We visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom in the midst of its 20th anniversary celebration.
Somewhat surprisingly, Disney added a morning Extra Magic Hour to virtually every day between April 29th and June 30th. You can see if your dates are affected by clicking here and then clicking the calendar icon to select the first day of your trip. Then scroll down to Disney’s best theme park and see if it says “Extra Magic Hours 8am – 9am.” It probably will.
The change is a bit curious, but Pandora: The World of Avatar continues to be incredibly popular as we saw with our last rope drop strategy post. Offering an 8am Extra Magic Hour means that Disney can operate a limited number of attractions during that hour without opening the entire Park to everyone for a regular 8am open. Those staying on property and able to arrive at Animal Kingdom at least 45 minutes before the EMH starts will see a considerable benefit. It means fewer people will be in attendance and FastPass+ won’t slow down the standby line during the Extra Magic Hour since none are offered to anyone. Those staying off-property or unable to arrive by 7:15am for the 8am EMH are going to want to plan on using FastPass+ at Flight of Passage whenever possible. The only other opportunity to experience Pandora’s marquee ride with an actual standby wait of under an hour is going to be last thing at night as described in this post. With the 10pm closes most days over the next couple of months, that does mean a late night.
For those staying off-property or arriving closer to 9am, riding Na’vi River Journey with a relatively short wait first thing should hopefully be possible. The website will keep an eye on how quickly wait times build over the next couple of weeks.
During the morning EMH, Flight of Passage, Na’vi River Journey, DINOSAUR, Expedition Everest, and TriceraTop Spin will operate. Kilimanjaro Safaris should be operating during the EMH on just Mondays and Saturdays, but that’s subject to change.
Speaking of Pandora, the new Land has seen some problems over the last couple of days. Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey did not open on Wednesday, April 25th. Flight of Passage opened with the Park on April 26th, but Na’vi River Journey is expected to be down all day again. Cast members indicate that it’s a problem with the fire suppression system giving false positives, which has been an ongoing problem.
There’s quite a bit of work going on in DinoLand in front of Donald’s Dino-Bash debuting on May 25th.
The Dino-Bash is expected to be a permanent addition and will increase the number of character meet and greets in this area from two to eight.
Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Scrooge McDuck, Launchpad McQuack, Goofy, Pluto, Chip, and Dale should all meet in different areas around Chester and Hester’s Dino-Rama.
We’ll see what that ends up looking like in about a month.
We’ll head in through The Oasis.
Just in time to see the Macaws heading in for the night.
The rest of this post is 98.3% pictures:
As we move on to DinoLand:
And on to Asia:
And over to Africa:
The website does offer three recent, wordier updates in case you missed any of them.
There’s a review of Caring For Giants, the reasonably-priced elephant tour that I recommend considering.
I also review A Path Less Traveled, which is a limited time tour offered for the Park’s 20th anniversary.
And I have a lot of menu updates and new desserts reviewed in this post.
For now, we’ll take a ride on Kilimanjaro Safaris just before sunset:
Check out this poor elephant just trying to do a little redecorating while the family is out running errands:
We’ll get back over to Animal Kingdom for a more robust update and a look at what that new Up bird show has to offer. I don’t yet have the heart to give it zero stars.