Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Episode 106 of Radio Harambe - A Review of Rivers of Light

Finally the Rivers of Light night time show has opened at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. As luck would have it, Dave and Safari Mike were both at the park for opening weekend! On this episode, your hosts offer up their thoughts and opinions about the new show and also talk a bit about a couple of other new entertainment options recently added to the Animal Kingdom.

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

Monday, February 27, 2017

Review of the New Dinoland Bird show

Disney has recently started two new bird shows at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Both are run by the folks who bring you Flights of Wonder and Winged Encounters. The one at Dinoland has set times of 3:30 and 4:30, at least as of now. It is essentially an abbreviated version of Flights of Wonder.

The show takes place on a temporary stage out front of Restaurantosaurus. There are no seats although a few benches are located nearby.  The idea behind the show is to emphasize the relationship between birds and dinosaurs, as many scientists now believe birds evolved from branch of the dinosaur family tree.

The show I saw used 4 birds. There was a toucan who walked across the arms of 2 volunteers, including yours truly. So if you want to participate, there are chances for that.

The show also included the beautiful seriema which is often used at Flights of Wonder as he beats up a plastic toy lizard.

We also saw a kea parrot from New Zealand and a stork that fished against a young volunteer. But this can all change with each show.

I did enjoy this brief bird encounter, but all it is is really a lite version of Flights of Wonder. Even Guano Joe makes an appearance although his purpose really escapes me. Still up close looks at these beautiful animals is well worth your time and it does not require you to be early. Just show up at a minuted before the show and enjoy.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

New Tour for Elephant fans

Disney announced a few weeks ago a new tour called Caring for Giants. During this tour, you will get in a depth look at the issues surrounding the plight of the elephant in the wild as well as the difficulties staff can have in caring for these animals. As you can imagine, with the animal being so large, there are unique challenges that a keeper must face.

Most people don't know (and I doubt they will share this on the tour) that more animal handlers are killed by elephants than any other captive species. Why you ask? Well for starters, unlike many other dangerous animals, like bears and lions, there is a lot of face to face interaction with no barriers. Keepers get in the exhibit with the elephant. And an elephant being so large can cause significant harm with just a little flick of their trunk.

Without a doubt, the elephant is one of the most popular zoo animals in the world. Their huge size, high intelligence and unique appearance all contribute to this popularity. And clearly, the herd at Disney's Animal Kingdom is one of the highlights of Kilimanjaro Safari.

This brief one hour tour promises to get you up close to the herd. You will be as close as 80 feet. You will also get a chance to interact with one of the handlers who will talk to you about the challenges and rewards in caring for these animals. Also, as part of the tour, you will be greeted by African cultural representatives who will discuss stories from their homeland about living with elephants as well as discussing some of the issues there are in preserving the species.

The tour is only available for guests over the age of 4. The cost is $30 per guest with some discounts available for AP and DVC members. The tour starts March 12th and will be offered periodically throughout the day from 10 am to 4:30 pm. You will meet at the Animal Experiences booth located just across from the Kilimanjaro Safari entrance.

By Safari Mike

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Disney's Animal Kingdom News for February 22, 2017: New menu changes

New Smiling Crocodile Menu: The Smiling Crocodile kiosk is located across from the It's Tough to Be a Bug entrance near Flame Tree. The menu here changes often and recently they have overhauled it again to start serving three different BLTs.

Essentially, the BLTs are open faced, one slice of bread with "stuff" on top. I had the pimento cheese one seen below. It was decent and relatively filling. They are one snack credit, and you can easily use it for lunch. Be warned however, its not easy to eat, so try to find a place to sit.

Nomad taking over Avatarland: We all love the Nomad lounge, right? Well then I have good news for you, the bar opening in Avatarland will be run by the Nomad Lounge. So hopefully, that means the same high quality will be found there.

Park Hours for this week are....
Thursday February 23 9 am- 8 pm
Friday February 24 9 am-8 pm
Saturday Febraury 25 9 am- 8 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Sunday  February 26 9 am- 8 pm
Monday February 27 9 am- 8 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Tuesday February 28 9 am- 8 pm
Wednesday March 1 9 am- 8 pm

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Disney Animal Kingdom News for February 15, 2017: New birds and meet and greets

More information on the bird demonstrations:  We have gotten more information of the new bird shows testing throughout the park. There will be 2, one is in Dinoland and one in Harambe. In each show, three to four species will be used with the one in Dinoland emphasizing the relationship between bird and dinosaur. The Dinoland show will occur at 3:30 and 4:30 pm and will use a temporary stage. The African show will not be listed on the times guides and will use the stage already in the middle of Harambe. It should be noted that these shows will change the schedule at Flights of Wonder, with less performances there. Please check your times guide for same.

macaw during an early bird show at Harambe circa 1998

Doc McStuffins: A meet and greet of the Disney Junior character will be coming to Rafiki's Planet Watch. She will greet guests near the Veterinarian area of the Planet Watch. The character is a doctor for toys so I suppose it is somewhat theme appropriate.  She will be replacing Chip and Dale as the meet and greet character in the area. Rafiki will continue greeting guests, as well.

Park Hours for this week are....
Thursday February 9 9 am- 8 pm
Friday February 10 9 am-8 pm
Saturday Febraury 11 9 am- 8 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Sunday  February 12 9 am- 8 pm
Monday February 13 9 am- 8 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Tuesday February 14 9 am- 8 pm
Wednesday February 15 9 am- 8 pm

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Episode 105 of Radio Harambe - Safari Mike's First Ever Solo Trip to DAK!

It's another trip report from Safar Mike as he discusses the good, the bad, the ugly and the new from his recent first-ever solo trip to Walt Disney World. Dave and Mike also discuss the release of a new photo that looks to be part of the e-ticket attraction coming to Pandora at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

If you have any questions or comments about the show, please email us at jamboeveryone@gmail.com

Visit Pandora

Disney has released a brand new website. We welcome you to Visit Pandora. The hype leading up to opening of Pandora, World of Avatar begins now.

The conceit of the site is that Alpha Centauri Expeditions, ACE, the fictional travel company taking you to the planet, has released a website to give you information for your upcoming "tours." The site has a page dedicated to the experts hired by ACE for these expeditions, giving you bios for the river guide, the banshee expert and other guides and scientists involved in the project.

The other part of the site, for now anyway, gives a brief description of the 2 attractions plus the area all of this is set in, Mo'ara Valley. We do find out some more details about the area. For example, the river you are on for the boat ride is called the Kaspavan River. On that journey, you will travel under a canopy of glowing plants and animals on the move. The banshees will take you under the floating mountains and through stone arches.

Finally, Rivers of Light

This morning Disney has announced that Rivers of Light is finally, after all this time, starting. And the date is next week. Friday, February 17th will be the grand opening for Rivers of Light and fast passes have already been released into the system. The show on February 17 has a 7:15 pm start time.

Dining packages are now on sale through Tusker House and Tiffins. At Tusker House, guests must arrive to dine no later 2 and half hours before their show time. At Tiffins, that window is pushed to 3 hours. All meals are available. The price point for Tusker is $39 for adults for breakfast and $52 for lunch/dinner. At Tiffins, the lunch/dinner package is $67 for adults.

photo courtesy of Disney

You can now see the schedule for the show through June of this year. The show will only happen every other day in February with showtimes at 7:15 pm. The every other day schedule continues into March but the shows get pushed way back to 8:45 pm during the month. In April, some nights will have two performances at 8:30 and 9:45 pm. By early April, the show turns to a nightly event. In May, there is one show at 9:15 pm although Disney is still listing the park hours as 9 am to 7 pm, but that is obviously going to change.

As many of you know, the show debuted during a special event this week. And unlike the cast member previews from some months ago, video taping was permitted. I will start off by saying, I have only seen videos of it so any criticisms might not be fair as a result, and I certainly may change my mind once I see it in person.

But I found it a little ho hum, no real oomph. There certainly is plenty to like such as the sound track and the lotus flower fountains. The water screens seem a vast improvement to the Jungle Book show, but I can't promise that for every seat. The shamans don't really keep the story together at all. And there are real dry spots in the tempo of the show.

I know Disney won't or can't use fireworks due to animal safety and welfare, but something else I think is needed. Perhaps drones like the ones used recently at Disney Springs during the holidays. Of course, that damn flying dragon from a few years back would be perfect but what are you going to do.

By Safari Mike 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Disney's Animal Kingdom News for February 8, 2017: More Birds?

New Bird Show?: According to Orlando Park News, testing is about to begin on a new bird demonstration in Dinoland USA. Cast members will be getting a sneak peek on Friday, February 10th, for a demo that will start later this month. This is continuing the trend at the park for more animal demonstrations. Recently, animal handlers have been popping up in the Oasis with live reptiles for a brief talk. Kids often get to gently touch the animal, as well. This is part of Disney's partnership with NEI, who performs these types of shows across the country.

Winged Encounters may be one of three bird shows

Avatarland Date: During an earnings meeting, Bob Iger officially announced what has been guessed at for the last few weeks, the opening of Pandora, the World of Avatar set as Memorial Day weekend. The land in its entirety will open May 27, 2017.

Park Hours for this week are....
Thursday February 9 9 am- 7:30 pm
Friday February 10 9 am-7:30 pm
Saturday Febraury 11 9 am- 7:30 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Sunday  February 12 9 am- 8 pm
Monday February 13 9 am- 8 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Tuesday February 14 9 am- 8 pm
Wednesday February 15 9 am- 8 pm

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Disney's Animal Kingdom News for February 1, 2017: Terra changes and animal encounters

Terra Treats: The old Terra Treats has replaced its once allergy friendly menu. Its now serving chicken wings. Oh, and beer.

Animal Encounters: During my recent visit, I was able to spot one of the new animal experiences. In my case, a keeper was walking around with a boa. I have seen pictures of other reptiles, such as a bearded dragon also being shown close up to guests. People were allowed to briefly touch the boa.

No more BBQ sauce: In a further move to the bad, Disney is replacing the signature barbecue sauce at the Flame Tree BBQ with the rather generic Heinz BBQ sauce. For the time being, you can still but bottles of the sauce at the shops in the park and at the lodge and Disney is not getting rid of the sweet and spicy sauce at the eatery. However, Flame Tree has steadily gotten worse over the years and although its still beautiful, the food is now sub par and this change certainly won't help.

Park Hours for this week are....
Thursday February 2 9 am- 7:30 pm
Friday February 3 9 am-7:30 pm
Saturday Febraury 4 9 am- 7:30 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Sunday  February 5 9 am- 7:30 pm
Monday February 6 9 am- 7:30 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Tuesday February 7 9 am- 7:30 pm
Wednesday February 8 9 am-7:30 pm