mo'ara at night

5. Don't forget to visit the Valley of Mo'ara at night

When the sun sets, the bioluminescent glow makes Pandora – The World of Avatar seem like a totally different place. Don’t think that since you’ve seen it during the day that it isn’t worth going back for a night. TIP: Plan your outfits for the day with lots of whites or neon colors for added fun!

6. Take time to explore

6. Take time to explore

Aside from the attractions, shopping, and dining experiences, there are so many details to take in and paths to explore! Be sure to allow an hour or more to just explore the Valley of Mo’ara. You may stumble upon the Swotu Wayä (“Sacred Place of Song”) where you can play the Na’vi instruments and the Flaska Reclinata, one of the largest plants on the planet. Don’t forget to bring along your camera as Pandora – The World of Avatar is very photogenic! TIP: Wilderness Explorers can earn two new Pandora-themed badges while visiting Pandora – The World of Avatar!

Ready to experience a mystical world of massive floating mountains, bioluminescent rainforests and breathtaking new experiences? Contact your Magic Maker® today!

Pandora – The World of Avatar: A Distant World Unlike Any Other

A visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park is not like a typical day in a traditional “theme park.” Instead of a park built on fantasy, Disney’s Imagineers have brought experiences that you may have in the real world and placed them inside the park’s lands, like Africa and Asia. Authenticity was and continues to be a key part of Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park.

In creating Pandora – The World Avatar, Imagineers took the same care in researching a realistic culture that would exist on this fictional planet. In the film AVATAR, the Na’vi people saw and respected their lush planet, an ecosystem with lush bioluminescent flora and precious fauna. Since conservation and respect for our planet Earth has been a key value of Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park since it’s opening, the tie in to Pandora – The World Avatar was an easy one. But building a real world unlike anyone had experienced before with every detailed researched proved to be more difficult.

When you cross the Discovery River via bridge from Discovery Island® to Pandora – The World Avatar, it feels like you’ve entered a rainforest. But as you continue along the path, you quickly realize through sight and sound that you’ve been transported light-years away onto a different planet. The Alpha Centauri Expeditions (ACE) Base Camp situated in The Valley of Mo’ara is where your exploration of Pandora – The World Avatar begins. With mountains that appear to float in the sky and waterfalls cascading down the mountainside into meandering streams and pools, the Valley of Mo’ara has a totally different look and feel during day and night.

Pandora – The World Avatar has two thrilling expeditions, food, beverage, and merchandise locations to enjoy, and pathways throughout the valley to hike and enjoy.

Avatar Flight of Passage

Climb aboard a winged mountain banshee as Avatar Flight of Passage launches you on an exhilarating flight through the world of Pandora. Once considered a rite of passage for the Na’vi, your flight on the banshee will be the ultimate adventure!

Na’vi River Journey

The Na’vi River Journey is a family-friendly attraction that takes you down a sacred river deep into a bioluminescent rainforest, floating past exotic glowing plants and Pandoran creatures. When you enter the musical Na’vi ceremony, the Na’vi Shaman of Songs sends positive energy into the forest through her music.

Satu’li Canteen, Pongu Pongu, and Windtraders

When hunger calls, visit the land’s Satu’li Canteen (pronounced “Sa-too-lee”), a fast-casual restaurant serving some of the healthful bounty found of Pandora, including wholesome grains, fresh vegetables, and hearty proteins. Nearby, Pongu Pongu serves out-of-this-world beverages including a bioluminescent frozen cocktail and indigenous beers and a sweet snack you won’t find elsewhere.

You’ll have an opportunity to interact with the native Na’vi  when you visit Windtraders, a shop offering Na’vi cultural items, toys, science kits and more.

Ready to experience a mystical world of massive floating mountains, bioluminescent rainforests and breathtaking new experiences? Contact your Magic Maker® today!

New Nighttime Spectacular Coming Soon to Disney’s Animal Kingdom®

Update Apr. 5, 2016: The Walt Disney World® Resort has announced that the new experiences at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park will not open on Apr. 22, 2016 as planned. Unfortunately, more time is needed to bring these innovative experiences to life to exceed guests’ expectations. An announcement on the updated debut date is expected in May.

As part of the expansion currently underway, the Walt Disney World® Resort has announced the new nighttime spectacular at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park will debut on Apr. 22, 2016 soon.

Titled Rivers of Light, the show utilizes live music and water screens to bring the Discovery River to life. Using the latest in technology and innovations, this show is unlike anything ever seen in Disney Parks.

While you’re waiting for the new show to launch, watch these Walt Disney Imagineering videos below to get a “first look” at Rivers of Light and the nighttime transformation of the Tree of Life!

New Lands, Experiences and Entertainment Coming to Disney Parks

Earlier today, we told you about a new Star Wars™-themed land that is coming to both Disneyland® Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios® (Click here for more details). Well, we have more exciting news to share about other new lands, entertainment, and experiences coming soon to the domestic Disney Parks.

Here’s a brief recap of what’s to come:

Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®

Get ready to head “to infinity and beyond” as you step into the world of one of Disney•Pixar’s most famous films, Toy Story! As you enter Toy Story Land, you’ll be shrunk to the size of Woody and Buddy as you wander through Andy’s oversized toys.

The new land will feature two new rides and an expansion of a guest favorite:

  • A family-friendly roller coaster enjoyed on the back of Slinky Dog.
  • Alien saucer attraction in which the little green aliens take guests around for a spin.
  • Addition of a 3rd track for the current Toy Story Mania® attraction!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Artist Concept Art – Actual Construction May Differ

Disney’s Animal Kingdom® After Dark and Pandora – The World of AVATAR

As announced previously, work continues on the largest expansion in the park’s history. Soon, guests will be immersed into the world of Pandora, and the entire park will transform after dark with new nighttime entertainment experiences!

Details of the expansion include:

  • Scheduled to debut in Spring 2016, “Rivers of Light” will bring the Discovery River to life with live music, floating lanterns, swirling animal imagery and water screens unlike anything ever seen in a Disney Park.
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris® will be expanded next Spring to include a new nighttime adventure. Keep watch for two new species to the attraction – African wild dogs and hyenas!
  • Work continues on Pandora – The World of AVATAR. This new land will include floating mountains, a bioluminescent forest, and a new E-ticket attraction called AVATAR Flight of Passage.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Artist Concept Art. Actual Construction May Differ

Soarin’ Around the World in Florida and California

Renew your passport because Soarin’ Around the World is replacing Soarin’® in 2016 at Epcot® and Disney California Adventure®! Your journey will take you above some of the world’s most unique natural landscapes and man-made wonders.

Here’s a behind the scenes look at the making of Soarin’ Around the World!

There’s so much magic in store for Disney Parks in the years to come! We can’t wait to bring you all the details as they are announced and help you plan your vacations to experience it all!

A Special Mother’s Day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park

Rhino baby with mother at Disney's Animal KingdomA special “Disney mom” has a new reason to celebrate this Sunday after giving birth to a white rhino calf at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park.

After a 16-month gestation period, Kendi gave birth to her fourth calf Friday, May 4. The unnamed healthy male is the ninth white rhino which has been born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park. Ironically enough, his mother, Kendi, was the first 13 years ago!

“The birth of a white rhino calf is certainly something to celebrate since the population of this species is endangered in the wild,” said Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., vice president of Animals, Science and Environment for Disney Parks. “It’s encouraging that with protection and careful management, the global population of white rhinos continues to grow.”

Rhino Baby with mother

Guests visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park unfortunately won’t be able to catch a glimpse of the little one quite yet. The calf and mother will spend some time off the savannah bonding before they return to the herd in the coming weeks.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park participates in a white rhino breeding program coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The program focuses on sustaining the white rhino population in North America. Beyond breeding programs, The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund and the Disney Foundation have provided more than $1 million in support to programs in Africa and Asia to protect the last five remaining species of rhino.

And now, a few White rhino fun facts that you may have learned on a previous Kilimanjaro Safaris® Expedition at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park:

  • White rhinos are named not for their color, which is gray, but for the shape of their mouths. The word “weit” in Afrikaans means wide.
  • The white rhino is among the world’s largest land mammals, second only to the elephant. A male rhino can grow to more than 5,000 pounds as an adult.
  • A rhino can move its ears independently to pick up sounds but it depends most on smell.
  • The receptors responsible for the rhino’s sense of smell are larger than the animal’s entire brain.
  • The white rhinoceros has the widest set of nostrils of any land based animal.

Change on the Horizon for Kilimanjaro Safaris

Kilimanjaro SafarisGuests visiting the Kilimanjaro Safaris® Expedition will soon notice some changes.

Walt Disney World® Resort has announced that the popular Animal Kingdom® attraction will undergo a refurbishment that will eliminate the final scene in which the Audio-Animatronic “Little Red”  is safely found in the back of a truck. This area will be reimagined into additional savannah space giving guests an additional opportunity to see more of their favorite animals up close, specifically zebra.

The construction of this new watering hole is set to begin this Spring with an estimated completion in the Fall of 2012.  Kilimanjaro Safaris® Expedition will remain operational during the adjustment.

Head into the Wild at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Wildlife thrills are part of the upcoming Wild Africa Trek experience at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park and now you can start makingWild Africa Trekreservations.

Wild Africa Trek will be a three-hour, expert-led adventure offering up-close-and-personal experiences with wildlife species that make their home in Pangani Forest as well as other areas of the park’s Harambe Wildlife Reserve. As part of the adventure, you’ll clip onto a lifeline and step to the edge of a cliff to get amazingly close to the hippos and crocs. Here are a few highlights for curious explorers:

  • Trekking with experienced guides through areas of Harambe Wildlife Reserve that aren’t explored during regular Disney’s Animal Kingdom experiences.
  • Navigating through fern and vine forests on a bushwalk.
  • Clipping into a harness attached to a safety line, crossing a rope bridge over the Safi River and cliff-hanging at the edge of gullies that are home to hippos and crocodiles.
  • Experiencing the thrill of “over-landing” in customized open-air vehicles following the edge of a wide-open savanna.
  • Unwinding from an unforgettable adventure at a private safari camp for wildlife viewing. At this station elevated above the savanna, guests will savor sample tastes of Africa.

Harambe Wildlife Reserve will be offered several times daily at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Groups will be kept small, consisting of no more than 12 trekkers per safari.

Contact your Magic Maker® for more details on making a reservation. Pricing for this unique adventure will vary seasonally. Guests who reserve a booking from Jan. 16-Feb. 26, 2011, may take advantage of an introductory offer starting at $129. Park admission is required for participants.

*Tours are subject to availability and may be canceled at any time without notice.  Price is subject to change without notice. Guests must be at least 9 years to participate.