Friday, May 30, 2014

Out With The Old, In With The New

After this weekend, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will see the end of a park staple and the beginning of something new and exciting, as we say goodbye to Mickey’s Jammin Jungle Parade and hello to the new Harambe and Festival of the Lion King theater.  It is the next step in this long, but hoping thrilling, transition to a bigger and better Animal Kingdom.

The first major step was the closing of Camp Minnie-Mickey earlier in the year, as the “temporary” land was finally closed to make room for the Avatar project.  But this transition isn’t all about Avatar, it is also about new experiences, new entertainment and expanded nighttime offerings.  And this next step in that direction is a big one.

Mickey’s Jammin Jungle Parade has been on the daily afternoon schedule for almost 13 years, quite a long run for a Disney parade.  For reasons not quite made clear, the parade’s closing is part of this overall necessity to make room for what is to come.  And even though I am not much of a parade watcher, I will miss it.  I loved its simple and artistic animal theme.  However, time marches on, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom is on a course towards being a bigger and better theme park.

But with this weekend’s subtraction comes an enormous addition.  Disney announced yesterday that the Festival of the Lion King will open to the public on Sunday June 1.  And with the show’s opening comes the opening of the expanded, and admittedly gorgeous, Harambe.  If every change to come is as well executed as this area is, than we have much to look forward to.

by Dave McBride (@RadioHarambe)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Disney's Animal Kingdom News Round-Up for May 28, 2014: Grevy's Zebras, Cast Member Previews, and a Confusing Tiki

Grevy’s Zebra Come to Pangani:   It looks like three Grevy’s Zebra can now be seen along the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.  They are located on the Savanna Overlook, which is where the meerkats can be seen.

copyright Grevy's Zebra Trust
We will have more on this as soon as we can get our own photos of these magnificent zebras.  The Grevy’s Zebra are disappearing fast, so we encourage everyone to go to the Grevy’s Zebra Trust and make any donation you can.  Asante Sana!

Festival of the Lion King Cast Previews Soon:  We are being told that cast member previews of the new Festival of the Lion King theater may begin as soon as this week.  The next step would be a few soft openings followed by an official opening.  We will keep you posted as soon as we hear more.

New Souvenir Tumblers at Drink Wallah:  Have you seen the new souvenir tumblers available at Drink Wallah in Asia?  Take a look…

Honestly, I really do like them both.  (Although I am a bit confused by the polynesian tiki-god look to the one on the left.)  However, like the famed vuvuzela at the 2010 World Cup, I fear the soundtrack of the Animal Kingdom may soon sink to the sound of badly played ocarinas.

Park Hours for this week are...

Wednesday: May 28 9am - 7pm
Thursday:  May 29  9am - 7pm
Friday: May 30  9am - 7pm
Saturday: May 31 9am - 8pm (Extra Magic Hour 8 - 9am)
Sunday: June 1  8am - 8pm
Monday: June 2 9am - 8pm (Extra Magic Hour 8 - 9am)
Tuesday: June 3 8am - 8pm

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

Attraction Closures:
Festival of the Lion King - closed until June 2014
Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade - scheduled to close permanently May 31 2014
It’s Tough To Be A Bug - Scheduled to Close from early-July through mid-August
Camp Minnie-Mickey - closed permanently

Have A Wild Time this week!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Rumor Update: Rivers of Light to Open Spring 2016

The website is reporting this weekend that the Rivers of Light night time water show is on schedule to debut at Disney's Animal Kingdom in the spring of 2016, a bit later than most of us were hoping.

We have not received confirmation on this ourselves, but the information seems to fit into what we knew might hold up the show's introduction.  From the very first time we heard of the Rivers of Light, we were hearing the biggest issue was not the show itself but the viewing area.

The Animal Kingdom has plenty of water for such a show, especially in the area in they are planning, right in front of Expedition Everest.  But the vegetation and the size of walkways were purposely built to NOT have wide open areas and vistas.  This is the biggest problem imagineers face.  How do they open viewing areas to the water without disturbing the overall design of the park?  Only time will tell...

by Dave McBride (@RadioHarambe)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Coming Soon: Sumatran Tigers

Today, May 22, 2014, vets at Rafiki's Planet Watch performed some examinations. Not unusual for a Thursday morning, but today they examined a Sumatran tiger. Up until now, the Animal Kingdom has had Asian tigers. What's the big deal? Well, Asian tigers is just a fancy way of saying the tiger is of mixed background and really of no help to the survival of individual species, like the Siberian or Bengal tiger.

The Sumatran tiger is such a distinct subspecies and a very rare one at that. It's the last of the Sunda Island species of tigers that once included the now extinct Bali and Javan tigers. These species were cut off from the mainland millennia ago and all became separate subspecies. The Sumatran is smaller than its mainland cousins and the fur is a deeper color orange. It also has thicker stripes. In the wild, it hunts deer, muntjacs, tapirs, and ground birds like pheasants.

Most importantly, the Sumatran tiger is critically endangered. It is estimated that less than 400 survive in the wild today. Illegal poaching and habitat loss to plantations have been the biggest culprits in the steady decline of the population. Disney's Animal Kingdom has a female from Atlanta who is approved for breeding being about 3 years of age. A male is on the way. It is hoped the female will be on exhibit in a month or so. After the male gets here, who knows maybe some tiger kittens won't be far behind.

by Safari Mike (@JamboEveryone)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Mani of Serka Zong

The people of Serka Zong are a spiritual people, living in and with the mountains, like Everest. And here they face their mani stones at the mountains of legend. These stone tablets face the peaks in a show of respect. They are inscribed with prayers and are meant to show great respect for the spirits. 

In Nepal and Tibet, mani walls are created by putting stones together like you see here in Serka Zong. Each stone uses an inscribed mantra or, as depicted here, ashtamangala, which a devotional design to offer up a prayer. There is even a design devoted to the Yeti, the legendary creature of the Forbidden Mountain the wall faces. These walls are meant to be passed from the left side, which is the clockwise direction the earth and universe follow according to Buddhist teachings. They are often placed alongside roadsides or rivers, from which people often travel. 

In many areas, these stones can be found in remote places, or even near a temple. And here, in Serka Zong, there is a religious center nearby. The red building is a gompa, or monastery. Although a gompa may be a simple mediation hall, there are often groups of fortified building containing the main hall along with living quarters for monks and nuns. 

The color, red, is no accident as it is meant to provide protection. But protection from what exactly? The Yeti?

By Safari Mike

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Disney's Animal Kingdom News Round-Up for May 21, 2014: Tamarins, Cocktails and Deliciousness

Harambe Nights Looks to be a Winner:  We told you in last week’s News Round-Up about how select dates for the upcoming Harambe Nights event had sold out in the premium seating category.  Well, according to, now ALL premium seating tickets for all dates have sold out.

Strong sales means there is a lot of interest in this event, and that means we are hoping for two things.  One, that Disney delivers with a really good event.  And two, if they do deliver on this, that they extend the dates so we can go too!

Harambe Nights Menu Released:  With that in mind, the Disney Parks Blog released the full menu for the Harambe Nights event.  It’s not only rather extensive for such an event, it is also pretty creative.  It combines African and Indian flavors, much in the spirit of Sanaa and the other Animal Kingdom Lodge Rrestaurants.  Take a look at that article, as it also includes an interview with Chef Robert Gilbert

New Signature Cocktails offered at DAK:  Last week, Safari Mike reported on how the famous pineapple Dole Whips are coming to the Tamu Tamu counter service for Memorial Day Weekend.  But that is not the only new treat debuting at Disney’s Animal Kingdom this week.  A couple of “adult beverages” are being added as well.

The Coconut-Lychee Lemonade, made with coconut rum, lychee and lemonade, will be available at Drinkwallah in Asia.  And over in Dinoland U.S.A., you can now get the Carnival Cocktail, which is made from rum, lemonade and blue cotton candy.  You can find that crazy sounding concoction at Cornivores, located in DinoRama.

New Habitat for Cotton-Top Tamarins Coming Soon:   It would appear the incredibly cute, and very entertaining, Cotton-Top Tamarins are about to receive some new digs, as construction begins on a new exhibit in Discovery Island.  It seems they will move over by Creature Comforts.

Park Hours for this week are...

Wednesday: May 21 9am - 7pm
Thursday:  May 22  9am - 7pm
Friday: May 23  9am - 8pm
Saturday: May 24 8am - 9pm (Extra Magic Hour 7-8am)
Sunday: May 25  8am - 9pm
Monday: May 26 8am - 9pm (Extra Magic Hour 7-8am)
Tuesday: May 27 8am - 8pm

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

Attraction Closures:
Festival of the Lion King - closed until June 2014
Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade - scheduled to close permanently May 31 2014
It’s Tough To Be A Bug - Scheduled to Close from early-July through mid-August
Camp Minnie-Mickey - closed permanently

Have A Wild Time this week!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Photo for Today: Staying On Message

Disney's Animal Kingdom is not just a theme park, it also a place where, hopefully, people can learn about some of the challenges facing our planet's wildlife.  Along the Maharajah Jungle Trek, you will find this message...

Tigers were on the brink of extinction during the 1970's, and thanks to conservation efforts and zoos the population has stabilized.  But they are still very much endangered.  To learn more, check out Safari Mike's article on the Bengal Tiger.

by Dave McBride

Monday, May 19, 2014

Another Burudika Band CD Giveaway, Expedition Everest Challenge Style

It is time once again to give away a copy of the fantastic new CD "Live in the Village" by the Burudika Band, aka Wassalou!  And if you haven't heard it yet, it is fantastic!  We have given away a few already, but we still have more for you guys to win.

So in the spirit of our feature on the Expedition Everest Challenge we have a little clue for you.  In order to win, you will need to listen to Episode 30 of Radio Harambe and answer the following question...
What was KJ's initial, and apparently incorrect, guess on the first clue she had to answer during the Expedition Everest Challenge?
Email your answers to by midnight on Saturday May 24 and the winner will be drawn later next week.  Click here for contest rules


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Episode 30 of Radio Harambe - Expedition Everest Challenge

It's time for another episode of Radio Harambe.  And on this show we wanted to do a show about the Expedition Everest Challenge, a runDisney event which took place recently at Disney's Animal Kingdom.  But since we are both too lazy to do the race ourselves, we called on our friend KJ from to tell us all about it. 

Before that, we talk about the news, including a new bird show at the Animal Kingdom, more on Harambe Nights, and news of an incredibly expensive Star Wars experience.  And stay tuned for another chance to win a copy of the Burudika CD "Live in the Village".  Asante Sana!

by Dave McBride

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Around the Animal Kingdom May 17, 2014

A couple of days ago we broke the news that Dole Whips were being introduced as a test for Tamu Tamu Refreshments. Well, Orlando Parks News has indicated a few other drinks are coming to the Animal Kingdom starting tomorrow. The coconut lychee rum lemonade is returning. It was at Restaurantosaurus awhile back but its new home will be Drinkwallah. Something called a Carnival cocktail is coming to Cornivores over at DinoRama. Apparently, its rum, lemonade and blue cotton candy.

That's not the only news we have been hearing. Over at Pangani, a new group of meerkats have been introduced and will be a lot of fun watching as they get acclimated to the area. Apparently, I have heard some other species of animal very well may be joining them. For old fans of the park, they used to keep warthogs in there (ya know Timon and Pumba style). Also, the hamerkops in the aviary have recently hatched some chicks, so be on the lookout.

Finally, some work is going to be done at Discovery Island in the near future. Training continues for the Winged Encounters show and if you are lucky you could get there early enough to see it. Training is being conducted on large poles like the one shown.

The cotton top tamarins will be moved to a new habitat near Creature Comforts. Also, Disney Outfitters will be expanded out towards the Tip Board. Work on both of those things should begin soon. And finally, a new coffee kiosk is expected to be built near the Flame Tree BBQ. I'm unclear as to where, but perhaps with Viva Gaia moved, it could be off the main path more towards the Dinoland bridge. That should be ready by September.

By Safari Mike

Dole Whips are coming to the Animal Kingdom

So the big news we uncovered here at Jambo Everyone is taking place in Harambe. No, it's not the opening date of the new theater or the menu over at Harambe Nights, which looks awesome by the way. It's the fact that the granddaddy of all Disney snacks is coming to Tamu Tamu. The one and only dole whip.

I don't yet have the specifics as to what if anything besides dole whips are coming. I don't know of any pineapple floats coming, for example. But the world famous dole whip will for the time being be sold at a third location, besides the Polynesian resort and Aloha Isle in Adventureland.

This is beginning Memorial Day Weekend, (i.e. this coming Friday) and is a test. In light of the fact that dole whips are about as popular as Frozen meet and greets, I can't imagine it won't be popular. At that point, the item could become a permanent fixture in Harambe somewhere. Stay Tuned.

By Safari Mike

Friday, May 16, 2014

A Photo For Today; What Flows From Those Taps?

I wonder how many readers know where you can find the taps in this photograph I took a few months ago.  The tap handles themselves might be a hint.  And one has to wonder what flows from those taps?

Photo by Dave McBride (@RadioHarambe)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Disney's Animal Kingdom News Round-Up for May 14, 2014: Characters, Sales, and Turtles, Turtles, Turtles!

Farewell to Pooh and Tigger:  As we reported last week, the Winnie the Pooh and Tigger meet and greet at the Character Landing on Discovery Island has ended and they have been replaced by Donald and Daisy.  Initially, we thought the new meet and greet might be FastPass+ only, however now it appears to be open to everyone.  That may change in the future, so we will keep you posted.

Harambe Night Showing Strong Initial Sales:  According to, the premium seating option for the upcoming Harambe Nights special events have now sold out for June 7, 14, 21, and 28, as well as July 5 and 12, and August 9 2014.  If nothing else, this should at least indicate that sales are off to a good start.  See our previous post on Harambe Night to learn more.

Disney to Celebrate Turltle Day on May 20:   Next week Disney World will celebrate World Turtle Day at Rafiki’s Planet Watch, as well as at Epcot’s the Seas with Nemo and Friends.  Besides the usual fun activities which accompany these events, Disney will also be offering guests the chance to adopt a Turtle nest.  With your fee you will receive “an adoption certificate complete with the date of adoption, the date the nest was laid, the species of sea turtle, and the nest number so they can track their nest online, a Squirt keychain and a Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) hero button.”

This is a species has strong ties to the local community, as Floridians along the coast work to save their indigenous Turtle population.  To learn more about how we can help Florida’s turtles, I suggest you go to  Gumbo Limbo is a nature preserve in Boca Raton Florida where they hatch and release hundreds of turtles, working tirelessly to preserve them for future generations.  They also have a terrific visitors center there as well.

Park Hours for this week are...

Wednesday: May 14 9am - 6pm
Thursday:  May 15  9am - 7pm
Friday: May 16  9am - 7pm
Saturday: May 17 9am - 8pm (Extra Magic Hour 8-9am)
Sunday: May 18  8am - 8pm
Monday: May 19  9am - 7pm (Extra Magic Hour 8-9am)
Tuesday: May 20  9am - 7pm

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

Attraction Closures:
Festival of the Lion King - closed until June 2014
Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade - scheduled to close permanently May 31 2014
It’s Tough To Be A Bug - Scheduled to Close from early-July through mid-August
Camp Minnie-Mickey - closed permanently

Have A Wild Time this week!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Photo For Today; Jurassic Playground

It's time for a new "Photo for Today" and for this one we will go a bit jurassic, with morning sun beating down on the Boneyard.  (Okay, I honestly have no idea if this dinosaur is from the Jurassic Period but, let's face it, it makes for a good blog post title.)

I will admit, Disney has a tendency to occasionally fill empty space in it's parks with "playgrounds" that have often been less than exciting, but not this one.  Explorer Mickey, our own 12-year old intrepid-adventurer-in-training, calls the Boneyard his "favorite playground in the world".  And for good reason.  It is really quite cool.

by Dave McBride (@RadioHarambe)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Building a Bigger and Better Harambe

I have spent the last few episodes of Radio Harambe gushing over something which I have only seen a few incomplete glimpses of, an usually thing for a pessimist such as myself.  I usually wait to see something myself, but between the handful of photos, both official and a few from "over the walls", and the artist rendering released late last week, the “New Harambe” has me absolutely giddy to get back to Disney's Animal Kingdom.

You see, I love what Joe Rohde does for Disney, that’s not secret.  It’s because when Rohde hits his stride, he turns what he designs into a cultural window onto the far reaches of the world.  Capturing history and culture is what Rohde does best and it seems in this theater, and its surroundings, he has achieved that goal once again.

A while back, Safari Mike and I wrote extensively about the history and backstory of Harambe, the imaginary port town along the East African coast which makes up the Africa “land” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  And what we found is that even though Harambe might not be a real place in Africa, it most certainly embodies the culture and history of the country’s from which Rohde took his inspiration, specifically Kenya and Tanzania.  However, as with any big edition or change to the Disney Parks, one must worry about imagineering’s tendency to often “relax” the themes and aesthetics a bit to make the practical or profitable work.  But that tendency seems to not be present here at all.  In fact, they have even enhanced the story.

Fort Jesus in Mombasa, Kenya
The history of the coast of East Africa is a story of a global cultural melting pot.  Fort Jesus, in the Old Port of Mombasa in Kenya, is an icon of that rich history.  King Phillip I of Portugal commissioned the building of the fort in 1598.  Over the following centuries, Fort Jesus has been under the control of not only the Portugese, but also Arab, British and Swahili forces, and all of those cultures are reflected in the site we see today.  Mombasa was one of the most important ports on the planet for centuries, and Fort Jesus has loomed over traders and immigrants from across the globe.

It is that story, that confluence of people, that made East Africa such a fascinating place to Joe Rohde.  So much so, that if you can’t see the influence Fort Jesus had on the design of the new Festival of the Lion King theater than you aren’t looking close enough.  Building a giant theater in a small coastal village was a concept we were quite worried about, but not any more.

Fort Jesus in Mombasa, Kenya
Back in October of 2013, I wrote a post here called “Construction Walls Make Me Nervous”, about how recent changes and editions to Disney theme parks have as often been aesthetic misses than hits, how corporate synergy and cross-marketing have often turned “plussing”into “misus-ing”.  But that certainly does not seem the case here.  The “New Harambe” may, in fact, be not just a bigger but also a better Harambe.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

To all our listeners who are moms and to all our favorite mothers who live at Disney's Animal Kingdom, we wish you a Happy Mother's Day!

For a few more incredibly adorable mom and baby photos, head over to our Disney Photo Safari page and have a look.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Tour of the New Harambe

Lets take a little tour of the new area of Harambe. Today, there was cast member preview of the theater and, as we posted earlier, there was even a Disney Parks Blog showing you some of the insides of the building itself.

As you can see, the seating is very much the same. In fact, I am hearing it IS the same exact seating as they just transported the old bleachers. The ceiling looks a bit better.

Some fun news: The elephant float may have a water feature. The Pumba puppet was also redesigned for easier use.

So that's an entrance. Very similar to the old look. The queue, however, is now covered.

But we look down the road, things are not done. Behind those walls is the rest of the area including the additional building on the water. It is also going to be a path that eventually leads to Avatarland without the need to cross through Discovery Island.

Cast members were able to see a map of the area. Nothing spectacular but this does help you get a sense of the lay out. The new theater is in brown while the old Harambe section is to the right.

And there is a new store: Mariya's Souvenirs.

It does seem that imagineers have done their best to keep the spirit of Harambe alive with little touches like these advertisements and brand new posters.

And here is a spot near the back of the Tusker House so you can get a sense of space.

And my favorite little touch: the bench signifying Harambe's independence achieved in 1961 is back!

Finally, apparently, some of the future stars of Winged Encounters made an appearance in Harambe.

I hope you enjoyed this little behind the scenes tour. Its opening soon.

By Safari Mike

FastPass+ Only Meet and Greet Coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom

This weekend will mark the final appearance of Winne the Pooh and Tigger for character Meet and Greets at the Character Landing on Discovery Island.  According to the Touring Plans Blog, the area will be handed over to Donald and Daisy for FastPass+ exclusive Meet and Greet.

Allow me to rant a bit.  I honestly do not understand the virtue of a FastPass+ ONLY character Meet and Greet.  I mean, if you have a time scheduled you go next, simple as that.  But if you do not have a time scheduled, why should you be turned away?  Having said that, anyone who listens to Radio Harambe will know by now how I feel about FastPass+, so take that with a pinch of salt...

by Dave McBride (@RadioHarambe)

Disney Gives Us A Look Inside the New FOTLK Theater

This morning, the Disney Parks Blog released a short video "tour" from inside the new Festival of the Lion King Theater.  Have a look...

From what we can see here, while the staging area certainly looks bigger, the sets have remained basically unchanged.  Also, we thought the floats might be redesigned or improved but they appear to be the same as well.  Perhaps Disney is just trying not too spoil a surprise with this video, but from what little info we can gather it appears the show is remaining largely the same, at least aesthetically.

But what is not remaining the same aesthetically is the show building, and along with this video Disney released our first official photograph of the new theater's exterior...

This looks terrific, there is no other way to say it.  As far as I am concerned, the design of this exterior is perfect!  Bravo Imagineers, Bravo!

by Dave McBride (@RadioHarambe)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

“Winged Encounters — The Kingdom Takes Flight” Debuts This Summer

This morning Disney announced a “new animal experience” coming this summer to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  It is called “Winged Encounters — The Kingdom Takes Flight” and it is described as a show with “flocks of macaws in a kaleidoscope of colors flying over and around the heart of the park — Discovery Island”.  However, in true Disney fashion that is all the information we can pass along.

But truth be told, the idea for this show is not a new one.  In November of last year, as part of the Flights of Wonder pre-show”, I saw what could only described as a smaller version of this very same concept.  The photo above was taken from that pre-show.

Flights of Wonder usually entertains guests before opening the theater by having a handler bring out an impressive bird and talk to the audience a bit.  But on this occasion, a cast member told us to look down the path towards Africa, and on cue these two macaws came flying towards the theater.  The “oohs and aahs” were probably enough to make them think they were on to something.

by Dave McBride (@RadioHarambe)

Disney's Animal Kingdom News Round-Up for May 7, 2014: Runners and Retirement

Mickey’s Jammin Jungle Parade Heads Towards Retirement:  It is almost time to say farewell to Mickey’s Jammin' Jungle Parade, the afternoon event which has been taking place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom since 2001.  The parade is scheduled to make its final run on May 31.

While I am admittedly not much of a parade guy, I am going to miss this one.  To me, it is the most underrated of all the Disney Parks parades and has always been a favorite of mine.  It is fun and, since it never had the fanfare of the Magic Kingdom parades, it was usually pretty easy to find a good viewing spot.

Expedition Everest Challenge Video:  This past weekend we had the running of the Expedition Everest Challenge over at DAK.  Over 5,000 people took place in this part-endurance run/part-scavenger hunt event.  Check out the Disney Parks Blog for a video.

Park Hours for this week are...

Wednesday: May 7 9am - 7pm (Extra Magic Hour 8-9am)
Thursday:  May 8  9am - 7pm
Friday: May 9  9am - 7pm
Saturday: May 10 9am - 7pm
Sunday: May 11  8am - 7pm
Monday: May 12  9am - 6pm (Extra Magic Hour 8-9am)
Tuesday: May 13  9am - 6pm

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

Attraction Closures:
Festival of the Lion King - closed until June 2014
Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade - scheduled to close permanently May 31 2014
It’s Tough To Be A Bug - Scheduled to Close from early-July through mid-August
Camp Minnie-Mickey - closed permanently

Have A Wild Time this week!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Episode 29 of Radio Harambe - News Special

That's right DAK fans, you get TWO episodes this week!  But that's only because right after we recorded episode 28, and I mean like a few hours later, Disney decided to release tons of news and art regarding the future of Disney's Animal Kingdom.  So on this special "all-news" episode, Dave and Safari Mike discuss the aesthetics of the new theater, more details on Harambe Nights and get excited for the Rivers of Light.

There is also time at the end for Dave to rant about changes coming to the Polynesian.  Asante Sana!

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Fun in Queues: It's Tough to Be a Bug

Queues bring an added element to almost every Disney ride. In many ways, its what separates Disney parks  from your average theme park. Instead of plain old boring lines, Disney busts out storytelling and theming. Some lines tell part of the story, others incorporate the theme, and others do both. For the attraction It's Tough to be a Bug, its all about the pun.

Its starts, the queue that is, by getting you up close to the Tree of Life itself. You see animals that are virtually or actually impossible to see from elsewhere. One such animal is David Greybeard, the chimpanzee. As the story goes, Jane Goodall herself asked for a chimp on the tree, and the imagineers delivered with the only sculpture that was based on an actual animal. Someday, perhaps, I will tell more of that story but for now I leave you this picture of the beautiful chimp who millions of people read about.

Inside the theater is a waiting room. It really feels like you are under the Tree in the roots. Where, of course, you would find bugs aplenty. Its also here where imagineers' senses of humor took over in a flood of puns.

Here are some of my favorites. You often don't spend too much time in here but its a perfect amount to walk around and read the posters. All plug in bug terminology for famous movies. So, Enjoy

Yes, its puns galore. Movie titles like "The Grass Menagerie" and "Web Side Story" fill the theater. Now, don't forget, when this attraction opened, it would be 7 months before the movie, A Bug's Life, would open in theaters nationwide, which makes this attraction somewhat unique. So Disney didn't want to give away any spoilers, not could they be entirely sure what the movie would encompass as this was being developed. So the queue also couldn't really involve the plot of the movie.

Also, notice the reference to the Tree of Life Repertory Theatre. A repertory theatre is one wherein a group of actors play stock shows usually in a rotation. So these are the shows you will get at this theater one supposes.

By Safari Mike

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Episode 28 of Radio Harambe, Featuring a Full Review of the Yak and Yeti

In the feature section of this week's episode, Dave and Safari Mike answer a listener's request to offer up a full review of the Yak and Yeti Restaurant.  The boys talk about the food, decor, and Dave's favorite place to eat during a solo WDW trip.

Before that, they also discuss the news from Disney's Animal Kingdom and the rest of Walt Disney World, including Harambe Nights, Lion King Merchandise, and even a bit about Star Wars and the Seven Dwarfs.

The very next day after the gus recorded this show, Disney released tons of new concept art and information regarding number of different stories.  So stay tuned this week for special supplemental episode.

Asante Sana and Enjoy!

First Look at the New Harambe

For months and months, all we have been able to see of the new and expanded Harambe has been a view like the below photo.  Sure, every now and again some intrepid blogger has managed to reach a camera over the wall but, between large vehicles and big tarps, we still have not had a complete idea of what we can expect.

But this week we finally got an peek of what designers actually have in mind for the new Festival of the Lion King theater and its surroundings as Disney released this piece of concept art...

I certainly feared this expansion could spell an end to the Spanish Fort ruins, an integral part of the backstory of Harambe.  But it seems they have brilliantly expanded on that concept and have even added some terrific elements to the waterfront to enhance it.

The biggest thing we can say about this little sneak peek into the new Harambe is that we are certainly getting much more than just a theater.  There are buildings and doors all over the place here, including carts and a few architectural elements that look to be separate from the theater.  This is getting very exciting, as it seems Rohde and his team have pulled off something altogether fitting and gorgeous.

by Dave McBride (@RadioHarambe)