Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Disney Animal Kingdom News for April 25, 2018: Additional extra magic

Extra Magic Hours: Disney has added a ton of extra magic hours for the park. Beginning this coming weekend, virtually every day will have a morning extra magic hour. This lasts from April 29th until June 30th. The attractions included are the Avatar rides, Dinosaur, Triceratops Spin, Everest and on some days, the safari. At this time, this lasts until right about the time Toy Story Land opens, we will see what happens then with regards to crowds.

Park Hours for this week are...
Thursday April 26 9 am - 9:30 pm
Friday April 27 9 am - 9:30 pm
Saturday April 28 9 am- 10:30 pm  Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Sunday  April 29 9 am- 10:30 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Monday April 30  9 am- 9:30 pm  Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Tuesday May 1 9 am- 10 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Wednesday May 2 9 am- 10 pm  Extra Magic Hour in the morning

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Animal Kingdom’s 20th Anniversary 

In celebration of the park’s 20th birthday, I am posting some pictures from the parks first year.

The Tree of Life looks the same but there were some different animals in the gardens surrounding it. 

In front of Countdown to Extinction, there was no iguanadon. 

And where DinoRama sits today there was Dinosaur Jubilee, a small natural history museum manned by interns from the Dino Institute.

The Safari had many of the same animals but the landscape itself looked very different.

Here wildebeest and tommies graze in a much different looking place. 

And Gorilla Falls had warthogs and these gerenuk. 

Happy Anniversary to the world’s best theme park. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Disney Park News for April 18, 2018: New Burudika CD coming and gearing up for the 20th

New Burudika CD: Wassalou is the band name on the CD, but Burudika is how Disney fans know them. Without any doubt, the best live band on Disney property released a CD awhile back. If you haven't purchased it at Mombasa Marketplace or downloaded it on ITunes then you need to. But in great news, Burudika is back in the studios and a new CD will be released later this year. According to the band, it is hoped it will be released this summer.

20th Anniversary Merch: Lots of new merchandise for the 20th anniversary of the park has been released. The actual day is Sunday April 22nd, but the merchandise has been out for a bit.

I like this travel mug.

The shirts aren't too bad either. Though I am not sure what one would do with a wooden bill baseball hat.

Up show opens: As we posted on Tuesday, soft openings of the new Up bird show have begun. Fortunately, Dave was in the right place at the right time and got to experience it. Basically, there are a lot of issues. Bad writing, birds not following directions and other hiccups. The grand opening will be on April 22nd for the anniversary.

Park Hours for this week are...
Thursday April 19 9 am - 9:30 pm
Friday April 20 9 am - 9:30 pm
Saturday April 21 9 am- 10:30 pm  Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Sunday  April 22 9 am- 10 pm
Monday April 23  9 am- 9:30 pm  Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Tuesday April 24 9 am- 9:30 pm 
Wednesday April 25 9 am- 9:30 pm

Up A Great Bird Adventure Begins Previews

Yesterday, April 16th saw the first soft opening of the new bird show in Anandapur at Disney's Animal Kingdom. The old show, Flights of Wonder (a personal favorite) closed just after the new year to make way for this refreshed version starring the characters from Up (also a personal favorite). Fortunately, Dave was there at the park and got into the very first preview of the show. He was not impressed.

It does not appear much has changed with regards to the theater itself. While the place was closed for several months, they did not take the opportunity to make much aesthetic change to the place.

The show itself also did not change too much. According to Dave, this version is just a little cheesier and frankly, dumbed down. Imagine Flights of Wonder but just with Dug and Russell, and a little less bird information. Also, these are not advanced characters that we have seen pop up in other shows. There is no talking. And can someone explain how Kevin doesn't make an appearance. He's a main character from the movie, he's a giant bird. IT IS A BIRD SHOW.

There is still audience participation, although some of the tricks as you can see below, have been altered.

And some tricks are taken directly from the short lived, abridged birds shows they did in Dinoland and Harambe. Here (although the bird did not cooperate) guests get ready to have a bird walk across their arms.

I did the same thing in Dinoland last year.

And, of course, some things remain. Like there is always Hope.....

In any event, the show does need to work out a few kinks. Hence, the reason to start previewing it a week early. And here's hoping they work on the some of storytelling, as well. But, at the very least, we still get to see some cool birds. As Dave said in a text after the show: Its got a long way to go.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Disney's Animal Kingdom for April 11, 2018: Giant Robot Suit

Pandora Utility Suit: Nothing says "Animal Kingdom" more than a giant mechanical suit. At least that's what Disney says as it is debuting as new entertainment on the park's 20th anniversary, Aprill 22nd. The suit is similar to ones seen in the film. In the movie, it was essentially a combat suit, but ACE has re-purposed the design for research purposes. It will be called the Pandora Conservation Initiative Utility Suit.

photo courtesy of Disney 

Meet Me at the Park: While not Animal Kingdom news per se, it is Disney conservation news. Disney is donating $1.5 million to the National Recreation and Park Association to support their Meet Me in the Park program.  The program attempts to encourage kids to spend more time in their local parks and you can vote on some the parks obtaining grants here. So go vote for your local park.

Park Hours for this week are...
Thursday April 12 9 am - 9:30 pm
Friday April 13 9 am - 9:30 pm
Saturday April 14 9 am- 9:30 pm  Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Sunday  April 15 9 am- 9:30 pm
Monday April 16  9 am- 9:30 pm  Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Tuesday April 17 9 am- 8:30 pm 
Wednesday April 18 9 am- 9:30 pm

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Disney's Animal Kingdom News for April 4, 2018: Some new foods

New food items around the Kingdom: Some new food items have sprung up at Harambe Market and Flame Tree BBQ. First over at Harambe, the gigantic sausage has been replaced with a smaller pork sausage on a piece of naan. There is also a new gyro. For dessert, there is a new coconut cake covered in chocolate and filled with pineapple coconut mousse. Not to be outdone, Flame Tree released a new banana maple cake to much fanfare (and social media pictures).

Dawa Drink: A new drink has been released at the Dawa: Ngumu Jungle Juice. This cocktail is 2 ingredients, the delicious jungle juice from Tusker House plus dark rum. For those that don't know, Jungle Juice is merely POG juice which is Passion fruit, Orange and Guava juices mixed together.

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