Don’t worry; I am not getting un-ironically artsy on you. But I was at Animal Kingdom killing some time the other day and there were only three people sitting in Harambe Market so I took the opportunity to take some pictures of the signs that you might otherwise not notice. There are a lot of fun details and obviously a lot of time and money went into creating them that didn’t go into Rivers of Light.
This also contains information on what I’m expecting from the various additions coming to the Parks. Scroll down to the bold if you have no interest in this fall.
This is what we’re looking at for November 2016. Click to enlarge or view as a prettier PDF. And if you don’t know what the numbers/letters mean, read the top of this post. The full operating schedule is available here.
While it might not look like it, I’ve spent more than 12 hours (edit: now 15) over the last two days going over this. Most of that time was spent taking a hard look at wait times charts from the last few months to see if crowd flow patterns have changed significantly with the new Extra Magic Hours schedule. But even those patterns are unlikely to continue into the fall with so many changes on the horizon, in addition to the Mickey’s Party schedule and the 7pm closes that come with it throwing everything else for a loop. I also took a long look at what happened last year to see if any improvements could be made in the recommendations or crowd levels.
While we’re still waiting on exact showtimes for the Rivers of Jungle Cruise show, Disney has thrown us a bone by extending Animal Kingdom’s close nightly to 11pm from May 27th to July 2nd. The Park should remain open somewhere between 10:30pm and 11:30pm through at leas the third week in August. I would imagine Disney is waiting to see how the first few weeks go.
As you may be aware, Disney is hosting a national “media event” this week. All of the disseminated information has been posted to the Disney Parks Blog. I will quickly summarize it and then link to the appropriate post.
The new version of the “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular” fireworks show will begin in June as expected. There is no official start date. The fireworks should be daily this summer. You may remember that they are only showing on four nights each week for the first four weeks in May. More details here: https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2016/04/new-star-wars-themed-experiences-shift-into-light-speed-this-summer/. The show in its current state is pretty spectacular and these improvements should only enhance the experience.
Also at Studios, Disney released a short concept video of the Slinky Dog Dash roller coaster and announced the name of the new Mad-Tea-Party-esque spinning ride, Alien Swirling Saucers here: https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2016/04/first-look-toy-story-land-attractions-at-disneys-hollywood-studios/. That should give All Star Sports a run for its money on the acronym front. New Meet and Greet characters are expected to include Rex, Wheezy and the Little Green Aliens, in addition to Woody, Jessie, and Buzz. No opening time frame was announced (and with Rivers of Light debuting in Two-Thousand-Whatever who can blame them), but it shouldn’t take Disney all that long to install two carnival rides.
It sounds like Disney has figured out a way to turn the floats that do work into a Jungle Book themed show that will be shown this summer in place of Rivers of Light. The official start date is “this Memorial Day Weekend” with more details available here: https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2016/04/disneys-animal-kingdom-awakens-at-night-with-new-jungle-book-show-parties-attractions-starting-memorial-day-weekend/. More to come I’m sure.