Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Get Your Comments and Questions in for Epsiode 4 of Radio Harambe!

That's right, we need your input for the next episode of the Radio Harambe podcast!  We want to dedicate our entire third section, the feature section, to our listeners.  We want you to dictate the subject and tell us what you want us to talk about.  You can comment here, tweet us @RadioHarambe, leave a post on our Facebook page, or email us at

And while you are at it, please go to iTunes and rate and review the show there.  The ratings go a long way towards helping us get the word out.

by Dave McBride (twitter: @RadioHarambe)

Disney's Animal Kingdom News Round-Up for July 31, 2013: Lion King and Avatar

Festival of the Lion King Theater Announced:  For weeks we have heard shovels in the ground, seen annoying construction walls, cranes and equipment up all over Harambe.  We were certain this was all for a new theater for Festival of the Lion King, however we finally received official confirmation of that fact this past week.  The new theater will open sometime in 2014, and it will be located behind the Tusker House in the Africa section.

In a posting on the Disney Parks Blog this week Shawn Slater, Communications Manager of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment, said the “exterior of the new theater is being designed to fit right in with its African surroundings.”  Other than exterior improvements, it appears the rest of the new theater will be fairly similar to the current one, with similar layout and capacity.

Avatar “Teaser” Coming at D23 Expo:  Last week, via the Disney Insider email, we learned that we can expect to see what is being phrased as a “teaser” for a new attraction based on Avatar.  We have no idea what that might entail, but we will keep you posted.  However, it looks as though finally the anti-Avatar crowd will actually have something concrete to criticize!

If you are interested in the controversial subject of Avatar coming to DAK, I suggest you listen to Episode 2 of Radio Harambe where the two hosts spend about an hour debating the issues and merits of this illusive project.

Park Hours for this week are...

Wednesday: July  31 9am - 8pm (Extra Magic Hour 8-9am)
Thursday: August 1  9am -7pm
Friday: August 2  9am - 7pm
Saturday: August 3  9am - 7pm
Sunday: August 4  9am - 7pm
Monday: August 5  9am - 7pm (Extra Magic Hour 8-9am)
Tuesday: August 6  9am - 8pm

Check Out Kenny the Pirate for this week’s Entertainment Schedule!

Attraction Closures:
No closures at this time

Have A Wild Time this week!!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Animal Kingdom Theme Spotlight: Pizzafari

Disney's Animal Kingdom is, in our humble opinion, the best themed and most detailed of the domestic Disney Parks.  With that in mind, we begin our new series called "Theme Spotlight" where we dig a closer into an area of the park and talk about the details and themes that make it so special.  Today, Safari Mike begins with a look at Pizzafari. 

Theming is a vital aspect of what makes the Animal Kingdom so special, at least to me. Often times, this theming is missed by even the most astute or observant guest. At the Animal Kingdom, things such as theme and back story are often times extremely subtle. This series is designed to help you appreciate the theme of some of the buildings, walkways and the like a little more.

One of the most heavily themed areas in the park is Discovery Island. Each building has a unique theme that only one who pays very close attention to details (or reads this blog) will pick up. I want to focus today on one of the most vibrant of these buildings: Pizzafari.

Before we even step inside, take a look at the building itself. It's extremely colorful. The sign is a pair of deep red chameleons forming a pizza shape. When Disney began designing the look and feel of Safari Village, which was Discovery Island's original name, it looked to the island cultures for inspiration. The island of Bali was where much of this work was actually done and, as a result, this Indonesian island has a heavy influence on the buildings around the Tree of Life although touches from islands all over the world had a hand in the final look. The vegetation is also very important. Its a place where man and nature are attune with each other and thus, the plant life is integrated with the structure itself.

But its inside where this building really shines. Much of this has to do with pedigree. What do I mean? Well, Disney convinced Frank Armitage to come out of retirement to paint, along with his daughter Nicole, 34 amazingly vivid murals that adorn the five rooms of the restaurant. Mr. Armitage worked on animation back grounds and layouts for such classic Disney films as Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, Mary Poppins and, a favorite of mine, the Jungle Book. The art is both colorful and whimsical with each room containing an overall theme in the animals shown.

The main room where you order is the Ornamental room, which focuses on butterflies and clownfish. These are animals that use color in their behaviors. The mural is dominated by a huge peacock that sits over the service windows and is the single biggest animal depicted. But don't just look at the walls, look up as well, and you will see little figures of butterflies clinging to the poles but more on those in a minute.

There are four dining rooms, making this one of the bigger counter service places in the park.  And the rooms you can pick from are stunning. The themes are Camouflage, Upside Down, Homes and Nocturnal. The Camouflage room is full of predators that rely on stealth like polar bears, leopards and lions, but there are prey animals too, like deer. This room is clearly the least whimsical. The Homes room shows animals who carry their homes with them like snails, turtles and kangaroos. The Nocturnal room might be my favorite featuring owls, wolves and an awesome tiger. The Upside Down room shows animals that, well, hang upside down like possums, monkeys and snakes. Each room has a hidden mickey in it, see if you can find them. Also, when you study the murals more of it comes to life. You will see animals that were not obvious at first glance, and there are subtle things like a possum missing its body and one animal is right side up in the Upside Down room. Try to have your children (or adults) find it.

And the theming doesn't end there. Listen to the music. All the songs are about animals. Songs like Blackbird, Octopus' Garden, A Whale of a Tale, the Lion Sleeps Tonight and others comprise the background music here. Even Puff the Magic Dragon is played here, so I suppose there is at least that dragon reference in the park.  Also, remember those butterflies I mention? There are little wood carvings throughout the building. These are authentic oaxacan wood carvings from Mexico. If they look familiar, they should, there are many of these at the Mexico pavilion at Epcot.

To be honest, this is not my favorite place to eat food wise. The pizza is mediocre. There are some decent choices like the hot Italian sandwich and the bread sticks has its fans. And its indoors so its quite comfortable in the heat. But the theming here is amazing and certainly worth a walk through if nothing else.

by Safari Mike (twitter: @JamboEveryone)

Monday, July 29, 2013

Disney Announces New Theater for the Festival of the Lion King

Okay, I am starting to think the folks at Disney listen to Radio Harambe and then announce something that makes myself and Safari Mike sound stupid...though come to think of it, that's not that hard.  Last week, after I pontificated about how I felt the D23 Expo will offer no real info about changes coming to DAK, the very day after the episode went live Disney announces D23 will feature a "teaser" regarding an Avatar attractions.  Today, after Safari Mike opined on how we shouldn't hold our breath waiting for an announcement on a new theater for Festival of the Lion King, guess what Disney announced on the Parks Blog?

That's right, the worst kept secret at Disney's Animal Kingdom is no longer a secret.  The new theater will open in 2014, no idea when exactly, and a pathway to it will lead from the bridge side of the Tusker House in Harambe , precisely where we thought it would go.

But in true Disney fashion, that is just about all the information they released.  No clue as to any improvements from the old theater, no timetable of any possible closures related to the move, and of course no mention of how it is related to the Avatar project.  However, they did say in the comments section that the show itself will remain as it is.

by Dave McBride (twitter: @RadioHarambe)

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Maharajah Jungle Trek From a Kid's Eye

The Maharajah Jungle Trek is a very adventurous walk-through exhibit. It not only has tigers but also flying foxes (a bat species) and many different kinds of Asian birds. There are also Komodo Dragons, Elds Deer, Fruit Bats and more.

 When you first walk into the Jungle you come to see a Komodo Dragon. As you will see these large reptiles look nothing like dragons, and if you think your children may be afraid most likely they will not. These “dragons” just look like lizards. Next you used to see a Malayan Tapir. These animals are black on their legs and front half, but white on the rear half of their body. But they're gone now.  Soon you will then enter a building where you will see the fruit bats and flying foxes. Unlike other bat species these animals eat fruit.

After leaving the bats you will come across something that looks like ancient ruins. In there you will see the Asian tigers outside the glass. There are several areas where you can watch the tigers. You will walk across a bridge and then see 2 species of deer, the Elds Deer and the Blackbuck. They both are supposed to look like they are being hunted by the tigers, but they are separated by a hidden barrier, so the deer are not in danger. You will then walk into an exhibit with many different Asian birds. You can borrow a guide to help you identify all the different kinds of birds.

As you can see, the Maharajah Jungle Trek is a fun, adventurous and educational attraction in the Animal Kingdom. While being great to do with kids parents will love it too. We hope you enjoy the Maharajah Jungle Trek.

by Explorer Mickey

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Happy Tiger Day!

Well, truth be told World Tiger Day is actually Monday.  But for reasons passing understanding, Disney has chosen to celebrate it today.  But let's put the snark aside and applaud them for another day filled with conservation education.

If you are in the park, head over to the Maharajah Jungle Trek to see the Asian Tigers found there.  Try going right before closing, as that's when they usually are up for a meal and ready to move off exhibit for the night.  Before, you can go to Rafiki's Planet Watch for some more tiger related activities.

To celebrate, we have added a few more of our favorite tiger photos to our Facebook Page.  If you are not following us there, we invite you to do so.  It's where we post many pics like these.

Tigers are under constant attack for survival, and if we sit back and ignore the situation they will lose that fight.  This is why I love DAK and these programs so much.  It's a theme park that can also help raise awareness of these kinds of issues.  What other park can say that?

by Dave McBride (twitter: @RadioHarambe)

New Safari Mike Article on the Gorgeous Green Peafowl

In honor of our guided tour of the Maharajah Jungle Trek on Episode 3 Radio Harambe, Safari Mike submitted an article on one of the birds we discussed, the incredible Green Peafowl.

This amazingly large and colorful bird can be found on the trek on your lefthand side as you go past the tiger exhibit.  If you are lucky you will see them spreading their feathers.  But either way, you can't miss them.

Episode 3 of Radio Harambe is Now Available! A Guided Tour of the Maharajah Jungle Trek

The latest addition of Radio Harambe is now available.  Myself and Safari Mike discuss news from Disney's Animal Kingdom, including more on the Rivers of Light rumor, the new Garden Kiosk and more.  We also talk about the latest from Walt Disney World.  But the highlight is our guided tour of the Maharajah Jungle Trek.  Enjoy!

You can also find us Stitcher and iTunes.  Please rate us and leave a review on iTunes.  Reviews help to promote the show and it will be much appreciated.  If you have any comments or questions you can email us at

by Dave McBride (twitter: @RadioHarambe)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Finally Some Avatar Info Coming Soon!

For the last two episodes of Radio Harambe, myself and Safari Mike have been saying how we assume nothing of any substance regarding the new Avatar project would be revealed during the upcoming D23 Expo.  And to our defense, that is pretty much exactly what Disney folks had been saying themselves.  Today, however it appears that has changed.

If you received your Disney Insider email today, I would suggest you read it.  I usually look at the pictures and send it right to the trash file, but this one got my attention.  And I'm glad it did.  The feature article is called "60 Years of Imagineering the Impossible, Take an Unprecedented Look Inside Walt Disney Imagineering at the Upcoming D23 Expo".  It includes an interview with Dave Fisher, show producer of the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Pavilion, and it contains this little nugget...

"...visitors will be able to virtually ride two attractions, the same way we do when we’re testing them. We’re also going to be doing sneak peeks at upcoming projects – including Disney Springs, the reimagining of Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort. There will be teasers for new attractions based on Avatar and Star Wars that we’re working on now for the Disney Parks."

So throw away everything we said about how pointless D23 will be for those of us waiting for something, anything, regarding Avatar.  It looks like we are going to finally get something concrete next month.  Stay tuned...

by Dave McBride (twitter: @RadioHarambe)

Disney's Animal Kingdom News Round-Up for July 24, 2013; Baby Giraffes and Tiger Day

Name a Baby Giraffe: This week on the Disney Parks Blog’s Wildlife Wednesdays series we have one of those posts that busts the cute meter.  And that can only really be done by a photo of a new baby animal at the Animals Kingdom!  And this time, it is the first Masai Giraffe calf born at DAK.  And we can help name him!  Go to the Park’s Blog and register your vote.

Can I just make a suggestion to the folks at Disney for the next time one of the park’s iconic species is born?  How about the name Rohde?  Just a thought...

Garden Kiosk Set to Open in Discovery Island: On August 4 a new kiosk will open in Discovery Island at the Animal Kingdom.  It is called the Garden Kiosk and besides offering some snacks and drinks, the kiosk will serve as an information point to help people with dietary needs and allergies pick the best dining options.  My guess is if this goes well we may see these kiosks pop up at the rest of Disney theme parks.

Thursday is Tiger Day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Tomorrow, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be celebrating Tiger Day!  According to the Disney Parks Blog “Guests visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom on July 25 will discover even more about tigers and learn about efforts to conserve them as the park celebrates Tiger Day with special activities at Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Families can test their skills at identifying tiger calls, find out where in the world tigers live and how they travel through the forest, and see if they can leap as far as a tiger, among other activities.”

We all know the struggles for survival many species face, and tigers are no exception.  Without our help, these gorgeous animals face extinction.  And that’s why I love programs like this.  The Animal Kingdom needs to keep conservation at the front of guests’ minds and these celebrations do just that.

Park Hours for this week are...

Wednesday: July  24 8am - 8pm (Extra Magic Hour 7-8am)
Thursday: July 25  9am -7pm
Friday: July 26  9am - 7pm
Saturday: July 27  9am - 7pm
Sunday: July 28  9am - 6pm
Monday: July 29  9am - 7pm (Extra Magic Hour 8-9am)
Tuesday: July 30  9am - 7pm

Check Out Kenny the Pirate for this week’s Entertainment Schedule!

Attraction Closures:
No closures at this time

Have A Wild Time this week!!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

No News Is Good News

When researching this week’s news from Walt Disney World, I held my breath in a near panic when I read the headlines proclaiming a shake-up at the top of Walt Disney Imagineering(WDI).  But I thankfully exhaled when I read that Joe Rohde was staying right where he is, as the creative leader of Disney Animal Kingdom.  But I can’t help but think how much better off Disney Parks would be if they moved Mr. Rohde further up the ladder.

Rohde came to WDI in 1980, and worked on Epcot’s Mexico pavilion and later Norway, probably the two most immersive pavilions in World Showcase.  He also was part of the Captain E-O film.  But his first truly high profile project was the creation of the now extinct Adventurer’s Club at Pleasure Island.  Rohde’s amazingly creative and fun design made this club a fan favorite, and one Disney fans still pine away for years after its doors have closed.

But soon he would begin work on the project that would define his career and showcase his brilliance, Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  It was Rohde who shepherded DAK from blue sky to rope drop.  Not a bit of that park was built without Rohde’s input and his obsession with detail and story is the common thread that gives the park its aesthetic brilliance.  Even in places where the top brass obviously pulled his budgets out from under him, Rohde insisted that they never skimp on those elements.

For instance, while you may not love the carnival-style games found at Chester and Hester’s Dino-Rama, you can not deny that Rohde and his team made sure it was more than just midway games.  With what little resources they had, Imagineers created a fun and engaging story and filled the area with more details than we can catalog here.  

And if you wonder what Joe Rohde can do when budgets aren’t slashed take a look at Expedition Everest, the last truly original and immersive attraction built in the domestic parks.  While other Imagineers have used story elements in building thrill rides, none have ever done it like Everest.  Joe Rohde doesn’t just leave no stone unturned, he wants to find every stone, rock or pebble available to catalog or photograph them for possible use later in the project.  If every attraction had the kind of detail Rohde’s have, we would be living within a renaissance period of Imagineering.

And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if years from now, after Mr. Rohde is long gone from the Disney offices, we start to learn that he never earned his rightful place at the head of Imagineering because he put creativity and story above synergy and blu-ray sales.  Remember those days when that really was case at WED?  Truth be told, they never actually left.  They can be found at the Animal Kingdom.

by Dave McBride (twitter: @RadioHarambe)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Chester and Hester's Dinosaur Treasures; the Backstory

One of the most detailed lands in any Disney park is Dinoland, USA. Its rich, detailed back story is often (as all back stories are) overlooked. And to be fair, that sort of is the point of the back story. Written history that gives the imagineer a pedestal upon which to design the props, signs and details.  I want to help fill in some of the details and help you appreciate this part of the Animal Kingdom more. I am going to focus this little post about one of my favorite shops in all of the Animal Kingdom: Chester and Hester's Dinosaur Treasures.

Good old Chester and Hester are smart folk. You see they refused to sell out. They owned this piece of Diggs County well before they discovered fossils here. And when the Dino Institute made that discovery, they would not sell their land to them. No sir, Chet and Het are entrepreneurs. So when it became clear there was money to be had, they jumped on the opportunity.

They had a gas station out here in the sticks. In 1947, some fossil hunters stumbled upon the mother load.  Soon after, the Dino Institute came in and began buying up all the land around Chester and Hester's gas station. The Institute set up a headquarters in an old fishing lodge which eventually was turned into a restaurant (osaurus) and the Institute soon built a state of the art facility. All the while, the old couple refused to sell. They could see that profit was to be had so they began selling cheap dinosaur souvenirs  out of their gas station/service store  to capitalize on the folks streaming into to dig for fossils. They started selling even more when eventually folk came in to take the start of the art time traveling tours being offered nearby. An much to the Dino Institutes's chagrin, Chester and Hester stayed strong and began to make a killing.

The sale of tacky knick knacks started to become much more profitable than the gasoline so they abandoned their old business. You can still see some signs of the old purpose of the building, i.e gas station and service center. One example is the use of truck tires as planters at the entrance. You can still see the old Sinclair gas pump out front, as well. Oil cans have been turned into a hat rack. Out back, check out the tacky colorful dinosaur statues set up for photo ops. All over the building are cheesy signs talking about "going out of existence deals" or "Prehistoric Prices."

Inside is even cheesier. To be honest, this store was once better. Part of it has been turned over to typical Disney fare, toy story paraphernalia, and seasonal items. But still, this is an awesome store to browse in, if for nothing else the decor. I particularly enjoy the photo in one corner of Chester and Hester themselves as well as the framed dollar bill, which is the first dollar the old couple ever made at the site. Keep a look out for the kitschy stuff, like the Wipe Your Paws sign over one door. Up in the air above are all sorts of cheap toys. There is still plenty of dino stuff to buy. My favorite are the comic books. The store has all kinds like Batman, Spider Man and what not. The catch is they all feature a dinosaur in some fashion on the cover.

One day I will give you the story of the rest of Chester and Hester's money making gambit, but for now I will leave you with one question. So why do you think Imagineers decided the store would be a re purposed gas station? Well because gasoline is, after all, a fossil fuel. Ah, the irony.

Disney's Animal Kingdom News Round-Up for July 17, 2013: Nemo FastPass Plus and Traveling Hippos

Finding Nemo Fastpass +:  As we have reported in the past, Fastpass Plus is on the way to several Animal Kingdom attractions and shows. Work on the queue at Finding Nemo the Musical is now complete and the construction walls are down. The Fastpass Plus area is opened and ready for business. There is also the standby queue that is also complete. When exactly these will be in use is not quite certain, but it is getting closer.

Hippos on the Move:  Many guests at the Animal Kingdom don't always realize that the animals there are often on the go. The AZA is the organization that accredits zoos and sets guidelines and policies for animal well being and care, and in that role, often stress the movement of animals to ensure strong genetic stock, especially of endangered animals. To that end, zoos often move animals amongst themselves. However, that movement is not always for breeding purposes.

The Memphis zoo had recent death. Their hippopotamus exhibit featured a daughter and mother and  the mother, who was 51 years old, died. Memphis wanted another hippo to keep the one they had from getting lonely. Well, in stepped the Animal Kingdom sending Binti, a 15 year old hippo, to Memphis as a companion for Splish, Memphis' lone hippo. We wish Binti all the luck as Memphis is opening a new state of the art exhibit, the Zambezi River Hippo Camp. Rest assured that the Memphis Zoo is a quality institution and the new digs look pretty great. 

Park Hours for this week are...

Wednesday: July  17 9am - 8pm (Extra Magic Hour 8-9am)
Thursday: July 18  9am -8pm
Friday: July 19  9am - 7pm
Saturday: July 20  9am - 7pm 
Sunday: July 21  9am - 7pm 
Monday: July 22  9am - 8pm (Extra Magic Hour 8-9am)
Tuesday: July 16  9am - 8pm

Attraction Closures:
No closures at this time

Have A Wild Time this week!!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Return of the Zebras

After much fanfare, a large herd of zebra replaced the Little Red story line at the end of Kilimanjaro Safaris. We all knew that. And we all knew that exhibiting the herd was an unmitigated disaster. After a few rocky months of being on stage and off, the zebras were eventually pulled from that exhibit. The problem was essentially the Plains Zebra (which compromised a bulk of the herd, with the exception being one Grevy's zebra) are high strung animals. The area was a tad cramped for a large number of animals and they got agitated biting each other and, according to some reports, the ride vehicles.

zebras back on Safari, photo by @DisneyMamaLin

So out went the zebra after four months, seemingly locked backstage never to be heard from again, at least for safari riders. But alas, word started leaking out of zebra sightings on Kilimanjaro in late June, the first report I got was from a twitter follower (@DisneyMamaLin) on June 24th. Two were spotted not far from where the cheetah are. Not the whole herd, just two. And farther away from ride vehicles. Plus, we know tarps have again gone up. These are used to get "new" animals used to staying in their general area. Most the savanna is accessible for all the animals. The lions and cheetah are separated by invisible moats. The first area of black rhinos and okapi are separated by the exhibits of crocodile and hippos, but once you get to the big savanna, its pretty much fair game. 

And many may not know that this is not the first time zebra were on the attraction. Back when it opened in 1998, there were Plains zebra on the main savanna where you also see wildebeest and giraffe. The advantage in these areas is simple. Its much bigger, so if the zebra don't want to be near the ride vehicles they can stand away, and if they get agitated with each other, there is room to get away from each other, too. Also, it seems at least up until now, that only a few are going out at a time, decreasing the chances of infighting.

Zebra, as I have said before, are an iconic species in Africa. It is one of the animals along with rhinos, elephants, cheetah and lions, that conjure up the mystique of the savanna. It would be good to have them back on this iconic attraction. 

by Safari Mike (twitter: @JamboEveryone)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Not A Half Day Park T-Shirts!

We can't help ourselves, we love this idea of wearing the "Not A Half-Day Park" saying proudly.  And if you do too, you can get one of these at our Jambo Everyone Store.  AND remember 50% of the profits go towards conservation, while the rest goes to keep great content coming at Jambo Everyone and Radio Harambe.

There are two designs featuring the phrase "Not A Half Day Park".  The first, pictured above, is also available in women's sizes.  (Click here to shop the above design)  Like this other design below, which is perhaps a bit bolder in the smack-talk department.  (Click here to shop the below design)

In fact, ALL of these shirts are totally customizable.  You can change the shirt style, size, color, you name it!  Go to and help us raise funds for our Conservation Partners while showing some DAK pride!

by Dave McBride (twitter: @RadioHarambe)

New Article From Safari Mike Today About the Black Rhinos

Safari Mike is back.  This time he is writing to us from the African Savanna to tell us about the critically endangered, and amazingly beautiful, Black Rhinos.

There are so few Black Rhinos left in the wild it is frightening and sad.  The chances that they will soon be extinct outside of zoos is a very real possibility.  Let's do whatever we can.  Go to our Conservation Page and read about Save The Rhino.

Radio Harambe Episode 2 - The Great Avatar Debate!

Episode 2 of Radio Harambe is now available.  We certainly hope you like to hear about the plans for an Avatar themed land coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom, because your hosts spend quite a long time debating the subject.  They also discuss the latest DAK news, as well as news from around Walt Disney World.  Have a listen and PLEASE go to iTunes and subscribe to the show!

It's a long, and very in-depth, debate over the controversial subject of Avatar, and there is no way we covered every angle.  So please feel free to leave your comments here.  Enjoy!

by Dave McBride (twitter: @RadioHarambe)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Disney's Animal Kingdom News Round-Up for July 10, 2013; The Return of the Zebras

Return of the Zebras:  Fans of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and certainly readers of this website, will have heard the continuing saga of the new herd of zebras brought to Kilimanjaro Safaris.  Originally intended for a new area built at the end of the attraction, the herd needed to be removed for behavioral reason.  After a new group of addax were brought in to replace them, we thought that was the last we would here of those zebras.  We attempted to contact Disney about their plans for the herd with no response.

Then, without any fanfare or announcement, zebras began to turn up in the area of the savanna close to the cheetah habitat.  Those familiar burlap looking barriers now surround the area and the occasional plains zebra is seen.  Are these members of the same herd whose temperament caused so many problems?  We don’t know yet...

Park Hours for this week are...

Wednesday: July  10 9am - 8pm (Extra Magic Hour 8-9am)
Thursday: July 11  9am -8pm
Friday: July 12  9am - 7pm
Saturday: July 13  9am - 7pm
Sunday: July 14  9am - 7pm
Monday: July 15  9am - 7pm (Extra Magic Hour 8-9am)
Tuesday: July 16  9am - 7pm

Check Out Kenny the Pirate for this week’s Entertainment Schedule!

Attraction Closures:
No closures at this time

Have A Wild Time this week!!

Monday, July 8, 2013

A Better End to Kilimanjaro Safaris?

The zebra are gone from the end of the safari. As we all know, they couldn't adjust to the exhibit. They became agitated and high strung. The idea, which was a good one, was going to be a big finale. Zebra are a high profile African species. When people think of the savanna, zebra are one of the animals that likely come to their mind. And to drive through a large herd of them would be a very African-like experience for the guest.

Now, we have addax. Don't get me wrong, addax are an important conservation story. There are fewer than 500 of them left in the wild. Worse yet, they are scattered over several small, isolated populations in Niger and Chad. Poachers have virtually eliminated the wild populations of the species and the populations that are left are so critically low a bad drought, disease or some other natural disasters could be devastating. Fortunately, there are captive breeding programs in Tunisia and Morocco which they hope to turn into reintroduction programs. So yes, the addax is an important conservation lesson that should be a part of the Kilimanjaro Safaris dialog.

But to be honest, they are simply not zebra. The image of the zebra conjures up in the imagination, images of the great plains of Africa, just like the elephant and the lion. They are the icons of the continent's wildlife. So are the rhinos. Which is why I think they need to move the white rhinos to end of the attraction. This would be a much more suitable closing for guests. Plus, the cast members could talk about the plight of the animal which is very much a major focus of conservation efforts today. Unfortunately, rhinos throughout Africa and Asia are on the verge of extinction thanks to man. Poaching is getting worse and worse. Every year, it seems the killing rate rises as the horn is used for traditional medicines and in ceremonial daggers.

And rhinos, like zebra, are iconic. People are impressed with them. They are huge, especially the white rhinos, which carry nearly twice the bulk of the black rhino. To get a close up look at these prehistoric animals is unforgettable. So, I would switch the white rhinos from the Savanna East portion of the ride with the addax. Since the black rhinos are currently located in the forest portion of the ride, the plight of the rhinos would become suitable bookends.

To learn more about how Jambo Everyone is working to assist in efforts to save Rhinos, go to our Conservation Page.

by Safari Mike (twitter: @JamboEveryone)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day from all of us at and Radio Harambe!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Disney's Animal Kingdom News Round-Up for July 3: Lots of Jambo News!

Not much news coming out of Disney’s Animal Kingdom this week, however there are lots of stories coming out of this week!  So let’s allow the website to takeover much of the DAK News Round-Up

Radio Harambe Launches!:  That’s correct DAK fans, the very first ever Disney podcast focusing on the Animal Kingdom debuted yesterday and we are excited to bring this new show to you.  We will cover all things DAK, and even set some time aside to cover other Disney World stories. (Yours truly couldn’t help but rant about Starbucks!)  So head over to iTunes and subscribe to Radio Harambe.

The PERFECT Shirt a Trip to DAK:  Credit where credit is due, our friend Kevin came up with the idea for this fantastic shirt design...

Remember, 50% of the profits go to conservation while the other 50% goes towards making everything happen here at Jambo Everyone.  PLUS, all of these shirts are totally customizable to fit your budget, size and taste!  So head over to the Jambo Everyone Store and show your DAK Pride!

Safari Mike Takes to the Podcast World:  After you listen to Radio Harambe, you can get even more Safari Mike as here made guest appearances on two podcasts this past week.  Somehow the Disney Hipsters tracked him down from his travels to sit in on their latest episode, while he also appeared on the Resort Loop podcast talking a little DVC.

Park Hours for this week are...

Wednesday: July 3 8am - 8pm (Extra Magic Hour 7-8am)
Thursday: July 4 9am - 7pm
Friday: July 5 9am - 8pm
Saturday: June 29 9am - 7pm
Sunday: July 6 9am - 7pm
Monday: July 7 9am - 8pm (Extra Magic Hour 8-9am)
Tuesday: July 8` 9am - 7pm

Check Out Kenny the Pirate for this week’s Entertainment Schedule!

Attraction Closures:
No closures at this time

Have A Wild Time this week!!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Review of the Imagineering Field Guide to Disney's Animal Kingdom

We at Jambo Everyone love learning about the Animal Kingdom. There are many different sources especially on the internet to do just that. But maybe the absolute best source to learn about the Animal Kingdom is the Imagineering Field Guide to Disney's Animal Kingdom. The book, which was published in 2007, is written by an actual imagineer, Alex Wright, who is a Senior Creative Designer. And he does a lot of work over at the Animal Kingdom.

The book is one in a series which also includes The Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Disneyland and, coming soon, California Adventure. All of these books share the same basic premise. In fact, each book shares the same first few pages titled "Imagineering 101" which covers the basics including terminology, history and disciplines. The book then turns to the park its covering and goes land by land giving you the background of each land.

This works best in places like the Animal Kingdom where theming and back story are so important and often not known by the average visitor or even staunch Disney fans. The book starts off with details on the formation of the park itself with some great concept art on things that never happened like the three tiered carousel. The author then hits each land from the Oasis to Dinoland, USA. You want to learn what it takes to landscape an area that gets eaten by its inhabitants? This book addresses that. Did you want to discover the back story of the Pangani Forest Trail? No problem, its right here.

This book provided history lessons, back stories, and nods to the little touches like the great posters of Harambe. I can't recommend this book enough. Anyone interested in imagineering (and frankly, I would think anyone reading this blog is) should pick this book up. In fact, pick up the whole series. You will definitely get a new appreciation at how subtle the imagineers actually get. Its also a lot of fun to see a little sign and no exactly what that means.

by Safari Mike (twitter: @JamboEveryone)

Episode 1 of Radio Harambe; Listen, Download and Subscribe

It's Here!  Episode 1 of Radio Harambe is now available on our Podbean page AND on the iTunes Store!  So we invite you to have a listen and tell us what you think.  And please subscribe to the show.

On the show we present three different segments, "Local News" from in and around Disney's Animal Kingdom, "World News" featuring stories from the rest of Disney World, and our "Feature Story" which will be one subject we will examine a bit closer, such as interviews, attraction reviews and the like.  This week's feature is myself and Safari Mike discussing our tips for touring DAK during the very busy and warm summer season.

by Dave McBride (twitter: @RadioHarambe)

Monday, July 1, 2013

Introducing RADIO HARAMBE!!

Yes, after months and months of planning, the official podcast of Jambo Everyone has finally come to life!  "Broadcasting from high above the savanna, this is Radio Harambe!"  Have a listen to a short preview...

The first full episode of Radio Harambe should be available soon, with DAK and WDW news as well as our tips on touring Disney's Animal Kingdom during the most crowded of days, such as the upcoming July 4th weekend.  But as of now, you can find us on Podbean AND you can subscribe on iTunes

by Dave McBride (twitter: @RadioHarambe)

More Videos Added to the Jambo Everyone YouTube Channel

This is a look at the end of the last rope bridge of the Wild Africa Trek. You get a pretty good sense of how far below those crocs are. They are real, and they look hungry. If you really don't like heights, then don't look down. But to be honest, it's not that bad at all...

Also, we have a look at a graceful giraffe heading our way at the Jambo House, in the early evening. You can see Tommies, a wildebeest and Roan Antelope all feeding in the background. Those early evenings, just after the sun has set, is always a good time to see the animals. Its cooler and they like to feed before darkness sets in.

by Safari Mike (twitter: @JamboEveryone)