Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Posters of Anandapur: Bhaktapur Market

Anandapur sometimes gets the short shrift when compared to its neighbor, Harambe. We have spent quite a bit of time discussing the backstory of the fictional African Village, and spent a lot of time showing you some of the poster artwork of the area.

One area of Ananapur that we don't spend near enough time discussing is the Bhaktapur Market. That is, the hustle and bustle around the Yak & Yeti Local Foods counter service, the outdoor seating and the small shops all around.

Prayer flags are big in Anandapur

Like any good market, there is a lot of advertising and the Bhaktapur is no exception. There are plenty of poster ads all around, so lets take a look at some of them.

Rajam Match Works is an actual Indian company

A great poster, and one found throughout the Asia section of the park

This lumber company figures prominently in the Kali River Rapids

They put posters everywhere here

Promoting the local eatery

No you can't actually buy fireworks here

So next time you are enjoying this area of the park, check out some of these fantastic elements of theming.

By Safari Mike 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Episode 77 of Radio Harambe: Our 2016 DAK Wishlists!

In keeping with the New Year's tradition, Dave and Safari Mike offer up their wish list for what they hope to see at Disney's Animal Kingdom in 2016. They get 6 totals items on their lists; three little ones, two medium ones and one big-giant blockbuster wish.

They also offer one wish for the rest of Walt Disney World as well. If you have any comments or questions please email us at Asante Sana!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Here Comes Zootopia

Disney 's new animated feature is set to debut in just a few weeks, March 4th to be exact. The film is set in a fictional world where animals live and talk like humans. Its apparently a buddy cop kind of story set around a policewoman bunny rabbit and a conman fox. The trailers, frankly, look great. And, Disney will be rolling out the hype machine soon including some in-park stuff. One thing Disney has done in recent years is show an extended trailer in the parks and that is happening now at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Disney also announced some interesting features to debut at Rafiki's Planet Watch on January 29th. An exhibit will show how animators researched animal behavior for 18 months in preparation for the movie. Some of that time was actually spent at the theme park. How this is going to be shown is unclear, but they did provide a peak at the concept of the exhibit on the parks blog.

It looks like it will mostly be some graphics depicting the research done. As well as a look at some of the characters. Nothing more than some photos and cardboard really.

Typically, these type of advertisement/exhibits end shortly after the movie begins. At this point, the plan is to keep the exhibit going through at least April 22nd, Earth Day. The question becomes what if this movie is a big hit. Will there be a permanent presence of Zootopia in a theme park? If there is it seems the most likely park would be the Animal Kingdom, and the most likely area would be Rafiki's Planet Watch. So stay tuned.

Monday, January 18, 2016

AKL Art Spotlight: Yoruba Royal Crown

The Yoruba are a large ethnic group from Nigeria. There are approximately 40 million people of this ethnicity. They make up about 20% of Nigeria's population and there are significant numbers found throughout that part of Africa. They are also one of the most urbanized people on the continent, having formed cities centuries before the arrival of European colonizers.

To say the Yoruba has a rich mythology would be an understatement. They also have a strong artistic style, which was generally considered more "realistic" than other art forms on the continent. They used a lot of art in their formal proceedings, particularly when it involved royalty. This piece is a crown used in ceremonies by a king from Nigeria.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Disney Animal Kingdom News for January 13, 2016: Willie!!!

Baby Marmoset: Its always fun to see babies and Rafiki's Planet Watch has gotten a new one. A small little primate called a Geoffrey's marmoset was born a the park. The gender has yet to be determined as staff has left the infant alone with its caring parents. This species is native to the Brazilian rain forest.

photo courtesy of Disney

New dishes at Sanaa: One of my favorite places to eat not only in Disney but on the planet is Sanaa. The cuisine is an African-Indian fusion replicating the famed spice road between the two areas. The bread service, tomato paneer soup and slow cooked in gravy items are absolutely killer. Recently, there were new dishes added to this place. Boerewors and Slaphakskeentjies (you should get it free if you correctly pronounce it) is basically African sausages and an onion salad. Another item is sosatie, which is skewered lamb and apricots and served with squash, bacon, cashews and goat cheese. And there is a new Kenyan coffee BBQ sandwich at lunch, as well.

Welcome Willie: Rafiki's Planet Watch has another new resident, and he's adorable. Willie the aardvark is now appearing at times on the stage next to the Conservation Station. He is being trained (hence the harness) for appearances on the stage in the future. This small stage regularly holds shows geared towards the younger crowd featuring live animals and adding an aardvark will be a very good thing. They are so unusual and fascinating. And now, you can go up and actually meet Willie, and who wouldn't want a meet and greet with Willie.

photo courtesy of Disney

Park Hours for this week are....
Thursday January 14 9am- 5pm
Friday January 15 9am- 5:30pm
Saturday January 16 8am-  6pm Extra Magic Hour in the Morning
Sunday January 17 8am- 8pm
Monday January 18 9am- 8pm
Tuesday January 19 9am- 5pm
Wednesday January 20 9am- 5pm

Monday, January 11, 2016

Another lounge coming to DAK

One thing is certain, you can never have enough lounges. At one time, there were really only 2 bars: the small lounge at the Yak & Yeti and the Dawa. Recently, they have added a counter service bar to the Harambe Market and added the Thirsty River Bar over by Everest.  And now Disney has announced another, perhaps even more interesting bar. The Nomad lounge will be coming to Discovery Island in the spring. It will be adjacent to the already announced Tiffin's restaurant.

Remember when Yak & Yeti has the only sit down bar?

Like many of the lounges at Disney, there will be several hand crafted cocktails unique to this establishment. The theme, like the nearby restaurant, will be flavors from Africa, Asia and South America. This will include the beer and wine list, so that's good.

Dawa now has some competition

Perhaps, most interesting is also the announcement that there will be an assortment of small plates. It should come as no surprise that a Disney lounge would have some tapas as that seems to be the trend, like Tutto Gusto or some of the resort bars. But again, these will feature food from Africa, Asia and South America.

Friday, January 8, 2016

The Lion Guard comes to DAK - for a little bit

Disney announced today that a new kids' interactive game is coming, albeit briefly, to Disney's Animal Kingdom. On February 7, young guests will begin searching for the 5 members of the new Disney show, the Lion Guard. There will be cut outs of the characters for photo ops and the kids will get a special button upon completion of the game.

photo by Aruna Mohan
The experience is set to end in late March. Although I suppose if its a big hit it could stick around for longer. One thing is for sure, it seems similar (although much smaller in scale) to the Wilderness Explorer's game. Also, the game promises to encourage protecting animals so that can't be a bad thing.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

National Bird Day

Its National Bird Day. So here are some photos from Disney's Animal Kingdom to celebrate it.
Ostriches on the Safari
Victoria Crowned pigeon at Pangani
Flamingoes at the Lodge
Beautiful exhibit at the Oasis

Winged Encounters

Have a great day

Friday, January 1, 2016

2015, The DAK Year in Pictures

A quick look through pictures on the blog of the year that was 2015 for Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Yea, I met Joe

The year started off with a lot of walls
At the time we had no idea that new roots were being installed
And soon after we got a new cotton top tamarin exhibit
Walls walls everywhere

The biggest edition of the year was Harambe Market
The details were amazing

They also began building the sunset safari 
Zuri's sweets came to complete the new Market area
lots of goodies 
The Starbucks also opened in June 

Flame Tree got a refurb and paint job

New darker tones were added to Discovery Island 
Then along came D23
With Pandora models and brochures
And a backstory
Rivers of Light construction is getting closer to completion

The hyenas were on exhibit by the end of the year
New stores and bars were added towards the end of 2015
And so were floating mountains 
2016 should be a great year for the park, and hopefully, for the blog and podcast.


Safari Mike