Friday, July 31, 2015

Happy Big Cat Day!

Perhaps the best way to celebrate Big Cat Day is by posting some of our favorite photos of big cats from Disney's Animal Kingdom...

The one animal everyone wants to see when on their two-week safari at the Harmbe Wildlife Reserve is a lion, and we have had a few chances over the years to photograph these gorgeous cats.

You may need to look closely, and get creative with your focus, but if you pick the right time of day you will get a nice image. Even if it is one of a sleepy guy. A sleeping lion is still an impressive animal.

The centerpiece exhibit of the Maharajah Jungle Trek is devoted to the greatest cat in all of Asia, the tiger. These days you will find a Sumatran Tiger, one of the most endangered tigers on the planet.

In years past, this area was home to Asian Tigers, a cross-breed species of tiger found in captivity all over the world. These guys really knew how to strike a pose.

And I didn't want to only salute the big cats found at Disney's Animal Kingdom, but also a favorite of mine, Safari Mike and even Joe Rohde. The incredible snow leopard, pictured here at the Bronx Zoo, is on the top of my wish list for new animals at DAK.


By Dave McBride (@RadioHarambe)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

News Roundup for July 29, 2015: More models and big cats

More Avatarland Coming:  D23 is coming up in a couple of weeks and it has been confirmed that we should be getting more details on the new land coming to the Animal Kingdom. There will be an exhibit called "60 years on Innovation" on the floor. This, according to the event release, will have models, exhibits and images on display. For guests heading to D23, the exhibit will be in Hall C.

Big Cat Day: Coming this Thursday, July 30th, is Big Cat Day. As per usual, the event focuses on Rafiki's Planet Watch. There guests can will be able to identify tiger calls, color masks based on local tribes' masks, learn about cheetah-human conflicts and learn about what it takes to care for big cats in the park as well as other activities. So if you are in the park tomorrow, go over and enjoy this small but well done event.

Photo by Aruna Mohan

Park Hours for this week are....
Wednesday July 29 9am-7pm (Extra Magic Hour 8am to 9am)
Thursday July 30 9am- 7pm
Friday July 31 9am- 6pm
Saturday August 1 9am- 6pm
Sunday August 2 9am- 6pm (Extra Magic Hour 8am to 9am)
Monday August 3 9am- 7pm
Tuesday August 4 9am- 7pm

Check out the Kenny the Pirate for the entertainment schedule

Have a Wild Time

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Disney's Animal Kingdom News Round-Up for July 22, 2015: Does Your Theme Park Do This?

Does Your Theme Park Do This?: This week’s Wildlife Wednesday post on the Disney Parks Blog was one of those stories that reminds us just why we love Disney’s Animal Kingdom, as if we needed reminding. It’s a story about an injured turtle and some creatives uses for Legos!

Rivers of Light Amphitheater?: has some great photos this week of the construction area around the water in Asia, where the Rivers of Light show will take place. It appears amphitheater style viewing is now taking shape over there.

Park Hours for this week are...

Wednesday: July 22 9am -7pm (Extra Magic Hour 8 - 9am)
Thursday: July 23  9am - 7pm
Friday: July 24  9am -7pm
Saturday: July 25  9am - 6pm
Sunday: July 26 9am - 6pm (Extra Magic Hour 8 - 9am)
Monday: July 27  9am - 7pm
Tuesday: July 28  9am - 7pm

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

Attraction Closures:
Disney Outfitters: expansion work until November 2015
Maharajah Jungle Bat Exhibits: closed until mid/late July

Have A Wild Time this week!!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Bye Bye Anteater

There have been rumors of the anteater exhibit getting a new animal for quite some time. Friend of the blog Belle (follow on twitter @belle599) got us some photos of the now empty exhibit.

For those that don't know, the anteater exhibit is in the Oasis along the left path when walking towards the park.

I don't think this is a simple makeover and the anteater will at some point return. Generally speaking when that occurs, Disney puts out a small sign signifying a reburb. But here..

As you can see, they have covered up the anteater signage. I think this is very likely the beginnings of a new animal exhibit. But what?

The anteater's old sleeping spot
 We have heard rumblings that Disney might try to go for something a little more exciting here. The philosophy of the land to date was low key. Smaller animals in a quiet place.

Now granted in an exhibit like the one above, you aren't going to be able to have a gorilla troop or a rhino family. But it is fairly large. If you want action, you can't do better than primates, like the lemurs or tamarins on Discovery Island. But generally you need netting or an island to keep the guys in the exhibit. They don't have that here. I am thinking a smaller predator, particularly a cat, like an ocelot or serval would do well. It might even be large enough for a larger cat like a jaguar. People love wild kitties and that would work great.

By Safari Mike

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Episode 63 of Radio Harambe - Mapping the Future of DAK With the Past of DCA

Dave and Safari Mike are joined by their friend Kevin Crossman to discuss the future of Disney’s Animal Kingdom by looking back at the recent past of Disney’s California Adventure. They also discuss the news from DAK, and the rest of Walt Disney World, and Dave plays another round of "Guess that Price"!

Please email any questions or comments you have to, or tweet us @RadioHarambe. Thank you for listening and enjoy!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Walk around the new Flame Tree BBQ

Friend of the blog, Melena Perry has sent along some great photos of the recently reopened Flame Tree Barbecue. Melena helped us out after Starbucks opened and is helping us again.

The counters looks the same but the menu has some new additions

#5 and #6 are different, the jerk chicken and watermelon salads. They have also thrown in what is now a DAK signature,  alcoholic lemonade. This one being a mandarin orange vodka type.

The major change here is the covering where you order. You used to be left out in the elements as you waited on line.

Now there is plenty of space to queue up and be covered.

The color schemes where you order are still bright and vibrant.

Outside, however, seems a bit more subdued. The seating area looks relatively the same.


As you can see, there are no covered walkways.

The view is still great of Everest.

It will have a nice look at the Rivers of Light. I suspect this will be a sought after seat.

All in all, the place looks great

And the ape is still there

By Safari Mike

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Photo for Today: The Real Bamboo

Say the word, Bamboo, and many folks might think of the ill begotten walk around character that was even worse than DeVine. But I think of this stuff.....

These plants grow fast. And I say plants because you may think there are trees, but they are not. Bamboo is the largest member of the grass family and are some of the fastest growing plants on Earth. Plus, pandas love it.

By Safari Mike

Shanghai Disneyland: It must be nice.

This week Disney has come out with some more details about the new Asian park, Shanghai Disneyland which is set to open next year. Bob Iger in a press event brought out a big beautiful model of the place. And yes, it looks great. The Storybook Castle looks huge. The Pirates themed land should be entertaining. But we pretty much knew about those.

There are some things that we are learning about now. For example, it seems Shanghai is going to have a great Tomorrowland if you can believe that. The Tron light cycle coaster seems truly innovative, and aesthetically fantastic. I wish the WDW version of the land was getting this look.

But more importantly for the Animal Kingdom, the park will have a land called Adventure Isle that looks like it belongs in our park. Look at the lushness and beauty of the place from the concept art below. It has a giant mountain with cascading waterfalls and an attraction called Roaring Rapids.

Photo Copyright by Disney

The backstory seems so Animal Kingdom-ish too. Rafts take guests into caves where they will discover the secrets of an ancient tribal legend and a giant crocodile dino looking monster. The back story of the land itself is said to revolve around a civilization that thrived years ago and was discovered by SEA, the Society of Explorers and Adventurers. Dammit I had this idea almost a year ago to the day. Argh.

Photo Copyright by Disney

It so nice to see Imagineering flexing their Imagineering muscles. The attraction looks amazing and has nothing to do with any IP. Instead, it seems well themed all on its own.

Mythical creatures, ancient civilizations, exploring - right in the Animal Kingdom wheelhouse too. Why does Shanghai have to get all these nice things?

By Safari Mike

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

News Roundup for July 15, 2015: Constipation and Jerk chicken

No More Poop: After debating the appropriateness of having candy "poop" at DAK, the novelty item was pulled from Zuri's Sweet Shop after only a few days. Although not confirmed by Disney, it is apparently due to guest complaints. The official Disney stance is they were testing the items and have no plans to bring them back.

Flame Tree Reopens: The counter service restaurant has reopened. The main addition has been more shading where you order which was sorely needed. If there was any kind of line, you were either stuck out in the blazing sun or in the rain. They are also adding covering to some of the pathways so you can get your food to a table without being exposed too much to the elements. I mean who wants to eat soggy ribs. This will continue to be worked into the future. The look has remained including the whimsical color scheme and the predator/prey designs. There are 2 new items, however. Jamaican jerk chicken salad and a watermelon salad have been added. The watermelon salad includes arugula, red onions, feta and a vinaigrette for a somewhat interesting vegetarian option.

Musical Kiosks: With the closing of the Flame Tree, a lot of the options from that eatery were distributed throughout the kiosks at the park. The Discovery Island Ice Cream kiosk had been transformed into the Allergy Friendly kiosk. That remains true with Dino Bites being the only place to secure the amazing ice cream sandwiches. The Garden kiosk - which had been the allergy friendly spot- now has new salads including a Trek Power salad (quinoa, beets, edamame, and citrus) and a Farmers salad (blueberries, candied pecans and goat cheese). Both seem to be interesting options and come in cartons (not unlike those used to served Chinese food). Over at Trilo-Bites, the turkey leg has returned to Flame Tree and in its place the buffalo chicken waffle has come back in the form of a slider, which now makes it a dining credit snack, and from all appearances makes a more than adequate small meal. Finally, the nearby Beastly Kiosk continues to sell Mickey and Jalapeno cheese pretzels, but it also now serves baked pasta marinara with mozzarella and lobster mac n cheese. And like the slider, they are snack credits and make for a great smaller lunch option. Ok, now I'm hungry....

Park Hours for this week are....
Wednesday July 15 9am-7pm (Extra Magic Hour 8am to 9am)
Thursday July 16 9am- 7pm
Friday July 17 9am- 7pm
Saturday July18 9am- 5pm
Sunday July 19 9am- 7pm (Extra Magic Hour 8am to 9am)
Monday July20 9am- 6pm
Tuesday July 21 9am- 7pm

Check out the Kenny the Pirate for the entertainment schedule

Maharajah Jungle Bat Exhibits: June 15th until mid/late July

Have a Wild Time 

By Safari Mike 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

More tidbits on the DAK expansion

Recently, Avatarland and the rest of the Disney Animal Kingdomexpansion got a bit of play in the national media. The LA Times wrote a piece on what to expect from the upcoming additions. The vast majority of the article is news we have known for sometime but there were a few additional nuggets.

From the beginning there has been a fear that the boat ride experience would get cut from the project leaving one ride for the land. And let's be honest, many times in recent years Disney has built a land with just one major ride. Well, this article does seem to confirm that boat ride is being built. It is referenced as a D-ticket similar to Pirates of the Caribbean. The E-ticket, which we have been calling Soarin' Over Pandora, was dubbed as being more thrilling than the Epcot original. Joe Rohde was quoted as saying same.

But there were some other details that are just as fascinating our purposes. Rivers of Light was referenced, as well. The author noted that the production was being developed along with Cirque de Soleil and the company behind the famed fountains of the Bellagio resort in Vegas. And interesting team up for sure. It also specifically says the production is similar to the World of Color - which makes sense from what we have gathered so far.

Image copyright by Disney

And finally, most intriguing to me, is more on the Avatar section of the park. The article states that the land will be a mix of dense jungle foliage (no kidding), floating mountains (still wanna see them pull that off) and the ruins of a military base. Wait...What? They also go on to say that one area will be themed as the Pandora Area Landing station that could be home to a quick service restaurant, and I would add, gift shop.

We have said from the beginning that one issue for the land is architecture - since there is none of it on Pandora. Without buildings, where would people eat, or shop, or go to the bathroom. Well, apparently there will be a landing station and an ruined army base which would, of course, answer that question. I am not sure how I feel about the army aspect being put into the park but they need to sell plush and burgers somewhere I suppose.

More to follow I am sure

By Safari Mike

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Photo for today: the Maharajah's Ruins

The Maharajah jungle trek is one of the most immersive experiences in any Disney park. Here there is a detailed story of the people and rulers of Anandapur. We have covered this in detail on the blog and on Radio Harambe.

So here is a great picture of the old hunting lodge of the maharajahs. The forest and time have retaken the crumbling ruins. Where once tigers were hunted, now they reign supreme. And the people of the area embrace nature and have placed prayer flags. 

By Safari Mike and Brooke (credit for the picture)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Photo for Today: bird bath at Maharajah

The details of the jungle trek are amazing. Here is a bird bath. It looks like it has been here for centuries. The birds love it. 

When going through the aviary at the jungle trek, take a moment and soak in the details like this. They tell the story of the maharajahs and Anandapur.

By Safari Mike