Monday, October 27, 2014

Doing Halloween at Animal Kingdom

For a couple of years now, Disney has been doing an event in late October called, DAK after Dark. The event is one night after the park closes and is for cast members only. No pictures are allowed so it's hard to know exactly what's going on but it sounds like a lot of fun from I gathered, and something maybe Disney should start doing for guests during the Halloween season.

During this night, there is a costume contest at the Theater in the Wild. The contest includes four categories: Funny, Scary, Group and, of course, Disney lookalike. There is a "scare zone" somewhat along the lines of the Horror Nights that are so popular over at Universal Studios, and of which there is nothing similar at the Magic Kingdom Event. Over in Dinoland, there were games, pumpkin carvings and prizes. At the beginning of the event there was educational elements about some of the most feared animals - like snakes and spiders.

All of this sounds like it could be a fantastic event for the public with some tweaks - first and foremost, rides would have to be running. Everest is amazing at night and all three rides in Dinoland could function which would disperse some crowds. Of course, It's Tough be a Bug is a must for the  event. Also, entertainment like the Burudika band and Viva Gaia would be needed. They could easily add food booths like those used at the Sundowner festival that ran a few years back to offer some unique items. And perhaps some holiday specific ones, as well.

The park, as we have talked about so often, is designed so well for night time touring. The lighting is low, and mysterious and sets the perfect mood for this kind of event. The paths - like the Cretacuous Trail in Dinoland or the Tree of Life Gardens are perfect spots for some spooky fun.

And what's scarier than Dinos. Maybe they could even amp up the effects (most notably the sound) that was toned down a few years back to make Dinosaur even scarier. And when walking through the area, wouldn't it be such fun to hear dinosaurs calls in the distant and maybe not so distant. And the Chester and Hester area could remain one more for kids, with games and contests.

The theme of Disney's Animal Kingdom is the relationship between man and nature. And certainly the relationship has long been in part one of fear. Man has feared animals like snakes, spiders, owls, bats, wolves and more. Walking along those dark paths with piped in sounds of a forest at night would be spooky as hell. You could even make use of things like werewolves and dragons - animals invented by man's mind thanks to the fear of the unknown.

Pumpkins could also play a big role. A pumpkin carving contest is, of course, a no brainer. But there some extremely elaborate displays around the country - that could be a lot of fun. Keep Rafiki's open, and put all of that there, but make the Wildlife Express to the area, a bit on the spooky side. Overall, I want this event a little scarier than Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party but not near the events of Universal. A happy medium if you will. And maybe there could even be some rare animal based character meet and greets there - like the Big Bad Wolf, of course.

And Animal Kingdom is perfect for this, at least now. As far as we can tell, Rivers of Light is not happening until March 2016 at the earliest. That means the park will still be closing relatively early next Autumn, With the huge success of Harambe Nights this past summer, this would seem like a good idea to try out.

By Safari Mike

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