Sunday, July 24, 2016

AKL Art Spotlight: Prestige Gown of the Babanki

Located on the floors just above the lobby of the Jambo House is this beautiful gown of the Babanki people of Cameroon. This tribe is located in the western grasslands of that African nation. Currently, there are about 40,000 members of this ethnic group. The tribe pays homage to a single king, and this gown would be worn only by one of his wives.

Like many tribes in that area, the Babanki worship their ancestors. Unlike many, they believe the spirits of these ancestors can be found in the deceased's skulls. The skulls of family members are possessed by the oldest living male of the family. It is believed that if a skull is not preserved that particular spirit may then haunt the family mostly because he has nowhere to live. Therefore, there is a lot skull iconography in their art. 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Disney's Animal Kingdom News for July 21, 2016: New chickens

Testing of Amphitheater: Disney is testing a new opening procedure at the amphitheater for the Jungle Book show. They are opening the theater only 20 minutes prior to the show. It is hoped that guest will spend more time on attractions and enjoying entertainment (or perhaps shopping) as opposed to finding their seats up to an hour early. This will continue to be monitored but it is anticipated that the testing will end on the 25th.

New critters at Rafikis: The Affection Section area at Rafiki's Planet Watch has seen the addition of three new species of rare chickens. You can now see Naked-necked turkens, Leghorn chickens, and Amereaucana chickens. The turkens were at point thought to be a mix of turkeys and chickens but are actually a chicken species. The Leghorn species is listed as a recovering breed.

Park Hours for this week are....
Thursday July 21 9am- 11pm
Friday July 22 9am-11pm
Saturday July 23 9am- 11pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Sunday July 24 9am- 11pm
Monday July 25 9am- 11pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Tuesday July 26 9am- 11pm
Wednesday July 27 9am- 11pm

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Disney Animal Kingdom News for July 13, 2016: More food and more fuel

FuelRods are here: We live in an age where everyone has smart phones and uses them constantly. Whether that is searching for Pokemon or killing time in a queue, batteries get drained quickly. Heck, Disney even encourages park guests to use their phones to make fast passes, check wait times and otherwise plan their days on the go. In order to keep those phones charged, Disney has added charging stations. Now Disney is adding FuelRod kiosks to all parks and Disney Springs. The one at DAK is located at the Island Mercantile shop. For a fee of $30, you essentially purchase a FuelRod and cable, which are yours to keep - this is NOT a rental. A fully charged FuelRod has about 8 hours of charging a phone and 4 hours for most tablets. Not only can you charge the purchased FuelRod later on, you can also exchanged your depleted FuelRod for a fully charged one, which I think is a big plus to this program.

New Options at Tiffins: The new signature eatery has been given virtually universal praise so far. The only real complaint has been the prices. Its not cheap. At lunch, a new more affordable Light Bites menu is now being offered which includes salad, soup and a $10 bread service option. Plus, the new Taste of Tiffins allows you to try a small plate of 2 of the expensive entree options plus rice for the not-too-bad price of $28.

Park Hours for this week are....
Thursday July 14 9am- 11pm
Friday July 15 9am-11pm
Saturday July 16 9am- 11pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Sunday July 17 9am- 11pm
Monday July 18 9am- 11pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Tuesday July 19 9am- 11pm
Wednesday July 20 9am- 11pm

Its interesting to see how set in stone the park hours have been. Its 9am to 11pm every single day. The Animal Kingdom seems to be the new Epcot which for years has had set hours of 9am to 9pm not counting Extra Magic Hours. I also wonder if Disney will start using evening extra magic hours at the park soon.

Safari Mike

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Photo of the Day: The Sable Antelope in the morning

One of my favorite animals in the park is the Sable Antelope. They are beautiful and elegant creatures. When we did the Sunrise Safari, we got a great look at the herd and in particular, this female in the tall grass of the savanna.

As I am sure you know, the Sable is the symbol of the Harambe Wildlife Reserve. And they are certainly impressive.

By Safari Mike

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Episode 89 of Radio Harambe: A Review of DAK at Night

On this episode we have a trip report! Dave recently came back from Walt Disney World and Safari Mike has lots of questions for him about his experience with the new nighttime offerings at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Dave tried to see as many new things as possible, and offers up his review of everything from the Jungle Book show to new live music and everything in between.

If you have any questions or comments about the show, please email us at Asante Sana and enjoy the show!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Disney Animal Kingdom News for June 16, 2016: Night time theater procedure

New Theater Process: Disney is testing a new way to load the Jungle Book Theater. They will now open up the theater for seating an hour before the show. It was loading 90 minutes prior to showtime. Again, Fast Pass guests go to the Asia side while dinner package guests and stand by guests head to Dinoland.

Tiffins Review: For those interested there is a very detailed review of Tiffins on WDWNT here. The review has a plethora of photographs of the menu, all the food and even the restaurant itself. While clearly very expensive, the place looks amazing.

Park Hours for this week are....
Thursday June 16 9am- 11pm
Friday June 17 9am-11pm
Saturday June 18 9am- 11pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Sunday June 19 9am- 11pm
Monday June 20 9am- 11pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Tuesday June 21 9am- 11pm
Wednesday June 22 9am- 11pm

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Episode 88 of Radio Harambe - DAK with a Toddler

Dave is taking his very rambunctious toddler to Disney's Animal Kingdom, so on this episode he turns to Safari Mike for advice on what works best for the little guy. They also take a few minutes to discuss the new evening Safari tour just announced and even talk about the tragic death of a male gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo.

If you have any questions or comments about the show, please fee free to email us at Asante Sana!

Friday, June 3, 2016

New Tour For DAK

Disney's Animal Kingdom has had great success with the Wild Africa Trek. It is very popular (and very expensive). Clearly, its a money maker. So it should come as no surprise that Disney has announced an evening counterpart.

Savor the Savanna will begin soon on June 26th and is currently only available until Labor day. The tour does not seem to include any walking segments. That seems to make sense as I am sure Disney and its insurance agents would not really want anyone walking around the woods in the dark. So, instead, the entire tour will be in a small private truck where only 12 guests can fit. There will, of course, be a tour guide.

The tour is also shorter than the daytime version, being about 2 hours in length. However, like the Wild Africa Trek, it will stop for a meal at the Boma. African inspired tapas will be joined by all inclusive African beer and wine.

The experience will be held daily at 4:30, 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30. Guests must be at least 8 years of age. The price is slightly less than the Wild Africa Trek being listed at $169 plus tax. After its all over, each guest will get a special keepsake.

By Safari Mike

Animal Kingdom News for June 3, 2016: A New era

Those new park hours: Yes, hours are now extended at Disney's Animal Kingdom. It has been a week since park hours were expanded and the additional night time events have been added. I am sure we will discuss all of this soon on a show, but here is what I perceive to be the general consensus so far: The Jungle Book show is not great. The new entertainment options and the Tree of Life Awakening show, however, have received rave reviews. The night time Kilimanjaro safaris seem to be great for some, not so much for others. Generally, the criticisms have been you don't see as many animals and its too dark to take photos. Tiffins and especially the Nomad Lounge have received a lot of praise.

New wallpaper: Disney has released some new wallpaper to download focusing on the new night time offerings. The wallpaper features a herd of wildebeest on the night safari and a scene projected on the Tree of Life for the Awakenings show.

Park Hours for this week are....
Friday June 3 9am- 11pm
Saturday June 4 8am-  11pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Sunday June 5 9am- 11pm
Monday June 6 9am- 11pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Tuesday June 7 9am- 11pm
Wednesday June 8 9am- 11pm
Thursday June 9 9am- 11pm

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Animal Kingdom Theme Spotlight: The Yeti Shrine

Asia at Disney's Animal Kingdom is actually 2 separate lands or villages. There is Anandapur, home to the Jungle Trek, the Yak & Yeti, Kali River Rapids, and Serka Zong, the home of Expedition Everest. A path joins to the two, and this small shrine with old ruins is one of the most photographed spots on the trail.

As you can see, visitors have left some offerings like fruit and carved animals. This shrine was built to appease the Yeti of the mountains behind it. And the shrine was constructed along the road to the Forbidden Mountain next to old ruins.

But the shrine's shape is the most interesting thing about it. By looking at this picture and the one below, you will the shrine was built in the shape of the mountains viewed in the distance. Another attempt to appease the beast living within it.

As an aside, the big moutain is NOT Everest. That is the Forbidden Mountain, home of the Yeti, the subject of the shrine. Everest is the smaller mountain to the right, the one you want to reach by crossing the Yeti's home.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Episode 86 of Radio Harambe - May 2016 News Special

It's another News Podcast, and this show is packed with the latest from Disney's Animal Kingdom and the rest of Walt Disney World. Among the topics Dave and Safari Mike discuss this week are Dinosaur, Star Wars, and the new Jungle Book show coming to DAK.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email us at Asante Sana and enjoy the show!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Some information about the new Jungle Book show

Disney updated its website and gave us some additional information about what to expect with the new night time show, Jungle Book Alive with Magic. First of all, as we said earlier, the show starts on May 28th, one day after the other night time events. Also, fast passes will become available starting on May 21st. Finally, there will be dining packages at Tiffens and the Tusker House.

On the site, there is a description of the show that states it is inspired not only by the recent movie but by Indian celebrations. Like the movie, it will tell the story of Mogwli on water screens, while barges with dancers, singers and musicians float around the water. There will also be performers on the banks, as well.

Finally, they reference the three big hits from the movie "Bear Necessities," "I Wanna Be Like You," and "Trust in Me." However, these will be Indian-pop style versions of these songs. So I guess this is Disney meets Bollywood?