Things are about to heat up after the sun goes down at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
The theme park is transitioning into a full-day park with extended hours and nighttime offerings beginning Memorial Day weekend (May 27-30).
The highly-anticipated “Rivers of Light” show is expected to debut sometime this summer, but Disney has not given an official premier date. The show was originally planned to debut on Earth Day, April 22, but was delayed.
A preview of “Rivers of Light” was shown at a media sneak peek last week. Disney also announced a new show, “Jungle Book: Alive With Magic,” that will ride the wave of success of the recent live-action remake of the 1967 animated movie. “The Jungle Book” show is a limited-time engagement, but a summer-long run is expected, according to the Disney Parks Blog.
Current attractions that will have nighttime updates include Animal Kingdom’s iconic Tree of Life, which will “awaken” throughout the evening with projections of nature scenes and lighting effects. Guests will also be able to experience the popular Kilimanjaro Safaris after dark, thanks to special lighting. Two new species — African wild dogs and hyenas — will join other safari favorites like lions, zebras and elephants.
The Village of Harambe will come alive at night with the new Harambe Wildlife Parti, which features dancers and street musicians performing African music.
A similar street party celebration will take place nightly at Discovery Island, called the Discovery Island Carnivale. Guests can expect vibrant costumes, stilt walkers and a variety of exotic food offerings.
Tiffins, a new table-service restaurant, is expected to open in the Discovery Island area this spring. The 252-seat restaurant’s menu will draw from places that inspired Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Tiffin is an Indian word for a lunchbox used by travelers.
Down the road, “Pandora – The World of Avatar” will open at Animal Kingdom. The new land is based on James Cameron’s 2009 film “Avatar.” Cameron recently announced three sequels, with the first hitting theaters in 2018. Disney has not released an official opening date for Pandora, but the land is expected to open sometime in 2017 or possibly 2018.
In the meantime, guests can experience attractions like Expedition Everest and Kali River Rapids in a whole new way, as the rides will be open into the night.
View the galleries in this post for a glimpse at how Animal Kingdom will look with its new nighttime offerings.