Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Disney's Animal Kingdom News for September 28, 2016: Increased Hours and Price Reductions....What?!

Y'All have to chill out: Remember back in mid August, there were several news reports about Disney's Animal Kingdom hours were being reduced to 9 pm in September and then, in October hours were being cut to 7 pm with an even further reduction for November and December. Do you remember what I said at that time? Just wait, Disney changes hours all the time and that I would be shocked if the park didn't stay open until sometime around 9 pm. Well guess what, kids? The park hours show throughout October and into early November that the Animal Kingdom is staying open until 8:30 pm, meaning you still will get night time park touring. As of now (emphasis on the term now), the park hours starting the second week of November show a closing time of 7 pm. My suspicion is that the park will stay open later than that (although by then the clocks move back an hour and its darker much earlier) and Disney is still trying to decide when Rivers of Light will actually open. Stay tuned and don't panic.

More Food, less Dollars: We recently did a post about the beautiful Nomad Lounge. Like a lot of Disney lounges, there is a small plates menu which recently received some big changes. For a review of it, you can check out wdwnt. They have added beef sliders with a tomato chutney type sauce and fish tacos. More interestingly, without changing the price, the vegetarian summer rolls got bigger and the pork ribs got more numerous. Plus, they added three more chicken wings to the portion plus reduced price. When was the last time Disney did that?

Park Hours for this week are....
Thursday September 29, 9am- 9pm
Friday September 30 9am-9pm
Saturday October 1 9am- 8:30 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Sunday  October 2 9am- 8:30 pm
Monday October 3 9am- 8:30 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Tuesday October 4 9am- 8:30 pm
Wednesday October 5 9am-8:30 pm

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Nomad lounge

There are many new additions to the Animal Kingdom in recent months and one that I was looking most forward to was the Nomad Lounge. 

To say the decor is beautiful is an understatement, You are the hub of the Animal Kingdom and adventure. This bar is a jumping off point. The banners handing from the ceiling add a lot of interesting flavor. They pose travel questions (after all we are nomads here) and the answers of Disney Imagineers. Not only on these banners but also just above the windows like in the picture below. You can also purchase mini banners that hang over the bar, the proceeds go to the Disney Conservation Fund. You get to write your own journal entry on the banner.

The curtains really look like mosquito nets. Again, perfect for the theme. 

Pictured above is the Mustang coffee, a great alcoholic beverage from the Nepal area. Essentially, it consists of coffee, brown sugar, melted butter and liqueur. There is a large drink menu that is not only unique but offers some great artwork, as well. And for the younger nomads as those not wishing to imbibe alcohol, many of the drinks have a virgin alternative. There are small plates, as well, for hungry travelers.  In fact, the small plates menu recently changed, including a decrease in the price of the wings while adding to the amount of food. Other items include beef sliders, pork ribs, fish tacos and bread service. 

The bar is large, but as you can see, often empty. This lounge, which is now a favorite of mine throughout the entire resort, suffers badly from location. At least, currently it does. 

The above two pictures are from the gorgeous wrap around porch. In the picture directly above, you can see the work being done to the bridge that will eventually lead to Pandora. Right how, this lounge sits at the end of essentially a dead end meaning there is virtually no pedestrian traffic. Hopefully, once Avatar opens, many guests will see this lounge.

This last picture gives you a good look at the lighting difference during the day compared to night. The dark wood gives the lounge an elegant look for certain. Its certainly relaxed at this point thanks to nonexistent crowds. So enjoy the peace while you can.

By Safari Mike

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Sanaa is now serving breakfast

One of the complaints about Kidani Village is that there is no counter service option. This is particularly problematic at breakfast where many guests want to grab a bite before heading into the parks. Now, Sanaa is actually serving a breakfast according to WDWNT.

The breakfast is called Kuamsha which means "to awaken with." It will have numerous grab-and-go items including fruits, cereals, croissants and the like. It will also have more interesting items like ceylon cinnamon rolls, sausage and egg bobotie pie, and banana bread with a hazelnut spread.

But that's not all. There will some really fun counter service options: There is the Savanna platter with fresh eggs any style, tomato chutney, Tanzanian hash browns (whatever that is) and bacon. There is Bore platter which is the same thing plus Boerewors sausage. There is the Safari waffle which has fresh fruit and chai whipped cream. Also, you can get a croissant sandwich, a fruit and quinoa salad and some kids' items. Breakfast is available from 7 am to 10 am daily.

Nice breakfast view no?

To me, this is a good thing. I love Kidani Village. In fact, I put it over Jambo House for its more laid back atmosphere and superior pool. But it really misses having a counter service option especially at breakfast. Now, it has what looks to be a great option. And not just a standard eggs and mickey waffles menu. Instead, we get some fun items even in the grab and go section. And the dining space is obviously beautiful. 

By Safari Mike 

Disney's Animal Kingdom News for 9/21/2016: The Macaques are coming,the macaques are coming

Lion tailed macaques should be soon: As we reported months ago, the old tapir exhibit is being turned into a lion tailed macaque exhibit. This endangered primate species should liven up the Jungle Trek a bit. We know they are currently at the park off exhibit. And now, thanks to our friends over at WDWThemeParks, we see the sign for the Maharajah Jungle Trek has been changed to include the macaques. They should be on exhibit in the very near future. Stay tuned.

photo courtesy of
Rhino Day: Tomorrow is World Rhino Day so today's Wildlife Wednesday over at the parks blog is all about the plight of rhinos. I won't go into all the things effecting the world's rhino species, but the post does mention some of the wonderful work Disney and its staff is doing. For starters, Disney cast members created a comic book called Donal Bebek, which is widely read in Indonesia and addresses the near extinction of the Sumatran rhino (of which there are only 50 to 100 individuals left). And then there is the Horns and Heroes project which attempts to use art to help promote and raise money for rhino conservation.

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

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Episode 94 of Radio Harambe - Safari Mike's Trip Report from August 2016

It's time for a new episode of Radio Harambe! On today's show we have a trip report from Safari Mike's last excursion to Walt Disney World. But in true Radio Harambe fashion, he presents the "Good, the Bad, the Ugly and the New" from his trip.

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

Monday, September 19, 2016

AKL Artifact Spotlight: the Nupe Pot

The Nupe people were originally from the northern areas of Nigeria. The origin of this ethic group dates backs to the 15th century along the Niger river. They are divided into subgroups. Some of these sub-tribes are mostly fisherman and traders. The others are traditionally farmers. 

These pots were commonly used. In fact, whole walls in family dwellings would be lined with these pots, often containing the foods and liquids used by the family. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Disney's Animal Kingdom News for September 15, 2016: Good old CampMinnie Mickey

New shirt for old Land: Who remembers Camp Minnie Mickey? Oddly, earlier this week I started a blog post about some of the old statues of characters found there. And now Disney is releasing a limited time shirt celebrating the old home of Festival of the Lion King and Mickey meet n greets. It, along with 2 other shirts, are part of the Vintage Ears collection. Frankly, the shirt is kind of ho hum to me, but have at it. (I am anxiously awaiting the Sea Base Alpha retro shirt myself).

Avatarland update: When I was at the park a couple of weeks ago, I took some photos of the Avatar construction. They are beginning to "cover" the show building with rock work and foliage.  You can see some of the outside of the building getting molding. The building is impressive and once done will likely be a showcase for the park.

Park Hours for this week are....
Thursday September 16, 9am- 9pm
Friday September 16 9am-9pm
Saturday September 17 9am- 9pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Sunday  September 18 9am- 9pm
Monday September 19 9am- 9pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Tuesday September 20 9am- 9pm
Wednesday September 21 9am-9pm

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Grevy's Zebra at Gorilla Falls

The Grevy's zebra are beautiful animals. Here is a good the horse relative on the savanna overlook along the trail.

This exhibit has held several different animals over the years along with the meerkats, incuding warthogs and gerenuk. But I love these zebra.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

AKL Artifact Spotlight: Asafo Flag

The Asafo aren't actually their own tribe. Instead, they are a warrior clan in the Akan area, and were powerful along the Gold Coast.  Essentially they were found in what is now coastal Ghana. The name "asafo" literally means war people. They derived mostly from the Fante people, enemies of the powerful Ashanti Kingdom. 

Flags were used by these clans for various reasons. The biggest reason was the promotion of a new captain. They were also used for social activities such as festivals or during times of unity and treaty.

By Safari Mike 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Disney's Animal Kingdom News for September 7, 2016: New animals

New antelope: Over at Kidani Village, you can now see a herd of red lechwe. These beautiful animals are native to the swamps of Africa. Their narrow hooves and legs are not only perfectly suited for flooded regions but also give them a very graceful look. They are on exhibit over at the Pembe savanna. For those that don't know, that is the area over by the pool and the Maji bar.

Photo courtesy of Disney

New Pelican chicks: Disney has also announced the birth of a clutch of pink backed pelicans. They are visible (and have been for several weeks) on the Kilimanjaro safari. The pelicans have an island at the hippo pool to the left of the ride vehicle. The nest is located on the right side of the island.

The DVC Safari Spectacular: Although we discussed this on a recent episode of Radio Harambe, we have been given more details about this DVC exclusive event. It runs on September 6, 13, 22, and 27. You will need a wrist band either from your DVC resort, or at 7 pm at the main entrance, or if you are already in the park over at the Dawa beginning at 5:30 pm.  Most of the rides will be running and several merchandise shops will be operational. Entertainment includes Burudika, Chakranadi and a Dinoland dance party. The real draw maybe the numerous character meet and greets including some rare treats: Chip and Dale as the Rescue Rangers and Launchpad McQuack. For food, there is only the Flame Tree BBQ.

Park Hours for this week are....
Thursday September 8, 9am- 9pm
Friday September 9 9am-9pm
Saturday September 10 9am- 9pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Sunday  September 11 9am- 9pm
Monday September 12 9am- 9pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Tuesday September 13 9am- 9pm
Wednesday September 14 9am-9pm 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Gorilla babies

Its International Primate Day, so what better way to celebrate than a little snippet of a gorilla baby. Across from the suspension bridge, there is this overlook where you can see the family troop. On this day, we watched the baby playing in the woods.

Many were enjoying watching these playful kids enjoying life.