We head back out to Disney’s Animal Kingdom to catch up on the comings and goings around the Park.
As I am sure you are already aware, the 2017 edition of our occasionally-best-selling and always-highest-rated Walt Disney World guidebook is now available for your casual perusal at the usual link: http://amzn.to/2buYUqG. If you refresh this website hoping that new content will be posted, you might instead take a gander at the 325+ pages of carefully organized Walt Disney World tips that have helped thousands of people plan better vacations. And don’t worry. I am back in town.
Under duress, the website would admit that it is not really a morning person, which is why there are several hundred lunch and dinner reviews on this website and perhaps three breakfast reviews. But with FastPass+ allowing guests to book convenient afternoon FastPass+ experiences in advance, new nighttime spectaculars at Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom(?), and wait times that drop significantly as early as 8pm, late morning/afternoon theme park arrivals are more viable than ever. That may open up your mornings for the occasional table service breakfast, many of which are considerably less expensive than meals later in the day, in addition to being much less busy than prime time dinners.
Looking over wait times at Magic Kingdom on August 14th:
We’ll take a long overdue visit to Animal Kingdom after dark to enjoy some of the sights and sounds and occasionally talk strategy, though it remains to be seen how long that advice is relevant. It’s more or less confirmed that Jungle Book: Alive with Magic will ends its run on September 5th. After that, Animal Kingdom is currently open until 9pm from September 6th through the 29th, then 8:30pm through October 1st, before the close is moved to 7:30pm beginning October 2nd. While those closing times are late relative to how Animal Kingdom has operated prior to this summer, it’s not late enough to allow for much more than an hour of darkness in September with the sun setting at 7:40pm on September 6th and civil twilight ending at 8:04pm. With the 11pm close over the summer, guests had just over two hours of darkness to enjoy the various enhancements. And while the lack of a nighttime show will save people time, it’s still going to be difficult to ride Safaris and Everest at night and make it to the Tree of Life to see an Awakening before the Park closes. Of course, theme park hours are subject to change and they certainly will if and when Rivers of Light comes online. But with how weak attendance has been at Animal Kingdom after 8pm, it seems unlikely that we’ll see later closes in September without Rivers of Light necessitating an extension.
This post was originally part of this general Hollywood Studios update, but appears separately for the sake of relative brevity.
If you took a look at the updated Hollywood Studios Cheat Sheet published last month, you might have noticed that Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster is now considered to be the website’s highest Tier 1 Priority FastPass+ experience: http://www.easywdw.com/reports13/hs_cheatsheet_summer16_full.pdf: