Disney KiteTails is the newest show to arrive at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, with previews currently taking place and its official opening tomorrow during the 50th anniversary of the Walt Disney World Resort. The show features kites and windcatchers designed after favorite Disney characters in a high-flying performance above the Discovery River Theater.
Fans on social media were quick to point out some of the striking differences between the show as it debuted and its concept art, and during yesterday’s previews clips were recorded and shared showing awkward landings for some of the kites, especially for poor Baloo from The Jungle Book. In short, the show was met with very mixed reviews by fans, and even “mixed reviews” may be putting it lightly.
During a portion of today’s previews, after coming in for a rough landing, it appears the jet ski pulling the kite of baby Simba overturned, causing the show to be cut short. Twitter user @thatdisneyboi caught the moment on video:
PLEASE KITETAILS pic.twitter.com/GZ8oZOTMuL
— 🎃Ethan🎃 “don't call us bestie, bestie 💀” -HHN (@ThatDisneyBoi) September 30, 2021
Thankfully none of the performers in Disney KiteTails were injured by the incident (and as far as we know the kite is okay, too) but the occurrence of something like this only during the show’s second day of soft openings certainly does not seem like a good sign for Animal Kingdom’s newest daytime show, especially when it’s considered with some of the negative opinions Guests already seem to have of KiteTails.
While we can’t speak to what went wrong with today’s show, it seems like some of the issue in fan disappointment of KiteTails could be chalked up to a marketing error. Now promoted as a “daytime activation” rather than a show, we think that phrasing implies it is simply something interesting to see happening while the theater would otherwise be empty, not a show on par with a fireworks show or even one of the live productions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Moreover, the show being loosely inspired by Asian kite festivals does make a lot of sense for this area of Disney’s Animal Kingdom in terms of theming, we just…would not complain if it were better executed in the future. That being said, we’re glad no performers were hurt when this jet ski overturned and we will update you on any news from KiteTails as we have it.