Although the construction of Avatar continues mostly out-of-sight, there is a lot of other construction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom we can monitor progress on. From Africa Marketplace to Rivers of Light to the new performance areas in front of the Tree of Life, there’s a lot going on.

Not included in that video are the 11 new animal sculptures that were added to the tree of life. We have that video over here.

Can’t watch the video at the moment, head below to see photos of the changes:


Walt Disney’s Imagineers are busy remaking large swaths of one of the world’s most beautiful theme parks – Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Not only is James Cameron’s Avatar project coming to the park, but Africa’s Harambe Village is expanding, the Discovery Island hub is getting a variety of improvements (and a new Starbucks), and the river between Asia and Dino-land is becoming a stage for “Rivers of Light.”

Can’t watch the video? More photos below:

One of the most fantastic parts of Disney’s Animal Kingdom has always been how nature and the man made interacts throughout the park. Disney’s Imagineers carefully crafted buildings down to the tiniest crack to make it look like there is a battle between construction and nature and that nature has the edge. No where is this more evident than Harambe Village.

In my opinion Harambe Village is Disney’s most fully realized creation in Orlando. Now, with the opening of the Harambe Theatre, it’s almost like the village has doubled in size. In fact, putting aside a few unfinished bits of landscaping, the themeing is so wonderful, the theater looks like it’s always been a part of the village.

Harambe Theatre, of course, is home to the relocated Festival of The Lion King show. It is back with only a few very minor changes. Once you’re inside the theater itself, you have to look close to tell we’re no longer in Camp Minnie Mickey.

There is one change that is worth noting–a much longer Fastpass+ line. The old location did have Fastpass, but it was only a few dozen people a show. The new location fills about 1/3rd the theater with Fastpass+ holders. Therefore, if a seat close to the floor is important to you, make sure you are holding a Fastpass+ for your show. Once the rabble is allowed in, all the remaining seating is in the back.

A gallery with images from the area is below the jump in case you can’t watch the video above:


Good news for fans of Walt Disney World’s best rated show, “Festival of the Lion King.” The Harambe Theatre looks nearly completed in its home in the Africa section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. When the theater opens in June, the story of The Lion King will once again be celebrated by the immensely talented cast and crew. But first, the cast and crew has to get used to their new home. Disney has provided this video showing their first look at their new theater, both onstage and backstage.

We just learned that Festival of The Lion King will return to Disney’s Animal Kingdom in June 2014 in the newly built Harambe Theatre. Below is some video from the end of April looking at the construction of the theater. The video is taken from the bridge to Asia and then from Africa by the Dawa Bar.