For more than a year, Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park at Walt Disney World® Resort has continued its evolution to a day-to-night park by introducing a rich variety of new nighttime experiences – from Kilimanjaro Safaris after sunset and fine dining at Tiffins, to the vibrant entertainment at the Harambe Wildlife Parti and Discovery Island Carnivale. And when the Tree of Life awakens after dark, it is truly a sight to behold!
Today, Disney’s happy to announce one of the park’s newest nighttime experiences, “Rivers of Light,” will make its official debut on Feb 17, 2017.
Continuing the grand Disney tradition of innovative, after-dark entertainment, “Rivers of Light” combines live performance, floating set pieces, a soaring musical score, fountains and more in a celebration of animals and nature. The story magically unfolds on the broad natural stage of the Discovery River, conveying the uplifting spirit of an ancient and timeless lantern ceremony and filled with symbolism, storytelling and plenty of heart.
This new show will also be part of the Disney Dining and FastPass+ reservations. The park’s culinary team has been working hard to create special dining packages at both Tiffins and Tusker House Restaurant to add to the special evening.
Similar to the popular “Fantasmic!” Dining Packages at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, the “Rivers of Light” Dining Package includes reserved seating at the new show. At all-you-care-to-eat Tusker House, guests can choose the breakfast, lunch or dinner buffet on the day of the show (but they will have to dine at least 2 ½ hours before the show). Breakfast is $37, $23 ages 3 to 9, plus tax and gratuity; lunch and dinner, $49, $30 ages 3 to 9, plus tax and gratuity. Tusker House Restaurant is on the Disney Dining Plan and counts as one table-service meal.
At Tiffins, “Rivers of Light” Dining Packages are available at both lunch and dinner. Guests can choose their favorite appetizer, entrée, dessert plus a non-alcoholic beverage. Dining must take place at least two and a half hours prior to showtime. Cost is $67, $32 ages 3 to 9 plus tax and gratuity. Tiffins accepts the Disney Dining Plan, and counts as two table-service meal entitlements.
Woodbrey Family Travel
Today Disney is excited to share that Pandora – The World of Avatar will open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Park at Walt Disney World® Resort on May 27, 2017.
This new land will transport guests to the visually stunning world of Pandora. Here, they will wonder at floating mountains and bioluminescent plants, and can join the Na’vi on two excursions that take adventure to the next level.
First, the family friendly Na’vi River Journey will send guests through a bioluminescent rainforest. Their journey will end in an unforgettable encounter with a Na’vi Shaman, a figure who has a deep connection to the life force of Pandora. And second, Avatar Flight of Passage will offer guests the jaw-dropping experience of exploring the world of Pandora atop a Banshee.
Guests will also be able to dine at Satu’li Canteen, grab a drink at Pongu Pongu or shop for Na’vi cultural items, toys, science kits, and more at Windtraders.
Also, Disney is excited to announce that their new Star Wars-themed lands at Disneyland® Park in California and Disney’s Hollywood Studios® in Florida will be opening in 2019!
The Star Wars-themed lands are the largest-ever, single-themed land expansions at Disneyland® and Walt Disney World® Resorts. At each location, guests will be transported to a never-before-seen planet – a remote trading port and one of the last stops before wild space – where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life. Here’s a glimpse at one of the signature attractions which lets guests take the controls of the Millennium Falcon!
Woodbrey Family Travel
Disney’s Animal is welcoming a new land known as “Pandora – The World of AVATAR”. For the last several years, Disney has been working on this land and it is expected to open the summer of 2017!
When traveling to this new land guests will be immersed in adventure and wonder with the following experiences:
- Satu’li Canteen – The main restaurant in Pandora – The World of AVATAR that will feature Na’vi art and cultural items
- Windtraders – The merchandise location where travelers can find Na’vi cultural items, toys, science kits and more
- Pongu Pongu – A special drink location with a design that is a eclectic as its Expat owner
- AVATAR Flight of Passage – Excursions that offer the jaw-dropping experience of riding on a Banshee over the world of Pandora
- Na’vi River Journey – A family-friendly experience that will send guests down a sacred river hidden within a bioluminescent rainforest
Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme Park is coming alive for guests for the first time at night starting on May 27, 2016. The park will awaken at night with new experiences under the stars. These new experiences include; The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic live show, the WildLife Parti, Kilimanjaro Safaris at nighttime experience, the “Rivers of Light” nighttime spectacular river show and enjoy seeing the Iconic Tree of Life come to life.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park after the sun sets, including nightly awakenings of the park’s iconic Tree of Life. Beginning May 27, animal spirits will be brought to life each night by magical fireflies that reveal colorful stories of wonder and enchantment along with other amazing sights at the tree.
After the sun sets, guests also will be able to explore Kilimanjaro Safaris and see the nighttime behavior of the wildlife and better tune in to the unique vocalization of the animals like never before. Among the new experiences, the village of Harambe in Africa will become the place to enjoy “Wildlife Parti” and the spirited community of Discovery Island will come together to celebrate their love of the natural world with the Discover Island Carnivale.
And the park’s Discovery River will awaken at night and become a stunning stage for performances of the limited-engagement show The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic, inspired by the hit live-action film Disney’s The Jungle Book. Shows will feature memorable moments from the film, including the iconic Shere Khan, and will be filled with music and special effects that celebrate the movie and classic songs, infused with an Indian influence. Starting tomorrow, May 21, 2016, guests will be able to add this experience to their FastPass+ and dining packages.
Also, the “Rivers of Light”show will depict an ancient lantern festival guided by two storytellers who call forth four animal Spirit Guides. The Spirit Guides return at different points during the show to lead the audience on a journey through the Rivers of Light. This show has no official opening date as of yet. Stay tuned for more updates on Rivers of Light and other nighttime experiences at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
– Cody Woodbrey
New Happenings at Walt Disney World This Summer
This summer is going to be filled with all new attractions and entertainment at Walt Disney World Resort. Each park will have something new to offer to their guests. The excitement doesn’t stop there but continues at Disney Springs and Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park. Several new shops, restaurants and entertainment will be opening throughout the summer at Disney’s Springs. Lastly, Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park will have guest participating in all new Frozen Games with some of the characters from Frozen.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
- The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic Show – For the summer, Discovery River becomes the stage for music and pageantry in a limited-engagement show inspired by Disney’s hit live-action film The Jungle Book. The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic is a live show filled with music and special effects that celebrates the new film and the classic songs, now infused with an Indian influence.
- Tree of Life Awakenings – The Tree of Life swirls with dramatic color throughout the evening as artistic projections tell stories of love, adventure, humor and culture.
- Discovery Island Carnivale – When this nighttime dance party hits the streets, you’ll get to revel in the splendor of all living things alongside stilt walkers, musicians and more.
- Harambe Wildlife Parti – You’ll be able to join singers, dancers, acrobats and musicians for a wild and wonderful street festival that kicks off when the sun sets.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Star Wars Launch Bay – It’s the place to go for popular character encounters and more. The Launch Bay currently has guests meeting Chewbacca and Kylo Ren but soon Boba Fett too will be joining them.
- Star Tours– The Adventures Continue – On this thrilling attraction, you’ll travel to Jakku, an all-new destination from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
- Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple – Bring your Younglings to hone their Lightsaber skills in preparation to face the dark side.
- Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular – Look to the skies for this nightly fireworks finale bursting with Star War music and magic. Disney’s Hollywood Studios is taking this firework show to the next level starting in June.
- Frozen Ever After – This boating adventure through Arendelle features favorite Frozen characters, songs and a visit to Elsa’s Ice Palace in the cool blue world of the North Mountain.
- Royal Sommerhus – You’ll have a royally good time as you meet Anna and Elsa in a charming Norwegian culture.
Magic Kingdom Park
- Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire – Music and magic arrive at the castle stage for a new show featuring Mickey Mouse and pals, along with characters from The Princess and the Frog, Tangled, and Frozen.
- Town Center – This new Disney Springs neighborhood will feature unique flagship stores, incredible boutiques, restaurants and much more.
Harambe Market, a bustling marketplace alive with the aromas and flavors of African street foods, adds an exciting new dimension to the expanded Harambe Village experience at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park in Walt Disney World® Resort.
Built around a Colonial-era train depot design complete with a 1960s water tower, Harambe Market invites you to sample true flavors of Africa before or after you embark on Kilimanjaro Safaris®. The following four themed shops offer fresh meals, snacks and beverages like those found in an African street market:
- Kitamu Grill featuring skewered chicken and kebab flatbread sandwich.
- Famous Sausages showcasing a corndog made with a South African boerewors sausage dipped in curry-infused corn batter.
- Chef Mwanga’s spice-rubbed Karubi Rib paired with green papaya-carrot slaw.
- Wanjohi Refreshments quenches thirsts with craft draft beers, South African wines by the glass, sangria, frozen drinks, non-alcoholic tangerine lemonade and fountain beverages.
Harmabe Market offers shaded tables for dining, and area shops sell wares from Africa. And from the marketplace, you can enjoy direct access to Kilimanjaro Safaris, the Wildlife Express train to Rafiki’s Planet Watch and a path to Asia attractions, including Expedition Everest®.
– Cody Woodbrey
If you are planning on taking to Walt Disney World in the future, please contact me for more information and deals.
– Cody Woodbrey
There are a lot of different types of snacks and desserts found at the Walt Disney World Resort properties. Here is a list of the top 15 choices from my guests’ favorite snacks and desserts while they visit Walt Disney World… Try not to get too hungry reading blog!
1. Dole Whip Ice Cream or Dole Whip Float – Location: Aloha Isle In Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom and at Capt. Cook’s in Disney’s Polynesian Resort
2. Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar – Location: In all parks
3. Funnel Cake – Location: Sleepy Hollow at the Magic Kingdom and at the Funnel Cake stand near the American Pavilion in Epcot
4. Churro – Location: Mexico Pavilion in Epcot
5. Frozen Lemonade – Location: In all parks
6. Carrot Cake Cookie – Location: Writer’s Shop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios
7. Mickey Mouse Shaped Pretzels- Location: In all parks
8. Fish & Chips (Fries) – Location: Rose and Crown Rub in Epcot
9. Turkey Leg – Location: Toluca Legs Turkey Co. in Disney’s Hollywood Studios
10. Popcorn & Pickles – Location: In all parks
11. Strawberry Tart- Location: Les Halles Boulangerie & Patisseries in Epcot
12. Ghirardelli Hot Fudge Sundae – Location: Ghirardelli Soda fountain shop at Downtown Disney
13. The Grey Stuff – Location: Be Our Guest Restaurant at Magic Kingdom
14. LeFou’s Brew- Location: Gastons’s Tavern at the Magic Kingdom
15. The Kitchen Sink (The Biggest Ice Cream Sundae You Can Imagine)- Location: Beaches & Cream Soda Shop at Disney’s Beach Club Resort (Along the Boardwalk)
Again, there are a lot of great snacks even beyond these 15 choices. Feel free to comment and share some of your favorite desserts below.
– Cody Woodbrey
My name is Cody Woodbrey and I specialize in planning Disney vacations and as someone who has worked years in the parks, I provide the insider’s touch that few travel consultants can offer.
Since my first trip to Disneyland when I was four years old, my passion for this company and what it offers to families has grown exponentially. I find myself wanting to share that passion, as well as my experience and knowledge with others so they in turn may grow to love what this company has to offer.
When I travel to Disney destinations, I cringe when I see families struggle to enjoy themselves because they are stuck in line, or are just not aware of the amenities and services that Disney provides. As someone who has worked on, and lived near the Walt Disney World property, has experienced Disneyland more times than I can remember, and has cruised multiple times on the Disney Cruise Line, I can help guests and their families plan a vacation that is built around their dreams and is specific to them. In the words of Walt Disney, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”
My goal is to provide guests with the most current information, and best advice to make sure they spend their time exactly how they would like to. My services are ABSOULTELY FREE to those who book with me.
This blog is an extension of those services. With advice on all things Disney travel. I am excited to share my love and passion of all things Disney Travel with you.
Your Disney Travel Expert,