^^I'm pretty sure the original story (or what is left of it) will finally be completely phased out once this change to the savannah is complete. The story has been slowly removed/modified since the park's opening where you originally saw Little Red's mother, Big Red dead at the end of the attraction. There also used to be live actors dressed as poachers who would appear alongside the touring vehicles, and several show effects (such as gunfire in a speedy chase along the road) that have been shut down over the years.
Sounds like a positive change, but I do miss the original storyline and effects (although that jeep/gunfire rarely every worked properly). The 'actors' were just the guides/drivers - it was one of the positions they rotated through. IIRC, nearly the entire audio track was re-recorded before the park opened to the public (or shortly thereafter) based on preview opening feedback, like Countdown to Extinction.
Swimace wrote:It seems like every time they update this attraction it involves more animals and less story. Not that there's anything wrong with that (It is a safari after all!), but I kind of liked the ending in it's current form. You spend so much time cruising around big open spaces with live animals, the forest area with the tight turns and the geysers gave the ride an exciting finish. Hopefully Disney will find a way to integrate that sort of excitement into the new Zebra section.
RIP Little Red... I guess she's finally getting poached, just like her mother...
I despised the forced ending. Some of the greatest attractions don't have a clear cut story (see Haunted Mansion, Pirates, etc.). Absolutely love the fact that they are cutting out the cheese from this otherwise fantastic ride.
I wasn't so much saying that the ride needs a story, and yes I know plenty of rides at Disney don't have clear stories. My point was more that you go through a lot of varied landscape at the beginning of the ride, and then spend a loooong time slowly cruising in big open areas. The finale of the ride puts you in a different environment, sped up the vehicles a little bit, and just offered some variety and a clear "finish". I'm not so much lamenting the loss of a story, because the safari doesn't really need one, I just hope the new ending has a little bit more excitement than "slow, open spaces... ok done". I just hope the new ending integrates something more that just slowly cruising through big grassy areas.
Not that there's anything wrong with the Savannah... it is a safari after all... I just never got off the ride thinking that I needed more of it.
Last edited by larrygator on Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:25 am.
In November, we announced that Imagineer Joe Rohde would be honored by the Themed Entertainment Association with its Buzz Price Thea Award Recognizing a Career of Distinguished Achievements, and on March 17, 2012, Joe received his award during the Thea Awards ceremony at the Disneyland Hotel. I recently had the opportunity to chat with Joe about the award and his career at Walt Disney Imagineering – which has included such enormous projects as Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park; Expedition Everest; Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa; and the upcoming AVATAR project at Walt Disney World Resort.
What does receiving the Buzz Price Thea Award Recognizing a Career of Distinguished Achievements mean to you, coming from your peers in the industry who make up the Themed Entertainment Association?
It’s a great honor to look at my list of achievements and to be counted among people who have done so much more than I have – it’s really an honor.
Looking back on your career, what has been the most exciting project you’ve worked on, and what has been your biggest challenge?
When I first saw the Disney’s Animal Kingdom site, I was truly terrified. Disney’s Animal Kingdom was unexplored country – we were doing lots of things that had never been done before. It’s hard not to see getting Disney’s Animal Kingdom built as a challenge. Attempting to do so many things all in one project – it was challenging and a growth experience. We were truly learning as we were doing.
With Aulani, I knew there was more to Hawai`i that many visitors don’t realize, and I knew Disney had a great opportunity to tell that story.
You’re known for your love of storytelling and attention to detail. You’ve visited many places all over the world for research – which have been your favorites? Are there places you’d still like to visit?
I love the Himalayas, and I’ve spent a lot of time there. When we were doing research for Expedition Everest, we visited places few people have been before.
Where I’d like to go…I have to go camel trekking in Mongolia and I want to go to Papua New Guinea.
What are you looking forward to next?
When I think about the AVATAR story and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, I see the value systems that underlie both. We have the opportunity to tell that story in a way that will make the AVATAR experience feel like a natural part of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
All of us who are designers have an opportunity to take the work we are given and make it something unexpected. That’s how we help the company to grow and expand into new areas.
Please join me in congratulating Joe on receiving the Buzz Price Thea Award Recognizing a Career of Distinguished Achievements!
While we’ll always have our favorites, oh, how we love delicious new food finds when we wander through Disney Parks. On a recent trek through Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, we were tempted to stop for our usual favorite – the rib and chicken combo at Flame Tree Barbecue, where the ribs are worth getting messy for while sitting at the outdoor picnic tables on a glorious spring day. (And where else can you find a basket of onion ringy dingy ding-a-ling dings?)
But food lovers can be a fickle bunch, so we headed for Tamu Tamu, where they’ve replaced the burger with a slow-roasted pulled beef sandwich, spicy beef piled on a warm pita with mint-yogurt cucumber sauce. On the side are housemade potato chips (yes, housemade). You can opt for apple slices, but we just couldn’t.
Some days we prefer to sip our lunch, especially on hot days. We recently discovered three cooling cocktails at the outdoor Dawa Bar in Harambe Village: the Dawa Colada with Bacardi Razz Rum, pina colada mix and raspberry puree; the Harambe Cooler with African rum, Myer’s Original Dark Rum Pangani Punch (We’re not sure what Pangani Punch is, but we like it!); and the African Margarita with Sauza Gold Tequila, Van der Hum Tangerine Liquer, sweet-and-sour mix and lime juice.
Or check out the new Triple Yeti Blast, a frozen, layered margarita with lime, mango and strawberry at the Upcountry kiosk across from Kamal’s in Asia. Order your Triple Yeti Blast and head for the waterfront seating overlooking the Discovery River – an easy way to while away the afternoon.
Do you have any favorite new park dining finds to share?
Some rare pigs made their debut late last year at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. And these are some pretty smart swine.
In a previous post, Disney Parks Blog author Jackie Ogden told us about the arrival of the intelligent (and surprisingly agile) kunekune pigs. The pigs, found in New Zealand but believed to have originated in China, once faced extinction. Thanks to breeding and conservation efforts, they have since come back in a big way.
When I heard about these plump pigs in our park (“kunekune” means “plump” in the Mãori language), I knew I just had to meet them.
The Animal Care cast members at Conservation Station work with the three little pigs regularly on a variety of behaviors. This work helps the pigs stay fit, intellectually stimulated and comfortable around guests. They also help teach park guests about the real dangers of extinction.
“Most people have heard about endangered species in reference to wild animals, but many domestic animals are at risk of extinction as well,” Jackie said. “By showcasing rare domestic breeds, like babydoll sheep, Nigerian dwarf goats and kunekune pigs at Affection Section, we are helping our guests learn more about them and how they can help.”
Join me as I experience some of the great work the Animal Care team does with the kunekune pigs. Also, keep an eye out at the end the video for another rare and intelligent pig, an African Guinea hog named Mindy. She loves to paint.
All of the pigs are quite a hit with guests at Affection Section, so be sure to stop in and say hi next time you’re at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park.
Change the scheme, Alter the mood! Electrify the boys and girls if you would be so kind!
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