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Disney’s Animal Kingdom Update – Construction Walls Everywhere


I ducked into Disney’s Animal Kingdom for a late October check on the progress the park is making to adding some much needed night time entertainment. As part of the project the area around the Tree of Life on Discovery Island is getting upgrades and a larger performance zone, and so is the river between Asia and DinoLand that will eventually be home to the Rivers of Light water show.

If you can’t view the video, I have an image gallery at the end of this post:

As you can see all the construction makes Disney’s Animal Kingdom a Kingdom of Walls. We were there on a weekend and there was a lot of activity on Discovery Island, around the Tree of Life, but as far as I could tell, no work on the tree itself yet. In fact, they’ve actually let the area around the tree go a little bit. And you could see where horticulture really needed to get in and clean things up.

There is a new Cotton-Top Tamarin exhibit on Discovery Island. It’s away from the front of the island and over on the path to Africa. With a new performance corridor in the front, I wonder if more animal exhibits will be spread around the area. I’d like that.


The Rivers of Light water show should be impressive, but as you can see, the amount of work to transform that area into one suitable for holding the amount of crowds that area expected is significant. No official date has been announced, but I have heard that opening has been pushed back to sometime in 2016 instead of late 2015, which I believe was the original target.

Sadly, construction on Avatar: The Worlds of Pandora is completely hidden from guest accessible areas. My understanding is the pace of construction has slowed to match the movie’s delayed release dates. But they are just about done with horizontal construction and ground prep and will soon do some vertical work.

In addition to the in-park work, Disney’s Animal Kingdom has almost finished added more parking spaces to their parking lot, filling in what used to be the grassy areas. I think they’re going to have to do more than that, however. As those areas have been know to fill in on the super-busy days.

Thanks for coming along on this visit. We’ll check back in next month to check out the Xmas decor and further updates on construction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

4 thoughts on “Disney’s Animal Kingdom Update – Construction Walls Everywhere”

    1. I agree about 90% with Jason. It’s simply amazing to me how much in-house properties Disney has created/owns that it hasn’t used or capitalized on yet in the parks. I can think of at least 5 major Disney movie/Disney character properties I’d love to see them build rides and/or worlds for before J-Cameron’s Avatar
      That said and even so, if Disney can actually pull off what they have planned, Avatar world could be something very special aesthetically speaking. Something that could really take your breath away when you walk through it(especially at night). And of course another family-friendly ride coming to AK in the Avatar area is a plus for a family like mine with a 5-year old whose scared of almost everything ;)

      1. Whatever one might think of Avatar, the world of Pandora was eye candy rarely seen in movies. The Disney Imaginears have a tall order to do that make-believe world any kind of justice in the real world, but if they can pull it off, it will be amazing. Especially at night.

        A floating mountain? Bio-luminescence? Yeah, I’m looking forward to seeing what can happen with that.

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