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Friday, January 29, 2016
What to expect for Animal Kingdom in 2016
Mickey wants you to visit DAK!
For more info on planning your 2016 WDW trip, check out these articles:
Disney World is always growing. And no park will experience more growth in the year of 2016 than Animal Kingdom. The company is working hard to make sure this hidden gem gets to sparkle in the limelight. And as someone who used to call DAK their home, I’m very excited about what lies in store for my often overlooked park!
1. Later Hours!
Now you can spend more time in the best park of them all! Most people believe that the park closes a 5 every evening. This is false, and has been for months! One afternoon while working, I encountered a little boy slumping. “Why do we have to leave so early?” he whined to his mother. The mother replies, “Because this park closes at 5”. That’s when stepped in. “Actually, ma’am, the park closes at 6:30 tonight.” The boy perked up immediately, but unfortunately the mother already had other plans. How sad is it that her son had to miss out on an extra 2 hours in his favorite park because his mother was misinformed? Be sure to check park hour schedules before making plans!
2. The Tree of Life Comes to Life!
Why is the park staying open later? To make time for the new night shows! One of the shows features the park’s breath-taking icon, the Tree of Life. It will illuminate and light up, similar to how Cinderella’s castle does for Celebrate The Magic. However, instead of princesses and fairy tales, the Tree will tell of animal fables that have been passed down generations for centuries. Instead of pixie dust, there will be fireflies lighting up the night sky. And the show will play several times during the evening, so you can watch it again and again. If you have already been to DAK in late 2015, you might have already seen the new glow-in-the-dark leaves on the Tree shining in the evening. They are just part of the preparation for future magic!
An artist rendition of the show
The glowing real-life Tree!
3. Rivers of Light!
The second night show is called Rivers of Light. If you have been to DAK in 2015, you might have noticed green construction walls in Asia, near Everest. That is the location of DAK’s new amphitheater and the location of Rivers of Light. The show is expected to debut in late spring. The show will be similar to Fantasmic, as there will be laser lights, music, dancing, and boats. Instead of taking you inside Mickey’s make believe dream, this show will remind us of the most magical magic of all – the magic of nature!
The theater, still under construction
What the show will look like
4. Nighttime Safaris
Kilimanjaro Safari is DAK’s most popular ride. It is one of the best rides in ALL of WDW, receiving a 92% satisfaction rating. And if the park will remain open later into the night for shows, the attractions will also need to remain open! Most WDW travel sites will tell you that the best time to ride the safari is in the morning because that is when the animals are the most active. This is not true! A lot of the animals on the safari are naturally nocturnal. Furthermore, nocturnal hyenas have been added to the safari. Wait, how will you be able to see the animals in the night? This is the coolest part – there has been special lighting added round the safari area. When they are turned on, they will give the illusion of a sunset. So, the sun will never set on the safari!
5. The Progress of Pandora
While DAK’s newest land is still under construction, taking note of the progress is has made can still be fun! Towards the end of 2015, one of the floating mountains was put up. And you, as a guest, can see it! As you enter the turnstiles, go towards the stroller rental area. If you look to the west, you will be able to see the floating mountain! There is supposed to be 2 more, so keep an eye out for them. You can also ask cast members about the progress. As cast members, we hear of new information about the parks before the general population does. So ask around. I loved explaining the new additions to DAK, as it gave our guests a reason to come back. And hopefully, I have done just that with this article!
The floating mountain