Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Disney's Animal Kingdom News for March 29, 2017: Fast Past pass tiers

Limited Evening Extra Magic: It seems Disney is expecting Pandora the World of Avatar to be a HUGE deal. To that end, the park will be open from 8 am to 11 pm every day from May 27th to July 4. Plus, Pandora will be open to resorts guests for an extra 2 hours after that. The Tree of Life Awakenings show will also be running in the evening.

The Dreaded Tiers: I didn't think it would happen but it did. At least during the initial phase of Pandora's opening, fast passes at Disney's Animal Kingdom will be on a tier system. You may only pick one of the two attractions at Pandora as tier 1.

Park Hours for this week are....
Thursday March 30 9 am- 9:30 pm
Friday March 31 9 am-9 pm
Saturday April 1 9 am- 9:30 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Sunday  April 2 9 am- 9:30 pm
Monday April 3 9 am- 9:30 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Tuesday April 4 9 am- 9:30 pm
Wednesday April 5 9 am- 9:30 pm

Thursday, March 23, 2017

A Meaningful License Plate

You know Disney loves to through obscure references around. Anyone know the meaning behind the license plate?

Yes, it references that Disney's Animal Kingdom (DAK) opened in 1998. There is a similar reference in the attraction, Dinosaur. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Episode 108 of Radio Harambe - Listener Questions Part One

It's our favorite time on the podcast again! It's time for Listener Questions, our chance to hear what you guys want to talk about. And we have alot of questions to answer so this is the first of multiple podcasts dedicated to you! Dave and Safari Mike cover lots of topics from Disney's Animal Kingdom and Walt Disney World.

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

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Disney's Animal Kingdom News for March 8, 2017: More Avatar Announcements

Avatar Food options: Disney has released food and drink options for the upcoming Avatarland. The Satu'li Canteen is the restaurant which was once an RDA mess hall now taken over by the natives. Expect a clash of decor with old army stuff giving way to weaved items and art. Disney released pictures of some items such as the blueberry cheesecake pictured below. Disney promises the place will offer dishes heavy on wholesome grains, fresh vegetables and lots of protein. Disney has not announced whether the place will be a sit down option or counter service, though the food options appear more in line with a full blown sit down restaurant.

photo courtesy of Disney 

Disney has also shown some of the drinks for Pongu Pongu, which means "party party" in the Na'vi language. The bar will be operated by the Nomad lounge. And like Nomad will offer mixed drinks. There will also be indigenous beers (whatever that means) and a specialty frozen cocktail. There will also be a unique treat called Lumpia, which is a crispy pineapple cream cheese filled spring roll.

photo courtesy of Disney 

Height Requirements: We now know the height requirements for the upcoming Avatar attractions. As could have been guessed, the boat ride has no such limitations. However, Flight of Passage has a height requirement of 44 inches. For frame of reference, Expedition Everest and Space mountain are set at 44 inches. The attraction is supposed to similar to Soarin', which has a height requirement of only 40 inches - as does the thrill rides Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain. Its unclear if this is a function of the thrills or the restraints. Also, both attractions will be Fast Pass Plus options.

More Light: Beginning on March 11, Disney has added a second performance of Rivers of Light to every night the show is set to happen. At this point, the schedule has only been updated to April 22nd, but in light of the popularity of the show, I suspect 2 performances a night will be the norm.

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

Monday, March 6, 2017

A review of Rivers of Light

Finally, the show we have been talking about for months and months has debuted. Technical problems, show changes and overall concerns about its lack of entertainment value have delayed the shows start from April 22, 2016 all the way to February 17, 2017. But here we are and it happened.

I wanted to give you my 2 cents on the show as I saw it twice over opening weekend. The early show and then the next night, the later show. First, some of the bad. Crowd control needs some adjustments. The line for standby can wrap all the way from the Nemo stage to Flame Tree BBQ, and cause all sorts of bottle necking. To make matters worse, if there are two shows and you are seeing the first, they send you all the way around the lagoon into the heart of this huge standby line creating a minor disaster. When I attended the second show, the first one had technical problems which meant it was still going when you were suppose to be entering the theater for the late production, again creating crowd problems.

I don't like the fact that they don't sell anything to eat or drink in the theater itself. You have to leave and come back, not exactly convenient. But if you have a fast pass, you won't need to be in the theater long, the show is less than 15 minutes.

Which is a good thing as the earlier version of the show dragged out a bit too much. Now the show is crisp and clean preventing any lag. And there are many good things about the show: The music is downright terrific and will soon be on sale. The lotus flowers turned fountains are beautiful and impressive. The visuals on the water screens are infinitely better than the water screen images from the Jungle Book show from last year. The floats are also pretty. On the negative side, the narration is relatively pointless as are the shamans although the boats they are in are quite nice as aesthetic.

So is the show worth the wait? Yes you definitely should see it but don't expect to floored.  Rumor has it that despite attempts to increase the "wow" factor, Disney decided to launch the show now, as they needed it to be fully operational well in advance of the Avatar opening in May. There is no doubt that the show is beautiful and entertaining, but it does lack that "wow" factor, usually brought about by fireworks which, of course, cannot be used with the live animals nearby.

It will not leave you stunned like seeing Illuminations (which for my money is still the best night time show). But there is little doubt you will enjoy it. While Illuminations or Wishes are more like the roller coasters of night capping events with thrills and chills, Rivers of Light is like a beautiful, soothing boat ride. And who the heck doesn't love a good boat ride.