Animal Kingdom Park

Video: Behind the Scenes at Pandora – The World of AVATAR

Today I'm excited to share this amazing sneak peek into one of the Walt Disney World Resort’s most exciting expansions: the construction of Pandora – The World of AVATAR, which will open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park this summer (stay tuned for an official date). 

As you can see in the video, Pandora – The World of AVATAR will transport you to a visually stunning world complete with floating mountains and bioluminescent plants, first unvelied to me back in November. This new land will feature two never-before-experienced expeditions. The family-friendly Na’vi River Journey sends you down a sacred river hidden within a bioluminescent rainforest. The journey ends in an unforgettable encounter with a Na’vi shaman, a figure who has a deep connection to the life force of Pandora. And, the Avatar Flight of Passage excursion offers the jaw-dropping experience of riding on a Banshee over the world of Pandora.

View special offers available for summer travel to the Walt Disney World 

Darren Wittko - Specializes in Disney Destinations with Magical Vacations Travel. He is rated a "Best of the Best" Disney Travel Agent by readers of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World

Details Emerge About New Pandora Attractions

This past weekend I attended D23’s Destination D: Amazing Adventures presentation where details were shared about the opening of Pandora – The World of AVATAR at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park in summer 2017 at Walt Disney World Resort.

Na’vi River Journey – A family-friendly experience that will send you down a sacred river hidden within a bioluminescent rainforest.The adventure begins as guests set out in canoes and venture down a mysterious, sacred river hidden within the bioluminescent rainforest. The full beauty of Pandora reveals itself as the canoes pass by exotic glowing plants and amazing creatures. The journey culminates in an encounter with a Na’vi shaman, who has a deep connection to the life force of Pandora and sends positive energy out into the forest through her music. Na’vi River Journey will open with Pandora.

Pandora – The World of AVATAR will bring a variety of new experiences to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, including a family-friendly attraction called Na’vi River Journey. 

AVATAR Flight of Passage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom — This E-ticket attraction, the centerpiece of Pandora, allows guests to soar on a Banshee over a vast alien world. The spectacular flying experience will give guests a birds-eye view of the beauty and grandeur of the world of Pandora on an aerial rite of passage.

AVATAR Flight of Passage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom — This E-ticket attraction, the centerpiece of Pandora, allows guests to soar on a Banshee over a vast alien world. The spectacular flying experience will give guests a birds-eye view of the beauty and grandeur of the world of Pandora on an aerial rite of passage.

Windtraders -  The merchandise location where travelers can find Na’vi cultural items, toys, science kits and more

Opening in summer 2017 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Pandora-The World of Avatar will bring a variety of new experiences to the park, including a family-friendly attraction called Na’vi River Journey and new food & beverage and merchandise locations. Pongu Pongu (pictured here) will be a special drink location with a design that is as eclectic as its Expat owner.

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.

Satu’li Canteen – The main restaurant in Pandora – The World of AVATAR that will feature Na’vi art and cultural items

Darren Wittko - Specializes in Disney Destinations with Magical Vacations Travel. He is rated aBest of the Best Disney Travel Agent by readers of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World

Tiffins Restaurant at Disney's Animal Kingdom - Reservations now available.

Tiffin's Restaurant at Disney's Animal Kingdom Park. 

Beginning May 28, 2016 Disney will open its newest signature restaurant at Walt Disney World ResortTiffins at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, featuring cuisine and beverages from places that inspired the creation of the Park. Reservations open May 21, 2016. 

Open for both lunch and dinner, Tiffins is situated near Pizzafari on Discovery Island, near what will be the entrance to Pandora – The World of AVATAR, when it opens in 2017. (“Tiffin” is an Indian English word for a midday meal or a type of container used to carry food while traveling). Adjacent to Tiffins, Nomad Lounge features waterfront views in addition to hand-crafted cocktails with African, Asian and South American flavors; beers, and sustainable wines from those regions, plus specialty non-alcoholic beverages and small bites.

Here's a look at Tiffin's Menu

The park’s culinary team is working on special dining packages which will begin May 28 at Tiffins and Tusker House Restaurant for the new limited-engagement nighttime show, The Jungle Book: Alive With Magic.

Similar to the popular Fantasmic! Dining Packages at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the Dining Package includes reserved seating for the nighttime show. At all-you-care-to-eat Tusker House Restaurant, you can choose the breakfast, lunch or dinner buffet on the day of the show (but you have to dine at least 2 1/2 hours before the show). Breakfast is $37, $23 ages 3-9, plus tax and gratuity; lunch and dinner, $49, $30 ages 3-9, plus tax and gratuity. Tusker House Restaurant is on the Disney Dining Plan and counts as one table-service meal.

At Tiffins, the package includes the choice of appetizer, entrée, dessert and non-alcoholic beverage at either lunch or dinner. The Dining Package is $67 for adults, $32 ages 3-9, plus tax and gratuity. Tiffins is on the Disney Dining Plan and counts as two table-service meal credits.

Reservations will open May 21, 2016 for Tiffins restaurant as well as Dining Packages for The Jungle Book: Alive With Magic nighttime show, and can be made by visiting DisneyWorld.com/dine or by calling 407-WDW-DINE. 

Darren Wittko is the creator of Save at Walt Disney World and a Disney Destinations Specialist atMagical Vacations Travel. Voted "best of the best Disney travel agent"  by readers of the 2015Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. He is also the creator of The Best of Walt Disney World blog.

Update on Rivers of Light - Disney's Animal Kingdom

A quick update that development work continues on “Rivers of Light.” This 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. No official opening date has been set. 

Related: 

What Happened to Rivers of Light?

FastPasses Available Now for Animal Kingdom Nighttime Experiences + Updates

Darren Wittko is the creator of Save at Walt Disney World and a Disney Destinations Specialist at Magical Vacations Travel. Voted "best of the best Disney travel agent"  by readers of the 2015 Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World.

FastPasses Available Now for Disney's Animal Kingdom Nighttime Events

FastPass+ and dining packages for Disney’s Animal Kingdom night experiences are available now! 

Kilimanjaro Safaris and Harambe Village

What to expect with a Kilimanjaro Safaris night time expedition. 

After the sun sets, you 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.

Tree of Life

Tree of Life nighttime show at Disney's Animal Kingdom Park

Beginning May 27, animal spirits will be brought to life each night at the Tree of Life by magical fireflies that reveal colorful stories of wonder and enchantment along with other amazing sights and lighting effects at the tree.  

DISCOVERY RIVER

At Disney's Animal Kingdom, Discovery River will become a stunning stage for performances of the limited-engagement show The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic, inspired by the 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. 

Related

Animal Kingdom Nighttime Attractions

Tiffins Restaurant Coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom

Sneak Peek at Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Update on Rivers of Light

Darren Wittko is the creator of Save at Walt Disney World and a Disney Destinations Specialist at Magical Vacations Travel. Voted "best of the best Disney travel agent"  by readers of the 2015 Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World.

Disability Access Service at Walt Disney World

Disability Access at Walt Disney World

The Disability Access Service (DAS) at Walt Disney World is available if a disability makes it difficult to wait in a conventional queue environment, providing the opportunity to receive a return time similar to the posted wait time for the given attraction. Once you receive a return time, you are free to enjoy other theme park offerings such as meeting a character, grabbing a bite to eat, enjoying entertainment or even visiting another attraction until your designated
return time.  This service can be used in addition to Disney FastPass+ service.

If you need any assistance during your upcoming visit, including issuance of the DAS, please visit a Guest Relations location once you arrive at any Disney Park.  Our Guest Relations Cast Members will work directly with you to discuss your overall needs, and they are ready to help.

In the meantime, to help you plan your visit, we've developed a guide for our Guests with Disabilities that provides pertinent information as well as answers to many Frequently Asked Questions.  You can access this guide by visiting the following link:

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/guest-services/guests-with-disabilitie
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What Happened to Rivers of Light?

Disney released a menu of attractions and entertainment coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom Park this summer but what happened to Rivers of Light? The show was originally supposed to open tonight but Disney later announced that it would be delayed. And now, it's not even in the summer lineup of attractions and entertainment. 

But even without Rivers of Light, I'm excited to see some new nighttime experiences coming to Animal Kingdom. 

Here’s a taste of what to expect:

  • “The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic” Show – For the summer, Discovery River will become the stage for a limited-engagement show inspired by Disney’s hit live-action film “The Jungle Book.” “The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic” is filled with music and special effects that celebrates the new film and the classic songs, now infused with an Indian influence.
  • The Tree of Life Awakens – The park’s iconic Tree of Life undergoes an extraordinary “awakening.” You can expect to see animal spirits come to life throughout the evening by magical fireflies. Each scene appears to emanate from within the tree itself and reveals stories of wonder.
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris After Dark – You can enjoy Kilimanjaro Safaris in the evening hours, thanks to special lighting that will allow them to explore the savanna – and its inhabitants – well into the night.
  • Harambe Wildlife Parti – Guests can turn into “party animals” at the Harambe Wildlife Parti and enjoy lively African music, exotic foods and drinks, and explore the local marketplace.
  • Discovery Island Carnivale – On Discovery Island, you can join the local community in your celebration of you love for nature in this party that features music, dancers, stilt walkers, food and more.
  • Tiffins – Guests can enjoy the park’s newest eatery, Tiffins, for both lunch and dinner. Check out this previous post for a peek at what to expect from the menu.
  • Nighttime Attractions – The park’s attractions, which will be operating in the nighttime hours, will take on a whole new life. For the first time, guests will be able to experience the thrill of attractions like Expedition Everest and Kali River Rapids – surrounded by darkness. They’ll also be able to enjoy colorful midway games and attractions in DinoLand, U.S.A.
“The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic” Show –  For the summer, Discovery River will become the stage for a limited-engagement show inspired by Disney’s hit live-action film “The Jungle Book.” “The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic” is filled with music and special effects that celebrates the new film and the classic songs, now infused with an Indian influence.

“The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic” Show – For the summer, Discovery River will become the stage for a limited-engagement show inspired by Disney’s hit live-action film “The Jungle Book.” “The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic” is filled with music and special effects that celebrates the new film and the classic songs, now infused with an Indian influence.

The Tree of Life Awakens  – Here's a first look at Animal Kingdom's iconic  Tree of Life  as it undergoes an extraordinary transformation. You can expect to see animal spirits come to life throughout the evening by magical fireflies. Each scene appears to emanate from within the tree itself and reveals stories of wonder.

The Tree of Life Awakens – Here's a first look at Animal Kingdom's iconic Tree of Life as it undergoes an extraordinary transformation. You can expect to see animal spirits come to life throughout the evening by magical fireflies. Each scene appears to emanate from within the tree itself and reveals stories of wonder.

tree_of_life_night_disney
Harambe Wildlife Parti  – Guests can turn into “party animals” at the Harambe Wildlife Parti and enjoy lively African music, exotic foods and drinks, and explore the local marketplace.    Discovery Island Carnivale   – On Discovery Island, guests can join the local community in their celebration of their love for nature in this party that features music, dancers, stilt walkers, food and more.

Harambe Wildlife Parti – Guests can turn into “party animals” at the Harambe Wildlife Parti and enjoy lively African music, exotic foods and drinks, and explore the local marketplace.

Discovery Island Carnivale – On Discovery Island, guests can join the local community in their celebration of their love for nature in this party that features music, dancers, stilt walkers, food and more.

Nighttime Attractions – The park’s attractions, which will be operating in the nighttime hours, will take on a whole new life. For the first time, guests will be able to experience the thrill of attractions like  Expedition Everest  and  Kali River Rapids  – surrounded by darkness. They’ll also be able to enjoy colorful midway games and attractions in DinoLand, U.S.A.   

Nighttime Attractions – The park’s attractions, which will be operating in the nighttime hours, will take on a whole new life. For the first time, guests will be able to experience the thrill of attractions like Expedition Everest and Kali River Rapids – surrounded by darkness. They’ll also be able to enjoy colorful midway games and attractions in DinoLand, U.S.A.

 

Darren Wittko - Specializes in Disney Destinations with Magical Vacations Travel. He is rated a Best of the Best Disney Travel Agent by readers of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World

Rivers of Light Opening Date Set

UPDATE: Rivers of light will not open on April 22, 2016. Stay tuned for a new opening date. 

Update: Photo from live testing of Rivers of Light at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Photo of an actual rehearsal of Rivers of Light at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park

Photo of an actual rehearsal of Rivers of Light at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park

 

We’re excited to share that “Rivers of Light,” the first-ever night-time show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, will officially debut at the Walt Disney World Resort on April 22, 2016.

The show, set on Discovery River in the Asia section of the park, will depict an ancient lantern festival guided by two storytellers who call forth four animal Spirit Guides: an Asian Tiger, Tropical Turtle, African Elephant and Great Horned Owl. These Spirit Guides return at different points during the show to lead the audience through their journey through the Rivers of Light.

Get a first look at some of the illuminated lanterns, water screens, moving fountains and other amazing elements that will be featured in “Rivers of Light” in this video!

Darren is the creator of Save at Walt Disney World and Specializes in Disney Destinations withMagical Vacations Travel.

Tiffins Restaurant Coming to Animal Kingdom Park

Tiffins Restaurant | Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park

Open for both lunch and dinner at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Tiffins will offer a diverse menu based on the locations that inspired the creation of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This Disney Signature Restaurant will also include waterfront views from comfortable indoor and outdoor seating areas. And if you’re wondering about the story behind the name, “tiffin” is an Indian English word for a midday meal or a type of container used to carry food while traveling.

Darren Wittko is the creator of Save at Walt Disney World and a Disney Destinations Specialist at Magical Vacations Travel. Voted "best of the best Disney travel agent"  by readers of the 2015 Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. He is also the creator of The Best of Walt Disney World blog