Walt Disney World Disney's Animal Kingdom Discussion Thread

P. 177 - Animal Kingdom's 20th Anniversary Report!
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Re: Walt Disney World Disney's Animal Kingdom Discussion Thr

Postby Jay20016 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:47 pm

So they go to Hollywood Studios with Star Wars Weekends going on where people can and do dress up and are making a story about it when they try to go to the other parks? :roll:

And once again, as seems to be the case with any of the major news stations in Orlando, they look to make their name by going after the people who put them on the map...

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Re: Walt Disney World Disney's Animal Kingdom Discussion Thr

Postby jedimaster1227 » Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:41 pm

http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2012/06/get-wild-for-less-on-the-wild-africa-trek-at-disneys-animal-kingdom/

I recently took a trek deep into the Pangani Forest with Josh Sussman, an actor known for his roles on “Wizards of Waverly Place” and as the lovestruck gossip columnist Jacob on “Glee.” He’s also provided the voice of Randy, a sinister crab on Disney Channel’s hit show “Fish Hooks,” so Josh knows a little about interesting animals.

Our VIP excursion took us hiking through the jungle, walking across battered footbridges, traversing riverbeds teeming with giant crocodiles, learning about hippo herds and staring skyward to spot giraffes. A Florida shower hit as we boarded our private safari vehicle, which even added to the fun as we had a chance to study the animals through our binoculars as they enjoyed the cool rain on the savanna. By the time we reached our safari camp that overlooked the expansive savanna, the rain had stopped and the sun returned, providing a nice setting as we enjoyed a tasty selection of African-inspired foods.

In addition to leading our tour and entertaining us with their knowledge of the animals, our Safari Guides also tag-teamed as our personal trek photographers. Included in the price of each trek is a photo CD with professional photos of the tour and the exotic animals you’ll spot along the way.


For a limited time, you can save $50 on treks at or after 11:45 a.m. For more details on the limited-time Wild Africa Trek offer, call 407-WDW-TOUR or visit disneyworld.com/trek.
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Re: Walt Disney World Disney's Animal Kingdom Discussion Thr

Postby cfc » Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:02 pm

This is the first video I've seen of the Wild Africa Trek--looks like fun (particularly the suspension bridge over the crocs).
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Re: Walt Disney World Disney's Animal Kingdom Discussion Thr

Postby jedimaster1227 » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:03 pm

Last week I had the chance to stop by Disney's Animal Kingdom Park for the first time in a while, this time to check out the Sundowner Celebration, a seasonal event for the month of June that added food and beverage, entertainment and culture options throughout the park that really made for an awesome experience.

It has been rumored that this event and the Taste of Africa event it evolved from were tests for an eventual evening offering to be held at the park down the road for longer operational days. This seems to go hand in hand with recent rumors that Kilimanjaro Safaris is slowly being modified (with the animals being acclimated to evening tours) to allow for later operation (possibly with a different storyline to be run during evening rides), plus the expectation that whatever comes with the Avatar expansion will be suited for evening operations.

Regardless of what this test may mean for the future of the park, I can happily say that there was much to love for the offering as it was when I visited. I could best liken it to the Glowfest/elecTRONica/Mad T Party offerings at Disney California Adventure, except with a splash of culture and a much more spread out, naturally blended approach to its delivery. I really enjoyed everything that I experienced, and only wish I had known about this quietly run offering sooner, because I would have gone back at least a few more times before its run ended. Here's hoping the Sundowner Celebration will come back soon!


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Parked at the front of the park's entrance is a truck advertising the Sundowner Celebration with a guide of the many offerings added throughout the park.
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Harambe, Discovery Island and Asia each received additional food and beverage options, a street party and several "culture stops."
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For the index...
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The one thing that the Sundowner Celebration almost forces you to do is to stare at the Tree of Life from different sections of the park... How dare they force me to look at something so cool?
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How Beastly of me to include this photo from a long forgotten Kingdomme.
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Harambe Village played host to a Wine Walk, allowing you to pay for the amount of tastings you wanted, and they even had a non-alcoholic option for the younglings.
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This booth was made solely for Renee.
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My favorite part of the Sundowner Celebration, but we'll get back to this later...
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Imported beers!
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One of the culture stops included a look at Mancala.
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There were several "The Art of Henna" booths added in the park for the celebration.
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Didn't get to try them during my visit but...
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They sure looked good!
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The Kusafiri Coffee Shop and Bakery had some other awesome looking desserts added for the event...
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Like this beauty!
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Like I mentioned earlier, the walk between Sundowner Celebration areas forces you to stop and admire...
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Along the walk, I found this musical culture credit!
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The Angklung may look like it is easy to play, but I couldn't quite get the hang of it... (The cast member's expression gives away his thoughts on my musical prowess.)

I guess I'll just stick to the violin and piano.
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One cart sold a lychee fruit salad (in a pineapple bowl) as well as edamame.
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Another neat culture booth was the Summer Roll demonstration where we were taught how to make summer rolls.
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He made it look very easy!
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After describing and demonstrating the entire process, we were told where we could find the needed ingredients, and were also offered recipe cards so we could make our own summer rolls at home.
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Moving towards Asia, one booth had new margaritas, a frozen non-alcoholic drink and ginger beer added. They also sold wasabi peas!
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Another cart along the way sold "Asian Hot Dogs."
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This musician was stationed in front of the Flights of Wonder theater and was quite talented!
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As opposed to "In my Jedi Language."
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Yak & Yeti had a cool (and free) fried rice demo!
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The Bhangra DJ Dance Party was an awesome little addition to the Yak & Yeti/Kali River Rapids area that really blended in perfectly and added some great music to the atmosphere!
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There wasn't a single tune I recognized, but it was all enjoyable to hear regardless.
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A temporary bar was set up across from the dance party featuring some additional custom drinks.
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I decided to try the Ming Wild Berry Lemonade, which was delicious. It was pretty much an unfrozen version of the Cheshire Cafe's (Magic Kingdom) frozen raspberry lemonade.
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We took a brief break from the Sundowner Celebration to ride Kilimanjaro Safaris. Now gone is the story about poaching and Little Red, as well Wilson and Mrs. Jobson. The finale has been torn out to make way for the new zebra watering hole to open later this year.
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By the time we got off of the ride, it was time to see the Harambe Village Street Party featuring Burudika and the Tam Tam Drummers of Harambe!
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Another culture stop in Harambe focused on African cooking...
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It included a look at the common spices used in the local cuisine.
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The Harambe Street Party drew a large crowd throughout the day with a mix of African songs and some unique renditions of more popular songs such as Waka Waka by Shakira and You Can Call Me Al by Paul Simon.
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The Dawa Bar was advertising a few of its featured drinks as well.
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A booth advertising the Wild Africa Trek has been added near the Dawa Bar.
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Another food stand had some unique popcorn, dried fruit and plantain chips...
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Oh, and that heavenly drink I normally can only get at Boma?
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They've got Jungle Juice!!!
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It's the Burudika Epic Sax Man!
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Found a path I'd never seen before in the park... Well done Mr. Rohde!
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Not too long ago it was reported that a branch fell from the Tree of Life, and in response, Disney had covered some of the pathways closest to the tree with netting structures. A lot of fans have been vocally against the structures, claiming they ruin the ambiance...

I'm here to say that having walked through them myself, they aren't as bad as they are being made out to be. They blend into the scenery pretty well and really only bother the people who had seen these paths sans nets before.
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And better yet, their presence overhead in no way prevents you from still getting awesome photos of the Tree of Life.
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Taken right under one of the nets...

Case and point.
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One final lap through the Sundowner Celebration allowed us to find another culture booth, this one being a Joffrey's Hot Tea Brewing demonstration.
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Hadn't visited the Yeti in a while...
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I have a strong feeling that this view of Disney's Animal Kingdom will begin to change very soon...
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Re: Walt Disney World Disney's Animal Kingdom Discussion Thr

Postby cfc » Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:54 pm

Glad to see that the more exotic flavors of popcorn are starting to show up in the U.S. Disney parks--African spice and apricot sound pretty good.
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Re: Walt Disney World Disney's Animal Kingdom Discussion Thr

Postby Evanator » Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:46 pm

cfc wrote:Glad to see that the more exotic flavors of popcorn are starting to show up in the U.S. Disney parks--African spice and apricot sound pretty good.


Well I hope its selling well, popcorn can be the ultimate snack food, and IMO better than chips.

I like the set up for this event, it fits really well with the design of the park, because everything is so spread out, they kept the event spread out to everything. Thanks for the photos!

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Re: Walt Disney World Disney's Animal Kingdom Discussion Thr

Postby Hilltopper39 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:54 am

I had no idea this Sundowner even existed but it actually looks really nice!

Also,
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Hidden Mickey in the net.

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Re: Walt Disney World Disney's Animal Kingdom Discussion Thr

Postby BeemerBoy » Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:10 am

Fact: Adding awesome food, drink, and music options in a "festival-type" manner will immediately improve any park. With that said, I'm really digging what they did there! Thanks for the report, Adam.
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Re: Walt Disney World Disney's Animal Kingdom Discussion Thr

Postby robbalvey » Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:54 pm

Random question - Who misses "Bird on a Stick?"

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Re: Walt Disney World Disney's Animal Kingdom Discussion Thr

Postby Meteornotes » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:33 pm

^Me. And functioning Yeti.

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