Archive for the DISNEY’S ANIMAL KINGDOM Category

Rivers of Light at Animal Kingdom

Posted in DISNEY'S ANIMAL KINGDOM with tags , , on June 8, 2015 by disneychronicles

Stopped in at Animal Kingdom this past weekend and checked out the soon to be Rivers of Light night show. We are excited to see all the new attractions coming to this park. Hopefully with this and Avatar (forecasted 2017) they will also have extended hours.


“Rivers of Light” promises to be an innovative show unlike anything ever seen in Disney Parks, combining live music, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery. The show will magically come to life on the broad, natural stage of the Discovery River, between Discovery Island and Expedition Everest, delighting our guests and truly capping off a full day of adventures at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

(Quoted from the Disney Blog)





Animal Kingdom’s 15th Anniversary!

Posted in DISNEY'S ANIMAL KINGDOM with tags on April 16, 2013 by disneychronicles


The 15th anniversary of Disney’s Animal Kingdom is right around the corner! It is on Earth Day, April 22.

At 500 acres, Animal Kingdom is Disney’s largest single theme park. It’s also currently the largest single theme park in the world and is expected to grow larger with it’s plans for an “Avatar Land” expansion, which was announced in 2011 and set to begin construction this year.

The park first opened on April 22, 1998 — appropriately, on Earth Day!

The park is represented by The Tree of Life, a sculpted 145 feet , 50-foot-wide artificial tree.

According to Disney, here are a few of the details of what’s planned for the park’s anniversary.

  • Special opening ceremony – Meet at the Tree of Life at 8:40 a.m., to hear from Josh D’Amaro, Vice President of Disney’s Animal Kingdom; Dr. Jackie Ogden, Vice President of Animals, Science and Environment; and Joe Rohde, Senior Vice President of Walt Disney Imagineering Creative. Make sure you arrive early for this!
  • Earth Day “Party for the Planet” festivities – Special interactive activities that focus on animals and nature will take place throughout the park from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Artists and other vendors will present their work on in Africa and on Discovery Island, with their work available for purchase.
  • Opportunity to purchase special 15th anniversary merchandise, available in limited quantities.
  • Special food & beverage.

Animal Kingdom’s 15th anniversary is the latest big milestone at Disney World’s parks. The Magic Kingdom recently celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2011, and Epcot marked its 30th last year.

Next year, it will be Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ turn to mark its 25th anniversary.

So it STARTED out being a Great Weekend….

Posted in DISNEY ATTRACTIONS, DISNEY'S ANIMAL KINGDOM, EVERYTHING DISNEY, UNIVERSAL STUDIOS with tags , , on September 24, 2012 by disneychronicles

This past weekend we had a training convention at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club.

I won’t bore you with the minor details of it all but it was fun and educational. (I will be posting individual post for each event in a little more detail in the coming weeks.)

Friday night it started out with a trade show and a cocktail reception all fine and dandy. Saturday we had a ship inspection on the Disney Fantasy! I really need (want) to sail this ship!


Saturday night we had a surprise event at Animal Kingdom after it closed!

How awesome is that! It started with some appetizers and cocktails then moved on to dinner at the Tusker House restaurant.

After dinner we moved to another area which was set up with coffee and desserts! and for the finale a no wait no lines chance to get on and ride Expedition Everest! (as many times as you please) :-/

Well for the record I only rode once! Yup you got it…that’s all it took! so this is where it all went down hill! 😦

After ALL the eating that had just commenced you would think that maybe I would be a little smarter then to jump on a rickety super fast 50 mph with an 80′ drop roller coaster that also goes backwards.

Ahhhhhh but NO I suppose I could blame it on peer pressure but off I went! and since there was no line the only chance for hesitation was perhaps when I heard the clink of the lap restraint.

Oh yeah and did I mention it was DARK!

Well we all know how this ended (me behind a bush) didn’t even make it to the bathroom! Well not the first time anyway!

And THANKS to the GREAT Disney gift bag I was handed as I wearily schlepped myself out of the park I was able to finish on the bus on our way back to my hotel. A little graphic… yes I suppose.

(No worries no gifts were damaged, I had removed them first) 😀

So it was a horrible ending to an otherwise fabulous night!

So have you rode it? did you like it?

So some may not know…what is Expedition Everest exactly? and what’s the story?

Check it out here….

The following morning as I DRAGGED myself out of bed we were scheduled on a 8 hour VIP tour of Universal Studios.

No way was I missing that! I did forego most of the rides….do it once shame on me but twice oh NO!

It was a great tour!

More on that to come!



Tips and Tricks for your Disney Vacation


Tips and Tricks for your Disney Vacation from a Disney Addict! Just a few things that may help your trip go smoothly! would love to hear any tips that you have also….


Friday, Saturday and Sunday are the busiest days at the Magic Kingdom. Try to come toward the middle of the week, because most families hit the Magic Kingdom early in their Disney visit.

Ride a star attraction while a parade is going on if you’re willing to miss it; lines ease considerably.

Book character meals early. Main Street, U.S.A.’s Crystal Palace Buffet has breakfast with Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Tigger, and Piglet 8–10:30 AM. Lunch at Cinderella’s Royal Table in Cinderella Castle is extremely popular—so much so that you should reserve your spot six months out.


Epcot is so vast and varied that you really need two days to explore everything. If you have just one day, be highly selective.

It’s best to go late in the week, when others are at Magic Kingdom.

The first thing you should do is grab a fast pass for Soarin’ or Test Track as the wait for these two rides can sometimes top 120 minutes.

All the countries serve pretty much the same kids meals, so if you have a picky eater don’t worry about picking a pavilion to dine in.


Visit late in the week, while most people are rushing through Magic and Animal kingdoms.

Check the tip board periodically for attractions with short wait times that you can visit between Fastpass appointments.

Be at the Fantasmic! amphitheater at least an hour before show time if you didn’t book the Fantasmic! dinner package.

Need a burst of energy? Snag a freshly baked chocolate-chip cookie or a pastry at Starring Rolls Cafe, at the corner of Hollywood and Sunset. Alternatively, Hollywood Scoops Ice Cream on Sunset might be just the thing on a hot day.

If you plan to have a fast-food lunch, eat before 11 am or after 2:30 pm. There are food stands along Sunset. You can get a burger (meat or veggie) or chicken strips at Rosie’s All-American Cafe, a slice of pizza from Catalina Eddie’s, or a chili dog at Toluca Legs Turkey Company.

Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, and Tower of Terror are the three most popular rides at Hollywood Studios. You may want to consider the single rider lines for these.

Don’t miss the parade if you can help it. The Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun parade is an interactive experience not to be missed.


Try to visit during the week. Pedestrian areas are compact, and the park can feel horribly packed on weekends.

Arrive a half hour before the park opens as much to see the wild animals at their friskiest (morning is a good time to do the safari ride) as to get a jump on the crowds.

The two most popular attractions are the Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest. Make sure those are your first two stops of the day.

The best time to ride Kali River Rapids is between 1pm and 3pm, when the sun is at its hottest.

Make sure to see Festival of the Lion King. The show is great and has air conditioning!

and overall don’t forget to have a MAGICAL time! even you don’t get to see it all!

There’s always next year! 😀

Disney World Refurbishments 2012



Are you planning a visit to the Happiest Place on Earth?

Keep the refurbishment schedule in mind!

Magic Kingdom® Park
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Liberty Square Riverboat
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
01/09/12 – 05/27/12
04/16/12 – 05/20/12
06/27/12 – 06/29/12
Tutto Italia Ristorante
Innoventions: House of Innoventions exhibit
Test Track
01/08/12 – 04/27/12
12/04/11 – Late April 2012
04/16/12 – Fall 2012
Disney’s Hollywood Studios®
Sounds Dangerous
Lights! Motors! Action! Extreme Stunt Show
Closed; Operates Seasonally
04/29/12 – 05/02/12
Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park
Annual Refurbishment 12/04/11 – 03/17/12
Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park

Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
Beverage Cooler Installation – Installation will take place one floor at a time between 9am and 5pm. Guests will be notified via an in-room flier the day before the work is scheduled to take place. 03/05/12 – 04/30/12
Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
Beverage Cooler Installation – Installation will take place one floor at a time between 9am and 5pm. Guests will be notified via an in-room flier the day before the work is scheduled to take place. 03/05/12 – 04/30/12
Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
Beverage Cooler Installation – Installation will take place one floor at a time between 9am and 5pm. Guests will be notified via an in-room flier the day before the work is scheduled to take place. 03/05/12 – 04/30/12
Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Pool slide at feature pool – The pool remains open. 01/05/12 – 04/05/12
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Grand Floridian Spa – As part of some planned changes for Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, there’s currently construction going on near the Grand Floridian Spa. The spa will temporarily close on Sept. 19 and reopen in approximately 18 months. During this construction, the Fitness Center will remain open. Guests may be referred to The Spa at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort for spa services. 09/19/11 – Mid 2013
Disney’s Old Key West
Guest room door lock replacement – Letters will be placed in the rooms advising Guests the door locks will be replaced. Guests will not need to get new keys as their existing Key to the World cards will work with the new lock. 03/18/12 – 04/17/12
Pool near building 55 (leisure pool) – The feature pool and other leisure pools will remain open. 05/21/12 – 05/25/12
Disney’s Pop Century Resort
Beverage Cooler Installation – Installation will take place one floor at a time between 9am and 5pm. Guests will be notified via an in-room flier the day before the work is scheduled to take place. 03/05/12 – 04/30/12
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
Lobby/Atrium refurbishment 04/09/12 – 05/25/12
Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts
Pool slide and a portion of Stormalong Bay Pool – Guests may use pool and slide at BoardWalk in addition to the portion of Stormalong Bay that will not be closed and the three leisure pools located throughout Yacht & Beach Club Resorts during this time. 04/09/12 – 04/20/12
Dunes Cove Spa (hot tub) 04/16/12 – 04/19/12
Cape May Cafe 07/09/12 – 08/03/12
Yachtsman Steakhouse 08/27/12 – 09/14/12

Kilimanjaro Safari

Posted in DISNEY'S ANIMAL KINGDOM with tags on October 4, 2011 by disneychronicles

Can’t get to Africa this year?….me either…

Check out my favorite ride at Animal Kingdom!

The Kilimanjaro Safari..

It’s always a different experience!

You will board a 32-passenger open-air Safari Truck and take a trip through the 100-acre Harambe Wildlife Reserve.  There are a great number of animals that you may see during the ride, including black and white rhinos, cheetahs, flamingos, lions, giraffes, warthogs, zebras, wildebeests, ostriches, crocodiles, antelopes, and more.  The problem is that the animals aren’t always “out” and your viewing may be limited by the time of day and simple “luck of the draw.”

I have to add though that every time I have been on it we have been pretty lucky. The animals look like they could stroll right up to the vehicles, but there are cleverly camouflaged barriers and drops protecting both the animals and passengers.

The Safari is based on a story about missing elephants and poachers and there will be a live guide to narrate and answer questions during the Safari.  The Safari vehicles only stop for a few moments throughout the ride so make sure you have your camera or binoculars ready.  The ride isn’t particularly rough, especially now that the seats are cushioned, but if you’re concerned about being jostled then request seats closer to the front of the truck where the ride isn’t as rough.

There are no seatbelts.  I think this is fun, but use your best judgment if you are pregnant or have back problems.

Overall this is a great attraction. It incorporates the viewing of tons of live animals with a fun and active story to create an attraction that is great for the whole family. Whether you are planning a first or tenth trip to the Animal Kingdom, be sure to make this attraction part of your day.

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Mickey’s Jammin Jungle Parade

Posted in DISNEY'S ANIMAL KINGDOM with tags , on October 3, 2011 by disneychronicles

The animal-themed parade includes Mickey, Minnie, and Donald, animal puppets, stilt walkers, and strolling Disney characters.  Starts at the Tusker House Gate at Harambe Village. It winds through Disney’s Animal Kingdom and returns to the Tusker House Gate.


The parade does a loop through the park. Part of the route (near the Safari entrance in Africa) the parade actually goes through twice (at the beginning and end). If you get a spot here just before parade starts, you can watch it go by once and then wait for it to come by the other way. After the first pass, most guests leave and you have your choice of front row seats without having to line up an hour beforehand! whooo hooo

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