There are some Walt Disney World repeat visitors that consider Disney’s Animal Kingdom a half-day park. They head to AK at rope drop, jump on Expedition Everest and Kali Rivers Rapids a few times, ride Dinosaur and Primeval Whirl, have a bite to eat, and then park hop to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, or Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Disney has announced that beginning May 27, 2016, Animal Kingdom will come alive with shows, attractions, and nighttime experiences on your favorite rides. Nighttime Magic is what they’re calling it, and I was one of the lucky ones the got to preview the awesome happenings on a recent press trip.
What can you expect to see and do and, most of all, what will you WANT to see and do? Here’s the scoop.
Tree of Life Nighttime Awakenings
Throughout the nighttime hours beginning May 17, 2016, the focal point at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – The Tree of Life – will come alive. Beginning with a doe, the show takes guests on a journey with the deer and friends that includes familiar musical clips from Disney movies.
Rivers of Light
Rivers of Light hasn’t officially been given a new opening date (it was supposed to be premiered on April 22nd but due to show issues the date has been backed up), but you can expect a beautiful, nature-themed show with state of the art light and water images.
Harambe Wildlife Parti
Harambe is the village in the Africa section of Animal Kingdom and, even in the daytime it’s bustling with guests and shows. Let the sun set and turn on the lights and you’ve got a whole new nighttime experience. According to the official WDW site, here’s a list of what you’ll be able to see and do:
Located in Harambe’s drum circle, this delightfully unusual goodwill shaman perched high atop regal stilts invites children to join him as he plays his own instruments, dances and makes them official drummers of the day.
- Karibu Sisters
Resembling regal African cranes, these 3 women add to the rhythm of Harambe Marketplace through elegant dance, acapella songs and acoustic renditions of African party music.
- Harambe Soccer Meerkats
Cheer on the village’s finest soccer players as they ramble through the streets rallying anyone within sight for a quick pick-up game—entertaining with comic soccer moves inspired by African animals and delighting with skillful acrobatic teamwork and dancing.
- Harambe Village Acrobats
Wearing costumes of grass, beads, bells and feathers set against a mosaic of African prints, this troupe of skilled performers move with the synchronicity of circus performers as they drum, dance, tumble and climb into man-made pyramids and break away into spinning, tumbling towers.
After Dark Attractions
Kilimanjaro Safaris, Expedition Everest, and Sunset Kilimanjaro Safari rides will be offered and the experiences will take on new life- especially the safari! Many of the animals prefer to sleep during the day so, while you’re trying to get a good look at them the only thing they want to do is to catch a few winks. At night, however, the animals are raring to go. I was able to preview the Sunset Safari ride and not only were the animals up and at ’em, the cooler temps made the experience much more pleasant.
Nighttime Dining at Animal Kingdom
In addition to the new shows and attractions, two new dining experiences will be available beginning May 17, 2016: Tiffins and Nomad Lounge. Tiffins will be located on Discovery Island and will offer African cuisine in a unique-themed atmosphere. Nomad Lounge, the watering hole next to Tiffins, will offer specialty cocktails and wine from all across the globe including Africa and Asia.
Will you make the trip to Disney’s Animal Kingdom to check out the new nighttime experiences? Please let me know in the comment section what you’re looking forward to most!