Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Disney's Animal Kingdom News for August 16, 2017: Normalizing Hours

End of Special Park Hours: The days of every night Extra Magic Hours for Pandora are rapidly coming to end. Unless Disney announces a last minute change (which is always possible), those special hours end as of Saturday August 19th. As you can see below, the park will continue to remain open fairly late, 9:30 pm, which is later than Epcot and the Studios on most nights.



New Merch at the Lodge: As reported by Orlando Park News, there is some new offerings at Ziwadi Market, which is now open from 7:30 am until 10 pm. Animal masks are available for purchase. They are papier-mache and handmade in Venice. Also, the store now has something called "Name Works" where artist uses the persons name to create a work of art.





Park Hours for this week are...
Thursday  August 17 9 am- 10 pm, Extra Magic Hour 10 pm to 12 am
Friday August 18 9 am- 10 pm, Extra Magic Hour 10 pm to 12 am
Saturday August 19 9 am- 10 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning, evening 10 pm to 12 am
Sunday  August 20 9 am- 9:30 pm,
Monday August 21  9 am- 9:30 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Tuesday August 22 9 am- 9:30 pm, 
Wednesday August 23 9 am- 9:30 pm

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Happy 5th Birthday to Us

August 10, 2012 was the beginning of a pet project Dave and I had discussed for some time. We launched this very blog you are reading.



We had a previous blog that was much more generalized - Mouse Extra. We had a good time throwing out opinions, reviews and what not. But we really sort of got tired of doing that. Dave thought it would be better to focus on one of the things we loved most about the resort, The Animal Kingdom.



Even 5 years ago, there was a wide plethora of Disney blogs and many were essentially the same, basically Mouse Extra. But we thought if you had a niche, that might interest people. And well, we LOVED the park.



As I am sure you know, I have had an interest in conservation and the work zoos do for a long time. I volunteered at the Bronx Zoo for 18 years starting when I went to college. The combination of 2 my loves - Disney and Zoos - meant I had an instant interest in this park. And when I visited in 1998, it was instantly my favorite.



A lot has changed over the last five years both personally and with the park. We started a podcast almost a year after the launch of the blog. And I have met many lifelong friends because of this.



Since we started the blog, Disney purchased the theme park rights for Avatar, which of course, sparked a lot of talk here. Harambe Market was built, and we broke the news months before anyone else (a source of great pride for us). Rivers of Light started and many other fascinating things.



So thanks to all of you that made this possible.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Tiger Babies!

As we had discussed when we found out Sumatran tigers were coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom, the hope was that someday there would be cubs. That day apparently will be here sometime in August. Yes, August just a few weeks away. Sohni, the female, and Malosi have successfully bred and are due to be parents real soon. Be prepared for a lot of tiger cuteness.



Sumatran tigers are highly endangered. There are only about 400-500 in the wild, and about of 100 of those live in unprotected rain forest and not park land or other protected areas. Habitat loss and poaching are critical threats to all species of tigers.




Thankfully, this species of tiger is doing fairly well in captivity. And Disney's Animal Kingdom is part of the Species Survival Plan, a national program dedicated to ensure the genetic viability of this tiger and hopefully, one day, help reintroduce animals into the wild.

By Safari Mike

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Disney's Animal Kingdom News for July 19, 2017: Churros on the Move

Small Changes in Dinoland: Some shuffling has occurred at the food kiosks in Dinoland USA. The popular churros were moved from Dino Bites to the Dino Diner which is the trailer at Chester and Hesters. Glazed nuts were taken out of the Dino Diner but are still available at other lands in the park.



Woman becomes ill on Banshee: Disney released (as is required by law) its list of injuries that occurred at their theme parks. Flight of Passage had two separate incidents. A 79 year old woman with a pre-existing condition became ill after riding the attraction. More recently, a 31-year old woman became dizzy and passed out after riding the simulator.



Park Hours for this week are...
Thursday  July 20 8 am- 10 pm, Extra Magic Hour 10 pm to 12 am
Friday July 21 8 am- 10 pm, Extra Magic Hour 10 pm to 12 am
Saturday July 22 8 am- 10 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning, evening 10 pm to 12 am
Sunday  July 23 8 am- 10 pm, Extra Magic Hour 10 pm to 12 am
Monday July 24 4 8 am- 10 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning, evening 10 pm to 12 am
Tuesday July 25 8 am- 10 pm, Extra Magic Hour 12 pm to 10 am
Wednesday July 26 9 am- 10 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning, 10 pm to 12 am

Episode 117 of Radio Harambe - D23...WOW!

We just had the biggest dump of Disney Parks news from a D23 convention we can remember, and so Dave and Safari Mike are here to talk about it all of it. This is a rare episode with not much talk of Disney's Animal Kingdom, but we do cover the latest news from DAK. However, we dedicate most of our time to talking about newly revealed upcoming Walt Disney World experiences including Star Wars, Guardians of the Galaxy, Ratatouille and more...oh yea, and Dave has a bit of a meltdown.


If you have any questions or comments about the show please email us at jamboeveryone@gmail.com. Asante Sana and enjoy the show

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Disney Animal Kingdom News: July 12, 2017: Dining options and booze

Magical Dining: Jiko as well as several other Disney restaurants are joining over 100 eateries in the Orlando area for Magical Dining Month. During this time, Jiko will be offering prix fixe three course dinners for $35. You get a choice of 2 appetizers, one of three entrees and one of two desserts. At Jiko, the appetizers are the Jiko salads and Tibs in Brik. Entrees are the amazing short rib, the seafood curry and the koki corn. Finally, dessert options are malva pudding and safari sunset.




New Alcohol option: What better way to beat the Florida heat than with shaved ice? How about adding vodka or rum to it? Over at the Harambe Fruit Market, you can do exactly that. Mango-Passion Fruit or Watermelon shaved ice can get a shot of snow leopard vodka or pina colada flavored ice can get some rum. The ice is normally $3.99 but with the booze its $9.25.



Vaquita: In the northern part of the Gulf of California, there is a little known porpoise called the Vaquita. July 8th was Vaquita Day, and that is because this species is critically endangered. There are less than a 100 animals left and the Disney Conservation Fund is helping with emergency actions in order to save the species. You can read more about that here.


Park Hours for this week are...
Thursday  July 13 8 am- 10 pm, Extra Magic Hour 10 pm to 12 am
Friday July 14 8 am- 10 pm, Extra Magic Hour 10 pm to 12 am
Saturday July 15 8 am- 10 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning, evening 10 pm to 12 am
Sunday  July 16 8 am- 10 pm, Extra Magic Hour 10 pm to 12 am
Monday July 17 4 8 am- 10 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning, evening 10 pm to 12 am
Tuesday July 18 8 am- 10 pm, Extra Magic Hour 12 pm to 10 am
Wednesday July 19 9 am- 10 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning, 10 pm to 12 am

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Disney Animal Kingdom News for June 29, 2017: More Magic More MobileOrdering

More Mobile Ordering: Another Animal Kingdom restaurant was added to the mobile Disney app ordering system. Starting on June 27th, Restaurantosaurus was added. To date, you can order through your My Disney Experience app at Sa'tuli Canteen, Flame Tree BBQ and Pizzafari. On a side note, July 5th will see the first Disney Springs eatery added in D-Luxe Burger.



More Extra Magic Hours: Since Pandora opened, there have been nightly Extra Magic Hours at the park to accommodate the crowds. Everyday the park hours were 8 am to 11 pm with an additional 2 hours every night for resort guests in addition to the usual early morning hours. Originally, this schedule was to end on July 4th. However, Disney has announced that nightly evening extra magic will continue through August 19th, when summer crowds begin to fade. The park hours starting July 5th will be 9 am to 10 pm (a little less than early summer) with nightly evening Extra Magic Hours from 10 pm to midnight. As before, there will still be early morning extra magic as usual.



Park Hours for this week are...
Thursday  June 29 8 am- 11 pm, Extra Magic Hour 11 pm to 1 am
Friday June 30 8 am- 11 pm, Extra Magic Hour 11 pm to 1 am
Saturday July 1 8 am- 11 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning, evening 11 pm to 1 am
Sunday  July 2 8 am- 11 pm, Extra Magic Hour 11 pm to 1 am
Monday July 3 4 8 am- 11 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning, evening 11 pm to 1 am
Tuesday July 4 8 am- 11 pm, Extra Magic Hour 11 pm to 1 am
Wednesday July 5 9 am- 10 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning, 10 pm to 12 am

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

A Wise Warning

Yes, well, there is a pretty good chance you will see a tiger in the ruins considering that's actually the tiger exhibit. 


This sign, of course, adds a little fun to the trek.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Episode 114 of Radio Harambe - Pandora Explored

Welcome to Pandora! After years and years of hype and debate, The World of Avatar is finally open to the public at Disney's Animal Kingdom and Dave was there to see it and tell you about his trip to the planet of blue people. Safari Mike joins in to discuss Dave's impressions of this massive new expansion to the Animal Kingdom.


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

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Disney's Animal Kingdom News for June 14, 2017: Conservation Missions


Missions for Conservation: Let me start by saying I love this idea. Disney has announced a new program called "Connect to Protect" in an effort to put $1 million towards protecting critical habitats for 10 endangered species. Guests to the park and the new land, Pandora, will join "missions" through Facebook Messenger. Through that medium, Fits Buckley, a Pandoran ecological specialist, will get you started on these missions.



Once you complete one, you unlock $10 to contribute to one of the programs to protect habitats. In fact, just engaging the platform unlocks $5. The 10 possible threatened categories of animals to protect are: apes, elephants, cranes, monkeys, butterflies, sea turtles, coral reefs, tigers, sharks/rays and rhinos. You will be able to learn more about each type of animal, the threats to their survival and the groups out there trying to help.



More Time for the Trails: Since the park is opening at 8 am every morning, guests have begun filling out the park, not just Pandora. In order to help alleviate some of the early morning crowd, Gorilla Falls is now opening at 8:45 am. The Maharajah Jungle Trek will open at 9 am.



Park Hours for this week are...
Thursday  June 15 8 am- 11 pm, Extra Magic Hour 11 pm to 1 am
Friday June 16 8 am- 11 pm, Extra Magic Hour 11 pm to 1 am
Saturday June 17 8 am- 11 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning, evening 11 pm to 1 am
Sunday  June 18 8 am- 11 pm, Extra Magic Hour 11 pm to 1 am
Monday June 19 4 8 am- 11 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning, evening 11 pm to 1 am
Tuesday June 20 8 am- 11 pm, Extra Magic Hour 11 pm to 1 am
Wednesday June 21 8 am- 11 pm Extra Magic Hour 11 pm to 1 am

Monday, June 12, 2017

Disney's Animal Kingdom News for June 8, 2017: Crazy Crowds

New path to Pandora: You can get to Pandora via a path between Harambe and the new land. The path recently opened and is located near the new Festival of the Lion King theater. It brings you near the Sa'tuli Canteen.



Crazy Lines: As everyone has been hearing, the crowds at Pandora are crazy bad. On June 6, the line for Flight of Passage reached a new high, 360 minutes. That's right, the standby wait time was 6 hours. Granted, there is near universal praise for the queue but that's a bit much. It's gotten so bad that Disney has placed signs at the front of the entrance that warns guests there is no restroom inside.




Park Hours for this week are...
Thursday  June 8 8 am- 11 pm, Extra Magic Hour 11 pm to 1 am
Friday June 9 8 am- 11 pm, Extra Magic Hour 11 pm to 1 am
Saturday June 10 8 am- 11 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning, evening 11 pm to 1 am
Sunday  June 11 8 am- 11 pm, Extra Magic Hour 11 pm to 1 am
Monday June 12 4 8 am- 11 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning, evening 11 pm to 1 am
Tuesday June 13 8 am- 11 pm, Extra Magic Hour 11 pm to 1 am
Wednesday June 14 8 am- 11 pm Extra Magic Hour 11 pm to 1 am

The Hunt

Yes, we spend a lot of time talking about the back story of the Maharajah Jungle trek. And for good reason, its rich in details.


Here, on this crumbling mural, you can see a tiger hunt, as the rajah hunting party takes down a big cat. Further along, you will see a tiger getting revenge. 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Disney's Animal Kingdom News for June 1, 2017: Food options and CrazyLines.

Mobile Ordering Expands: As has been discussed earlier, Disney is planning on expanding the mobile ordering system for counter service restaurants. Currently only the Sa'tuli Canteen in Pandora is supported by that system. On June 6, Pizzafari will become the second counter service place where you can order through the My Disney Experience app in advance of arriving at the restaurant. By summer's end, there should be over a dozen such eateries throughout the resort.



Crazy Lines: As Pandora has been open for a few days now, it has become apparent that Disney was not ready for the tourist onslaught. Lines for Flight of Passage hover around the 3 hour mark and the boat ride is only a little better. Flight of Passage does have a single ride line but same has not yet been initiated. There has even been wait times to get into the gift shop (although the Canteen has not had that issue). Disney has started allowing guests into Pandora around 7 am, a good hour or so before everything else as there has been lines to just get into the land. With extra magic hours nightly starting at 11 pm, Disney has closed off the attractions to regular guests beginning around 9 pm. And if you arrive at Pandora at 11 pm for the extra magic hour, you're likely not going to be able to see the land as it has been closing for capacity issues. I suspect this craziness will recede in the coming weeks, but be prepared.



New Temporary Breakfast: Restaurantosaurus will serve breakfast from May 27 until June 10. The menu includes cereal, yogurts and Mickey waffles.



Park Hours for this week are...
Thursday  June 1 8 am- 11 pm, Extra Magic Hour 11 pm to 1 am
Friday June 2 8 am- 11 pm, Extra Magic Hour 11 pm to 1 am
Saturday June 3 8 am- 11 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning, evening 11 pm to 1 am
Sunday  June 4 8 am- 11 pm, Extra Magic Hour 11 pm to 1 am
Monday June 5 4 8 am- 11 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning, evening 11 pm to 1 am
Tuesday June 6 8 am- 11 pm, Extra Magic Hour 11 pm to 1 am
Wednesday June 7 8 am- 11 pm Extra Magic Hour 11 pm to 1 am

Monday, May 29, 2017

Episode 113 of Radio Harambe: Radio Pandora News

It's time for us to pretty much rename the podcast Radio Pandora! Once again it seems the planet full of big blue aliens has taken over Radio Harambe as this week's news show seems to be all about Avatar.


We also sprinkle in some stories from the rest of Disney's Animal Kingdom and Walt Disney World. If you have any questions or comments about the show, email us at jamboeveryone@gmail.com

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Disney's Animal Kingdom News for May 24, 2017: Avatar Dedication

Avatar Dedication: Today Disney had their dedication ceremony for the new land. Bob Iger and James Cameron both gave brief speeches. Joe Rohde as well as members of the cast of the movie were also in attendance. Frankly, the whole thing was a bit ho hum but check it out for yourself here.

Photo courtesy of Disney 

Long Hours: Saturday marks the opening of Pandora for everyone and hours get extended by quite a bit. Take a look at the schedule below. Also, Rivers of Light will play three times a night with performances at 9:15, 10:30 and 11:45. The last of which is part of the daily evening extra magic hours. It will be interesting to see how well attended that last show is, check back for more information.



Park Hours for this week are...
Thursday May 25 9 am- 9:30 pm
Friday May 26 9 am-9:30 pm
Saturday May 27 8 am- 11 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning, evening 11 pm to 1 am
Sunday  May 28 8 am- 11 pm, Extra Magic Hour 11 pm to 1 am
Monday May 29 4 8 am- 11 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning, evening 11 pm to 1 am
Tuesday May 30 8 am- 11 pm, Extra Magic Hour 11 pm to 1 am
Wednesday May 31 8 am- 11 pm Extra Magic Hour 11 pm to 1 am


Friday, May 19, 2017

Update on Extra Extra Magic Hours

As noted earlier this week, Disney is planning on keeping the park open for additional 2 hours every night for resort guests at the Animal Kingdom during the summer. This is in addition to the 2 extra magic hours in the mornings per week.



Initially, Disney had planned to keep this "extra" extra magic hours to just Pandora. However, in anticipation of big crowds, Disney just announced additional attractions that will be open every night from 11 pm to 1 am from May 27 to July 4.



It is a rather strange group of attractions. The evening shows, Tree of Life Awakenings and Rivers of Light, will continue throughout that time. Expedition Everest will also be available. Primeval Whirl, Triceratops Spin and the Fossil Fun games will be open but not Dinosaur. Presumably, Harambe will shut down because the only added entertainment is the Discovery Island Carnivale.



Also, select food and merchandise locations will be open.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Disney's Animal Kingdom News for May 17, 2017: Hours and Grants

Daily Extra Magic Hours: Of course, most of the talk surrounding the Animal Kingdom is the impending opening of Pandora the World of Avatar. The land has had numerous cast member, media and annual passholder previews already. And once the land officially opens to all on May 27th you should keep in mind if you are a resort guest, the land will be open for extra "extra" magic hours, 11 pm to 1 am every single night from opening until July 4th.



Conservation Grants: Disney released the recipients of the Disney Conservation Fund grants. For some some of that information, you can click here. More than $7 million in grants went to a wide range of groups. The amounts varied for each organization. Including even a smaller but vital grant to a young teen trying to preserve mangrove trees.



Short Day: Among all of these extended hours, you should take a look at the park closing time on May 24th just a few days before Memorial Day. The listed time is 3:30 in the afternoon. Presumably, the park is shutting down for another big media event. But if you are down there this week, please keep this in mind.


Park Hours for this week are...
Thursday May 18 9 am- 9:30 pm
Friday May 19 9 am-9:30 pm
Saturday May 20 9 am- 10 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Sunday  May 21 9 am- 9:30 pm
Monday May 22 4 9 am- 9:30 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Tuesday May 23 9 am- 9:30 pm
Wednesday May 24 8:30 am- 3:30 pm

Monday, May 8, 2017

Episode 112 of Radio Harambe - Pandora Preview

Today we have our comprehensive preview of "Pandora: The World of Avatar" opening in just a couple of weeks at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Safari Mike takes the reigns and rides solo again as Dave tries to stay spoiler free ahead of his upcoming trip to Walt Disney World. If you have any questions or comments about the show, feel free to email us at jamboeveryone@gmail.com. Asante Sana!
 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Disney's Animal Kingdom News for May 3, 2017: Avatar opens

Map on the App: On My Disney Experience, you will now find the entire map of the land available to you. You can see the location of the rides as well as all the food and drink areas, and the shop. You can also see there are a lot of random trails in around the mountains. It seems very similar to the Tree of Life trails.



New shake: a new alcoholic milkshake has appeared at Trilo-Bites, the kiosk just on the outskirts of Dinoland heading towards Flame Tree BBQ.  The Smoky Bones Chocolate shake adds candied bacon and bourbon to a chocolate ice cream shake. I plan on trying this considering my adoration for Tipsy Ducks in Love over in Epcot.  

Avatarland media preview: I am sure you have all seen the media previews for the new land. Extensive videos can be found of the landscape and the queue of the Flight as well as portions of the Na'vi boat ride. For a short time, the entire boat ride was available but that has since be taken down. You can find videos of the shaman AA that has received some significant praise. And its very impressive for sure, which is good because at least on video the remainder of the ride seems relatively ho hum. Disney describes it as the most technically advanced AA in the world.


photo courtesy of Disney 

Park Hours for this week are....
Thursday May 4 9 am- 9:30 pm
Friday May 5 9 am-9:30 pm
Saturday May 6 9 am- 9:30 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Sunday  May 7 9 am- 9:30 pm
Monday May 8 4 9 am- 9:30 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Tuesday May 9 9 am- 9:30 pm
Wednesday May 10 9 am- 9:30 pm

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Disney's Animal Kingdom News for April 27, 2017: Return of the Anteater

She's an Anteater: Now that construction is almost completed at the nearby Pandora area, it has been determined that the anteater can return to her exhibit at the Oasis. The species is the giant anteater, a ground dwelling animal of the South American grasslands.



Rivers of Light reduced: Spring break is over so Rivers of Light is going back to one show per night until May 26th. It is no coincidence that the production will return to 2 nightly shows as Avatarland opens. Right now Disney is only saying the event will be twice nightly until July 4th but if the new Avatar land is as popular as expected, that will likely change.



Park Hours for this week are....
Thursday April 27 9 am- 9:30 pm
Friday April 28 9 am-9:30 pm
Saturday April 29 9 am- 9:30 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Sunday  April 30 9 am- 9:30 pm
Monday May 1 4 9 am- 9:30 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Tuesday May 2 9 am- 9:30 pm
Wednesday May 3 9 am- 9:30 p

Monday, April 24, 2017

Kangaroos at the Tree

With the recent refurbishment, the red kangaroos were absent from the front of the Tree of Life. But a few months ago, they returned.  I am throwing out a couple of recent quick videos of them,



The red species of kangaroo are the largest. They are therefore, the largest mammals found in Australia. They are very common in the grass and scrub lands of the western and central areas of that continent.



They are not endangered. However, there is a kangaroo harvesting industry in Australia, which due to the animals incredible popularity is somewhat controversial

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Happy Earth Day Photo Montage

Happy Earth Day everyone. In celebration, I am just going to let some pictures speak for themselves. And Happy Birthday DAK 




















See ya real soon!