The fourth gate at Walt Disney World is in a state of flux. Animal Kingdom is receiving a bunch of additions that will finally have people considering it a full-day park. Within the next year, there are many new experiences coming on line for guests to enjoy. Here are the five that we are most excited about.
5 – Rivers of Light – expected to open this spring, the Rivers of Light will the nighttime show on Discovery River in the Asia/Dinoland area of the park. Rivers of Light is expected to be similar to Fantasmic! Performers will be on floats and Disney will take advantage of water screens to project the images of animals in the night sky. The central icon of the park, the Tree of Life, will also play a role in the show. We have seen the seating being built around the river near Expedition Everest and cannot wait for the show to premiere!
4 – Tiffins Restaurant – this new table-service restaurant should be opening on Discovery Island soon, as well. It is going to be located behind Pizzafari and offer guests views of the water. This addition will add diversity to the food options currently offered at the park. Tiffins will be a fancier option for guests coming to the park featuring options from the various locales already represented in the park.
3 – Avatar: The World of Pandora – the biggest addition is coming to the area where Camp Minnie Mickey used to be located. The World of Pandora isn’t scheduled to open until 2017, but guests can already see some of the floating mountains peeking about the tree line. This new area of the park will be bringing two, new attractions to Animal Kingdom. First, there will be a boat ride through the bioluminescence forests. The second, is going to be an E-ticket, ride on the back of a banshee through the world of Pandora. Based on the art that we’ve seen for the experiences already, we can’t wait to grab out FastPasses for these rides!
2 – The Yeti? – we will file this under rumor, but once the new attractions come in the World of Pandora, Animal Kingdom can finally take Expedition Everest down for an extended refurbishment to fix the base for the Yeti so it can finally be functional again. Nothing official has been announced by Disney, but we are hoping that this is a rumor that comes to fruition.
1 – Nighttime Safari Rides – with the added traffic coming to the parks, Disney is extending the hours of Kilimanjaro Safaris and offering guests the opportunity to ride at night. New animals have already been added to the ride and we cannot wait to try this experience once the sun sets!
Animal Kingdom has long been maligned as a half-day park, but these changes will make guests stay a full-day or may even have them coming back to explore on a second day. What are you most excited about coming to Animal Kingdom?
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Photo courtesy of Disney Photo Snapper