Thursday, April 28, 2016

Episode 85 of Radio Harambe - Memorial Day Weekend 2016: The Start of a New Era at DAK

There has been a lot of big news released recently regarding Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Dave and Safari Mike are here to discuss it all. Memorial Day Weekend 2016 looks to be the start of a new era at the park and the guys will go through all the changes scheduled to take place that weekend. They also talk about some news from the rest of Walt Disney World and a new initiative being launched by the Disney Conservation Fund.
If you have any questions or comments regarding the show, feel free to email us at Asante Sana and enjoy the show!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Jungle Book Returning to the Animal Kingdom

Rivers of Light is broken. April 22nd, Earth Day and the 18th birthday of the park, was supposed to be a huge event kicking off not only the Rivers of Light but the night time version of the safaris, Tiifins and numerous new entertainment offerings. But as we now all know, the feature attraction of all that, the night capping event is delayed indefinitely.

Disney recently announced, however, a temporary stop gap- The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic which will start Memorial Day weekend. What do we know? Well for starters it is a limited time only event which makes sense since it will be on Discovery River. Obviously, it will use some the effects from Rivers of Light that are actually working. 

We also know it will based on the recent live action blockbuster not the classic animated film that was the basis for the opening day show, Journey into the Jungle Book. A stage show that was playing at the Theater in the Wild for the park's first year of existence. I expect this new version will be parts of the movie playing on water screens with music. 

Journey into the Jungle Book circa October 1998

It is clear that Disney is really concerned that it will be some time before Rivers of Light is operational. To go through the trouble of developing a filler show makes that conclusion quite clear. 

But at least starting Memorial Day weekend all of the other evening offerings will kick into gear. 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Disney's Animal Kingdom News for Earth Day 2016: Celebration and NewHours

Earth Day Celebration: Yes, it was supposed to be a much bigger day but there is still a celebration going on today. Joe Rohde was available for a signing of a new piece of art or a brand new coffee table book about the Fund.

New Night Hours finally announced: We all know about the delay to the Rivers of Light and Disney has delayed the beginning of its other evening events such as Kilimanjaro Safaris and the Tree of Life Awakenings.  However, with the release of the Jungle Book stop gap show in the Rivers of Light theater, Disney is ready to start late night hours. And boy are they late. Starting Friday May 27th until July 2nd, the park will be open until 11pm every single night. Tiffins has also been slated to open on May 27th.

photo courtesy of Disney

Fast Passes: Many of you are probably wondering about making fast passes for the night version of Kilimanjaro Safaris or the new Jungle Book show on the water. Fast passes will be available for the Jungle Book: Alive with Magic. Information will become available on May 20th for making fast passes for both new selections. It is believed at that time, you will be able to make fast pass plus selections for that.

Park Hours for this week are....
Friday April 22 9am- 6:30pm
Saturday April 23 8am-  6:30pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Sunday April 24 9am- 6:30pm
Monday April 25 9am- 6pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Tuesday April 26 9am- 6pm
Wednesday April 27 9am- 6pm
Thursday April 28 9am- 6pm

New program for Disney's Conservation Fund

Its the 20th anniversary of the launch of Disney's Conservation Fund. And in honor of that, a new program called Reverse the Decline, Increase the Time has begun.

The "increase the time" part of the program references the hopes Disney has in getting kids to spend more time in nature. This is a terrific idea. The more kids go out an explore their own backyards, the more, we hope, they will care about the Earth as a whole.

The other half of the new programs deals with specific animals. Disney wants to be involved to helping 10 animals through various programs. These animals are: elephants, rhinos, tigers, great apes, butterflies, sea turtles, tamarins, cranes, coral reefs, and chondrichthyes (i.e sharks and rays).

I am not sure how I feel about this program. Yes, it is true all of those species are in dire straits and deserve our attention. However, there are other animals - critters like the cheetah or honey bee- that need our help too. But then again, the idea is not only to protect those animals but their habitat, as well. Logically, if you protect a coral reef, you are protecting all of the species that live amongst it. If you protect the tiger, you likely protect all of the birds and bugs and what not that live in the jungle with it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Episode 83 of Radio Harambe - Dr Anne Savage, Conservation Director at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Today, Dave and Safari Mike have the honor of speaking to Dr. Anne Savage, the Executive Director and Proyecto Titi and the Conservation Director at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The guys get to ask Dr. Savage about her work with Cotton-top Tamarins, conservation issues throughout the world, and even talk about DAK quite a bit. If you have any questions or comments about the show, please email us at Asante Sana and enjoy the show!

Monday, April 11, 2016

You want back story, well its all in a bulletin board

There is a lot of back story in Dinoland USA. In fact, I would be hard pressed to identify another land in any Disney park with nearly as much detail in the back story. And, obviously, the vast majority of Disney park guests have no idea it exists. 

Disney, however, wants to help guests discovery those details. And right across from the Boneyard, there is a bulletin board with all sorts of fun posts. Lets look. 

Yes, that is some pun, "Diana Sore." The museum director needs some help and is taking applicants. The museum, as an FYI, is the queue of the Dinosaur attraction, so if you want to be the head of research, have at it. By the way, 3466 spells out Dino on your phone. 

Dr. Dunn is in charge of the interns, for more on them, check out our articles about Restaurantosaurus. Well, apparently, he is looking to take some interns to the Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado. As you can see Dr. Dunn is not exactly a fun loving sort. Take a look over at the restaurant and you will see a welcome letter from this same doctor as well as notes demanding interns stop swinging from the chandeliers.

This is a fantastic little note and one that shows the interns really don't heed Dr. Dunn, at all. Weinstein, an intern is looking for love and another intern nicknamed "Animal" (who is also referenced at Restaurantosaurus) is receptive. Of course, Dr. Dunn is none too pleased.

Some of the staff have posted very professional looking cards with their fields of expertise and their favorite quotes.

Both Drs. McGee and Woo make other "appearances" on this board. Dr. Woo also has a post up in the boneyard itself. There she instructs the interns about the importance of hip bones in classifying dinosaurs.

The interns love fun, and what could possibly be more than a smiling smilodon. The interns also post cut out pictures of how we used to think dinos stood (until that is, we discovered how important hip bones were) as well as dino knick knacks and stamps.

You want back story? Well, here is a big dose of it, This article talks about the new director of the Dino Institute, Dr. Helen Marsh. What's more is that details are provided on Dr. Marsh's new partnership with Chrono-Tech, a small company in nearby Arizona. Chrono-Tech specializes in "temporal peregrination and artifact recovery." I think we can all guess what that means, any more information would obviously be proprietary.

More fun here as Dr. McGee is looking for a yoga partner. Again, the interns have a little fun about a brachiosaurus.

Apparently there will be line dancing in the Boneyard in September.

The schedule does seem somewhat monotonous.

Remember Jenny? Apparently she is a specialist in group dynamics. And, who better to know a little about working in a group than Wayne Gretzsky? That is who this quote is from.

Jenny is also responsible for this hand drawn map. It shows Dinoland USA on the day it opened. She drew the map for guests because she can't show us around. On the map, Dinosaur is still called Countdown to Extinction. The chinese alligators have long since been replaced by an american crocodile. And finally there is the Fossil Preparation Lab and Dinosaur Jubilee which once stood where DinoRama sits today. At the lab, guests were able to see actual paleontologists working on Sue, the most complete T-Rex skeleton ever found, the original is now in the Field Museum in Chicago and a replica stands on the path leading to the Institute. Dinosaur Jubilee was a tent full of prehistoric skeletons (mostly but not exclusively dinosaurs).  Frankly, I miss both.

By Safari Mike

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Animal Kingdom News for April 7, 2016: Thanks and Birthdays

The Return of Wonder: With work on the theater just about done, Flights of Wonder will soon be returning to the schedule. The show should return on April 17th with the newly installed roof. The show will return unchanged.

A Thanks: Its nice to get some recognition for our stuff here and recently we got some unexpected compliments at WhatCulture, the online magazine. Radio Harambe was recognized as one of the 10 Disney podcasts you should be listening to. We are in esteemed company and quite a few excellent shows were not listed so, its an honor.  Also, we were lucky enough to guest on a recent episode of Modern Mouse Radio where Josh discussed with us the state of the park. Take a listen and subscribe to his fantastic show.

Happy Birthday EE: Today, April 7th, marks the 10th anniversary of the day Everest first opened up to the public. The attraction really changed the dynamic of the park. Soon, (hopefully) Rivers of Light will further change the dynamic for the better.

Park Hours for this week are....
Friday April 8 9am- 7pm
Saturday April 9 8am-  7pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Sunday April 10 9am- 6pm
Monday April 11 9am- 5:30pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Tuesday April 12 9am- 5:30pm
Wednesday April 13 9am- 5:30pm
Thursday April 14 9am- 6:30pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Panic Time? Rivers of Light delayed

I am sure you have all heard by now that Rivers of Light, which was slated to start on April 22nd, Earth Day and the 18th anniversary of the Animal Kingdom's opening, has been delayed indefinitely. As of now, all Disney has said is that by mid to late May, they hope to know more information. They are not saying that the show will launch then, they are not even saying they will know when it will begin by then.

So far, this is all we know, technical delays are pushing this back. In fact, Disney has recently attempted testing during park hours something they ordinarily would not do. Disney is also releasing a new promo commercial for the Awaken Summer campaign which features the Rivers of Light and Tree of Life quite prominently, so I can only assume they still plan to have this going by the summer sometime.

Disney has not confirmed the delay on the other night time events including the Tree of Life awakening show, the Sunset Safari and the various street parties/entertainment. However, those too are likely on hold at least for now.

Stay Tuned for more information.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Animal Kingdom News for Friday April 1, 2016: More on Tiffens and Moreon tours

New Tour: Disney will be starting a new exclusive tour at the Lodge. The tour is limited to 2 days a week, is limited to 12 people per tour, and is for guests over 10 years of age. It starts before Boma opens at 7:30 am and you get the buffet breakfast plus some exclusive tour only food items. You will also get a talk from a cast member from Africa about his or her homeland and some of the art at Boma. This is followed by a backstage safari with up close encounters with giraffe, okapi and ostriches. The tour is a hefty $250 although there is DVC and AP discounts.

Tiffins: Disney released some additional information about the upcoming Tiffins signature restaurant. We continue to hear it will open on April 22 along with Rivers of Light but I am not a believer. Along with some new concept art, Disney gave us some of the details behind the theming. It will hold 252 seats and contain three separate rooms: The Trek Gallery (Asia themed), The Safari Gallery (Africa themed), and the Grand Gallery (Animal themed). The latter pays homage to animals being helped by the Disney Conservation Fund, and you will be able to purchase a tag that supports the DCF. The adjacent Nomad Lounge will offer water views and will have decor focused on traveling, including banners that answer a traveler's question. In the Trek Gallery, there will also be prayer flags that are constantly being wind blown.

photo courtesy of Disney

Book Signing: Joe Rohde will be at the park on April 22, which will likely include some big festivities celebrating the opening of Rivers of Light and the Sunset Safari. Disney is also releasing a coffee table book, The Disney Conservation Fund: Carrying Forward a Conservation Legacy, which Mr. Rohde will be signing on April 22 from 1pm to 2pm. There will also be a piece of art (see below) that will be available for his signature, as well. Click here for more details in getting a wristband to participate as same will be limited.
photo courtesy of Disney
Park Hours for this week are....
Friday April 1 9am- 6:30pm
Saturday April 2 8am-  6pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Sunday April 3 9am- 6pm
Monday April 4 9am- 6pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Tuesday April 5 9am- 6pm
Wednesday April 6 9am- 6pm
Thursday April 7 9am- 7pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning

You will notice the addition of another extra magic morning hour for Thursday.

Have a Wild Time