Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year to Everyone

All of us at Jambo Everyone want to wish you a Happy New Year and enjoy 2016. 2015 might have been the Year of the Construction Wall. But 2016 will see some of all that come to fruition.

A big event this year was the opening of Harambe Market

This time next year, our beloved Animal Kingdom will be a different park, with a sunset safari, a signature restaurant, AND a night capping, show stopping event.

photo courtesy of Disney

We can't wait to cover it all in the coming months. So thank you for following the last year and hope to see you in 2016!

Asante Sana

By Safari Mike

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Disney's Animal Kingdom News Roundup for December 23, 2015: Menu changes and closings

Park Closures: Typically, once the holiday season is over, there are a string of refurbishments, and this year is no different. Those closures are set to begin on Monday, January 4th. We previously told you about the Kali River shutting down for 5 weeks. We now know Disney Outfitters is closing until mid-March for an extensive refurbishment, with most of the merchandise being sold at the newly opened Riverside Depot. The Maharajah Jungle Trek is being shut down for quick two week refurb.

Pizzafari Menu Update: In a classic case of "About Time Already", Pizzafari has switched from that awful frozen pizza to handcrafted pizza. The choices are cheese, pepperoni, meat lovers and Mediterranean (which has toppings like kalamata olives and feta cheese). The eatery continues to carry a meatball sub, pasta Bolognese and salads. From the reviews I have seen, the pizza is a definite and substantial upgrade.

Crowds: Yea, the park is really crowded. But on the bright side, that means the park is open well past sundown. So if you are at the resort for the holiday, make sure on one of these days, you check out Animal Kingdom after dark. Plus, Animal Kingdom does not have a lot of holiday décor, meaning its not as crowded as some of the other parks on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Take advantage of that too.

Park Hours for this week are....
Thursday December 24 8am- 7pm
Friday December 25 8am- 8:30pm (Extra Magic Hours 7am to 8am)
Saturday December 26 8am-  9pm
Sunday December 27 8am- 9pm
Monday December 28 8am- 9pm
Tuesday December 29 8am- 9pm
Wednesday December 30 8am- 9pm (Extra Magic Hours 7am to 8am)

Happy Holidays

Monday, December 21, 2015

DAK Theme Spotlight: The Anandapur Ice Cream Truck

The road to Serka Zong is busy with tourists. Many who have enjoyed the natural beauty that is Anandapur set their sights on the majestic mountains of Serka Zong not too far away. Everest is a popular destination.

So its no wonder that many small businesses have sprung up. Not just hotels and rest stops with plenty of supplies for the weary traveler. But ice cream too.

In an effort to attract as many would be mountaineers as possible, this truck is decorated to the hilt. Every inch has been covered with murals or metallic painted art, And not only is there animals like camels and tigers, but see if you can find the royal towers and tiger temple along the Chakranadi  River, i.e. the Kali River Rapids attraction.

By Safari Mike

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Disney's Animal Kingdom News Roundup for December 16, 2015: Some name changes

Thirsty River is Open: The Thirsty River Bar and Trek Snacks is now open for business. It is a full service bar, although it lacks any seating. There are some cool specialty drinks like the Pink Lotus and the Himalayan Ghost. There are draft beers including some craft beer selections on tap as well as by the bottle. There is a rather extensive snack selection although they are your typical Disney choices. However, there are some more substantive choices which are unique. There is a smoked turkey sandwich with red pepper mayo, the Banh Mi (roasted pork, pickled veggies, sriracha dressing), Som Tam (shrimp, papaya salad, crushed peanuts, chilis) and sushi. Limited but interesting.

What's in a Name?: New park maps are now being distributed. And for some reason, many of the kiosks have seen a name change. The old Gardens Kiosk is now the Smiling Crocodile. The Beastly Kiosk is now The Eight Spoon Café. The Discovery Island Kiosk is now Terra Treats. Over in Asia, Bradley Falls is now called the Caravan Outpost. And Upcountry (the margarita stand) is now called Warung Outpost. Sure, the names are a little more fun, but there has been no real changes to the selections.

Park Hours for this week are....
Thursday December 17 9am- 6:30pm
Friday December 18 9am- 6:30pm (Extra Magic Hours 8am to 9am)
Saturday December 19 8am-  7pm
Sunday December 20 8am- 7pm
Monday December 21 8am- 7pm
Tuesday December 22 8am- 7pm
Wednesday December 23 8am- 7pm (Extra Magic Hours 7am to 8am)

As you can see, with the holidays this coming week, park hours see a bit of an extension.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Episode 74 of Radio Harambe - Discovery River Boats

This week we travel back in time, way back to when Dinosaurs and Dragons prowled the river banks at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, as we take a look back at the Discovery River Boats. Dave and Safari Mike also discuss all the week's news from Disney's Animal Kingdom and the rest of Walt Disney World.

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

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Disney's Animal Kingdom News Roundup for December 9, 2015: Kali Refurb and new store

Kali River Refurb: As is often the case with water based attractions, the Kali River Rapids will go down in the middle of winter for a 5 week refurbishment. The closure will start on January 5th and end on February 11th. There will likely not be any noticeable differences once it reopens.


Riverside Depot is open for business: The new store is now open for business. It adds nearly 5,000 sq feet of retail space to its adjoining store, Disney Outfitters. The merchandise is fairly typical Disney stuff including plush toys, t-shirts and other items that can be found in many places throughout the park and beyond. This store combo (Disney Outfitters/Riverside Depot) is now basically the Mouse Gears of the Animal Kingdom.

Park Hours for this week are....
Thursday December 10 9am- 6pm
Friday December 11 9am- 6pm (Extra Magic Hours 8am to 9am)
Saturday December 12 8am-  6:30pm
Sunday December 13 8am- 6:30pm
Monday December 14 9am- 6:30pm
Tuesday December 15 9am- 6:30pm
Wednesday December 16 9am- 6pm (Extra Magic Hours 8am to 9am)

Have a Wild Time

Monday, December 7, 2015

The African Wild Dogs are on exhibit

Awhile ago, we reported that the safari was getting African Wild Dogs. Well, thanks to our friend Dan (follow him for great photos on twitter @NJ_Tree) , we now know the pack is on exhibit.

Apparently, the safari drivers are not even stopping for a good look. That is likely to allow the dogs to get used to the exhibit and the steady convoy of trucks full of people in mouse ears. It is a decent sized pack (I count at least 6 animals). In the wild, they sometimes have packs numbering 20. They are highly endangered so hopefully, there will be some pups soon.

By Safari Mike

Christmas Decor

Thanks to friend of the show and blog, Jeff (@braindud92) we have some great pictures of decorations from both Kidani Village and the Animal Kingdom. Lets start with the entrance of the park itself.

As you can see, there are still lots of cranes. But the booths look good:

On Discovery Island, there are plenty of decorations too:

Signs and posts are generally covered:

They look good at night and day:

Off to Harambe for some unique décor:

The look of the ornaments is unique. And in true Harambe style, what better object to use than a bicycle wheel?

Yes, the Jambo House tree is impressive, but so is the one at the underrated lobby at Kidani Village.

I love the lion heads and hats.

The décor at the Animal Kingdom is certainly more understated than at some of the other parks. And I think appropriately so. But its still beautiful and fun. So let me leave you with the Hip Joint and what the interns like to do at the Dino Institute:

Happy Holidays Everyone

Safari Mike

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Disney's Animal Kingdom News Roundup for December 2, 2015: More Fast Pass + and Booze

Flights of Wonder: This show was the only stage that was not part of the Fast Pass Plus lineup. Well, that is longer true. You can now select this wonderful show as one of your three choices. We are not sure why Disney felt the need to include this as an option. Frankly, it is never really filled to capacity so while we certainly love it, we do not recommend using a fast pass here.

Thirsty River Bar to open: Speaking of fast passes, the old FP kiosk for Expedition Everest is set to reopen as the Thirsty River Bar and Trek. It will serve beverages and snacks. It will not have seating, so it will not really be a bar, although it will serve alcohol. The drinks and, grab and go snacks are mostly to serve the River of Lights crowd as this is very close to the seating for the new night capping show. It is set to open on December 12th.

Park Hours for this week are....
Thursday December 3 9am- 6pm
Friday December 4 9am- 6pm (Extra Magic Hours 8am to 9am)
Saturday December 5 8am-  6:30pm
Sunday December 6 8am- 6:30pm
Monday December 7 9am- 5pm
Tuesday December 8 9am- 6pm
Wednesday December 9 9am- 6pm (Extra Magic Hours 8am to 9am)

Have a Wild Time

The floating mountains

Avatarland is getting closer and closer. They have recently begun the installation of the "floating" mountains of Pandora. Thanks to our friend, Jeff (follow him @braindud92 on twitter), we have some great detailed shots of the mountains being installed. So enjoy those, but first a look at the new construction wall art:

The background photo is of China, where they showed imagineers going to research what Pandora should look like. You also see the emphasis on the floating mountain that was installed here:

And no, its not really floating.

I'll be curious to see if this design will allow to rock a little, simulating floating. The details look great as you can see below.

There is a lot of stuff attaching these rocks. So I am thinking it will simulate floating.

And here is a night shot to leave you with

By Safari Mike

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Getting Ready for the Riverside Depot

We have been talking about this on Radio Harambe. The Riverside Depot is about to open to the public on December 8th.

We also know that it is not a re-branding of the Disney Outfitters but an all new shop attached to the old Outfitters.

However, we do the building's theme. Its is themed to animals in and around water. You will see fish, cranes, crocodiles and the like. All of the shops at the island have similar themes.

For example, the Island Mercantile, which is suppose to carry good from around the world, has animal designs representing critters that work like bees, camels and beavers. Disney Outfitters has animals from the four corners of the globe.

It makes sense something called Riverside Depot would showcase animals that live in or near water. Without knowing what it will sell (we are assuming at this point it will be standard Disney merch), we can't really say how much we like it, but we certainly like the aesthetic.

Thanks to friend of the blog, Jeff for these great pictures. Follow him on Twitter @braindud92

By Safari Mike