With Animal Kingdom going through a metamorphosis from a half-day park to a full-day park, there have been plenty of changes that had added to the guest experience at Animal Kingdom. One of these changes has been the extension of park hours. Animal Kingdom used to close between 5 PM and 7 PM, but is now consistently open until 11 PM every night. Animal Kingdom is a different park at night, so here are the six best things to do at Animal Kingdom at night!
6 – Drinks at Nomad Lounge – the Nomad Lounge is located outside of Tiffins and features an expansive menu of both drinks and bar food. Guests can choose to enjoy their drinks inside or outside on the deck overlooking Discovery River. Guests wanting to sit outside will having many comfortable seats to choose from. We also love the collection of music that was being played over the speakers – we kept looking up what the song was to add to our playlists!
5 – The Tree of Life Awakening – similar to the Celebrate the Magic show at the Magic Kingdom, the Tree of Life Awakening uses projections on the Tree of Life. The projections highlight the carvings that are already on the tree and with the use of video, the carvings appear to be coming to life! The “show” is only about five minutes and a new awakening begins every 10 minutes starting after sunset. Since sunset changes daily, grab a Times Guide or ask a friendly Cast Member for what time to expect the show!
4 – Expedition Everest in the Dark – much like other roller coasters, riding a roller coaster, especially one as thrilling as Expedition Everest, at night is a totally different experience. Your other senses are heightened since you cannot see as well. We loved careening through and around the Forbidden Mountain and grabbing a phenomenal view of the rest of Disney World. The only drawback to Expedition Everest at night is on our recent trip, the single riders line was shut down, making it a little more difficult to grab a quick ride!
3 – Sunset Safari – the Imagineers at Disney have added a bunch of lighting elements to Kilimanjaro Safari, as well as a wonderful permanent sunset on the savanna. The by-product of these additions is that the animals are MUCH more active. When driving through this area, animals were right next to the ride vehicle and very mobile. We would recommend riding just around sunset so you can get the best experience – the animals will be active, but you will also be able to see them!
2 – Jungle Book Show – while this show has been announced as a temporary addition to Animal Kingdom until Rivers of Light debuts, the show is a wonderful fusion of many great elements from classic Disney shows. Guests are treated to scenes from the movie on giant water screens, but then live performers take over and perform the songs and dancers on barges add to the overall quality of the show. The energy of the show was contagious and we love the theatre that the show is presented in!
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1 – Nighttime Harambe Parti – similar to the entertainment in the village of Harambe during the day, at night guests are treated to live music and dancing in the central area of Africa. You’ll love being able to grab a drink at the Dawa Bar or grabbing dinner at the Harambe Market and watch the show and possibly even join in!
Animal Kingdom at night is an entirely new experience and we can’t wait to see what else Disney adds to the line-up for other additions to the park! Have you experienced Animal Kingdom at night? What was your favorite thing?
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