We return to Disney’s Animal Kingdom to see what’s going on.
And while the answer at this very moment might be “not a whole lot,” we are counting down a little more than 60 days until the 20th anniversary of the theme park.
Party for the Planet, which has historically begun on the Park’s anniversary on April 22nd, will be expanded this year.
Part of that offering will be the addition of limited edition food and drink items available at the Park’s various kiosks.
I’m sure long kiosk lines won’t inhibit crowd flow considering this is how things look in the middle of the afternoon in early February. Disney had 30+ years of experience with narrow walkways at Magic Kingdom only to open Expedition Everest with approximately six inches between the ride’s entrance and the water on the other side.
But there’s always room for more six-ounce beers and $9.50 African Lobster Rolls. The website will take a look at the offerings and see if they’re interesting enough to “review.” The expectation is that the limited time offerings will debut at existing locations on April 22nd and be available for about two weeks.
Beginning on May 13th, a new dance party hosted by Donald and friends will arrive in DinoLand.
Scrooge and Launchpad should make appearances, which I am excited to see. A new version of DuckTales premiered on Disney XD this past August and I would think that a dinosaur-themed party would play well this summer with “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” opening at the end of June.
Past dance parties have taken up residence in front of this truck towards the back of the parking lot. I would expect that trend to continue.
Disney is testing complimentary backstage tours of the veterinary care facilities at Rafiki’s Planet Watch over the next couple of weeks, probably in anticipation of a new paid tour called “A Path Less Traveled.” More details on that tour, which is currently scheduled to run from April 1st through May 5th, is available on Disney’s site here. Considering the $59 tour includes the $30 Caring for Giants elephant viewing and a reserved spot for Rivers of Light, in addition to the backstage tour portion, the tour seems like a good value.
Tiffins Talks, which should be similar to Dine with an Imagineer, are also expected to be offered during the anniversary celebration. I will be giving my lecture, tentatively titled, “Why you should feel bad that you didn’t like Animal Kingdom sooner, you loser” on dates to-be-determined.
Otherwise, the Park’s babies remain a highlight.
The Sumatran tiger twins arrived at Maharajah Jungle Trek in the middle of December.
You can sort of see them playing in the plants towards the left of the screen as one proud mama looks on.
A few more pictures from the area:
And over at Gorilla Falls:
And The Oasis:
There’s always something new to see.
Work continues on what may or may not still be called Caravan Stage.
You might remember that Flights of Wonder was performed for the last time on December 31st, 2017.
The new show, “Adventurers Meet UP! A Great Bird Adventure” will debut on Earth Day, Aprill 22nd, along with a lot of the anniversary offerings.
The theater facade is finally seeing some thematic elements added.
One wonders if it was always the plan to run Flights of Wonder for a bit longer without any exterior theming before making the change over to Pixar. At least now it looks like it will be painted to look like a really ugly clubouse.
Drinkwallah, the quick service outlet 99% of people are unfamiliar with, remains behind walls during its refurbishment.
It’s right across the way from what will become the UP theater, so you have to assume that it’s ripe for a tie-in.
Located at the exit to what was Flights of Wonder and turned to an unfortunate angle away from the main walkway, what is now called Warung Outpost continues offering frozen margaritas.
These things are incredibly popular in Epcot, but have failed to catch on here.
Erin and I tried the $10.25 Triple Yeti Blast, which is a mixture of the Mango, Lime, and Strawberry flavors. It was surprisingly refreshing with what tasted like natural flavors and a little bit of tequila showing through the sugar. I’m thinking it’s not a bad drink to carry in to the UP show come April.
A quick ride on nearby Expedition Everest:
If you missed our consideration of “off-season” wait times at Animal Kingdom over the last four years, you might check out this post, which shows that Expedition Everest wait times are up more than 75% since 2015.
The Tree of Life:
Unfortunately, Chakranadi’s run in Asia has come to an end.
We’ll miss the unique blend of sound.
This guy at Animal Kingdom is my literal favorite pic.twitter.com/wWJuwfgn9k
— josh (@easywdw) November 18, 2016
Discovery Island Sunset Serenatas also comes to an end in a disappointing move. Gotta pay for that dance party somehow.
While we don’t really do “seasons” in Florida, this time of year is probably the prettiest as Flower and Garden is about to get underway over at Epcot.
There isn’t a lot to update on the menu front. Over at Restaurantosaurus, they are offering Disney Fried Fish, in addition to switching out the Clam Chowder for “Potato Soup with Bacon, Cheese, and Chives.” In a sad twist, the Hot Dogosaurus is no longer available. The addition and subtraction may be a Lent thing. The Black Bean Burger is described as a “Spicy Southwestern-flavored Patty on a Toasted Bun with Provolone and House-made Avocado Spread served with French Fries.” It used to be topped with cheddar cheese. Exciting, I know. They also added a simple margarita in place of whatever rum drink was last offered.
A reminder that Victory Golden Monkey, a 9.5% ABV tripel, is still available at Thirsty River Bar on the walk over to Expedition Everest. A couple of those may make Flight of Passage’s 162-minute average wait 3.2% more palatable.
The bar looks like this and is situated to the left of the roller coaster’s entrance.
You might remember my Chef’s Tasting Menu lunch review of Tiffins from last month, where I also raved about the steak. That entree has already changed completely while the rest of the menu has stayed exactly the same. So either I was very wrong or the beef was so good that they didn’t want to sabotage your experience other restaurants by serving something so clearly extraordinary. In my infinite delusion, I’m going with the latter.
A few more pictures:
We’ll (probably) keep going with Animal Kingdom.