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Get ready to experience Disney’s Animal Kingdom at night


Later this spring Disney’s Animal Kingdom will make a big transition from a park where the fun stops before dusk to when the party doesn’t really get started until after the sun goes down. Encouraging guests to stay late will be a variety of shows, attraction enhancements and even some new food options.

The big addition, of course, is Rivers of Light, a preview of which we shared yesterday. Guests will gather around the banks of Discovery River for a special lantern ceremony that evolves into a story about nature and the kingdom of animals.

The Tree of Life Awakenings will transform the park’s majestic centerpiece. Shows that last about 3 minutes long will start with flickering fireflies that awaken the wondrous animal spirits carved into the tree’s trunk. Guests will witness a graceful young doe embark on a thrilling cross-country journey. Behold love blossoming between 2 hummingbirds. See a spry fox spreading gifts of love among the denizens of a wintry forest.

The Discovery Island Carnivale will bring the spirit of musical and dance to the park’s central hub starting around Sunset.

The Harambe Wildlife Parti will transform Harambe Village Marketplace with music, acrobatics, and exotic costumed performers.


There are also a trio of daytime classics that are being pitched as fun experiences after dark.

  • The Kilimanjaro Safari will take a sunset glow thanks to added lighting and some new animals who are more active at night than they are during the day.
  • Expedition Everest’s hours will be extended adding a new nighttime thrill to the roller coaster
  • Kali River Rapids will remain open taking guests on a rollicking rafting ride along the Chakrandi River in the dark.

Finally Tiffins and its Nomad Lounge will open and offer a new menu of exotic fare to weary travelers looking for a pick me up.

In my book, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is already the most beautiful of Disney’s domestic parks, it was originally designed to be enjoyed at night and even the crappy road-side themed dino-rama area manages to really shine at night. I’m so excited to see the park finally get the night time additions it deserves and finally become a full-day park. How about you?

6 thoughts on “Get ready to experience Disney’s Animal Kingdom at night”

  1. I’m with you John. Super excited about the changes at our favorite park. Just one thing to make it perfect — bring back the PARADE. It was the best.

  2. I’m excited for all the attention being brought to Animal Kingdom, which has always been NOT a half day park. Amazingly themed, beautifully landscaped, exciting yet relaxed.
    However, I can’t tell if you meant “crappy roadside themed” as a compliment or a cut… Dino-rama is one of the most ingenious themes Disney has ever created. It provides the necessary young person silliness and fun. It fits great with the dinosaur excavation theme provided by the Institute, cuz we all know this would totally happen along some highway in the Midwest. And it provides endless entertainment for me, listening to all the people wandering through actually BELIEVING Disney plunked kitschy attractions on an old parking lot! It’s greatest criticism is its greatest triumph! Too bad everyone doesn’t appreciate it.
    My wish list for AK is shortening up… Just need them to give us more mythical creatures!

  3. I was enjoying the park as is………Alas this ruins everything, now the masses will discover
    what a few of us already knew, this park is the best. Jerry f.

  4. Pingback: "Rivers of Light" takes form at Disney's Animal Kingdom | The Disney Blog

  5. Pingback: "Rivers of Light" at Disney's Animal Kingdom - March Construction Update | The Disney Blog

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