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Disney's Animal Kingdom® Park New info on upcoming Night Safari

Discussion in 'United States' started by jibster, 17 Aug 2015.

  1. jibster

    jibster Well-Known Member

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    At this past weekend's D23 Expo in Anaheim, Disney revealed new information regarding some previously announced projects at Animal Kingdom. Many deal with the Avatar land which is due to open in 2017, but of interest to those frequenting this forum are a few pieces of new information regarding the upcoming "night safari" extension to the existing Kilimanjaro Safari.

    For those who had not heard, in an attempt to make DAK a full-day park and extend operating hours, Disney has announced that, in addition to the Avatar land and a new night show "Rivers of Light" (opening 2016) there will be a special night version of the Kilimanjaro Safari ride/exhibit. It has now been confirmed that spotted hyenas and African wild dogs will be species added to the attraction (not clear as to whether or not these species will only be visible on night safaris) and that new lighting is being added to make the exhibit look like sunset on safari. The announcement suggests that contrary to some earlier rumors/guesses, there appears to be no (or very little) new "track" to be added for the new experience and very little substantive change to the animal collection of this section.

    Currently, there are certain parts of the safari area where construction is currently visible, probably where exhibits for the two new species will be added.
     
  2. savethelephant

    savethelephant Well-Known Member

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  3. jibster

    jibster Well-Known Member

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    I think that blog has to be taken as mere speculation - it's not easy to imagine any of those species working particularly well given the drive-through nature of the exhibit, but I suppose anything is possible. While I'd love to see the addition of these interesting species, they simply do not have the same wow factor as the other species. The information out so far suggests that the "ride" is going to remain the same, simply with lighting added and the two species named. If there were more species to be added that are not yet confirmed, the announcement at D23 would probably at least have mentioned something about hyenas and wild dogs being examples of the species that were going to be added (rather than specifically mentioning that those are the two species to be added). And while a more recent article at the same blog suggests that the two new species will only be visible at night, the official information I have seen (in press releases and in the video of the actual presentation) does not say anything like this, merely that the species are new to Kilimanjaro Safari.

    One rumor I have heard elsewhere is that DAK has already started acquiring more individuals of some of the species already present in the safari so that there can be a rotation of sorts of individuals (if not species) to keep the safari populated in the evening hours. I think some sort of rotation system would be more feasible than any sort of total change in the nature of the attraction, given that DAK is first and foremost a theme park and the point of the new lighting is to allow continuous operation of the Safari from park open until much later. Given the huge outlay in expenses for the new Rivers of Light and Avatar land, I doubt Disney is planning much of a substantial change beyond the lighting. Certainly, given the short time frame between now and the expected spring opening of the new experience, I would not expect much beyond the announced, confirmed additions.

    One thing I would love to see (though I'm not sure how practical it is) is for the hippo pod to have access to more land in the evening (as hippos spend much of the night out of the water eating). Of course, I would love to see a lot more new species, but given the logistics of the attraction and the confirmed information, it looks like this may be all we get in terms of animal additions.
     
  4. elefante

    elefante Well-Known Member

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  5. geomorph

    geomorph Well-Known Member

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    I visited the park this week and the new exhibit is complete for African wild dogs (saw several) rotating with spotted hyenas (they were put at the end of the day but did not see them, and the driver said they were not yet allowed to stop in front of exhibit as the hyenas acclimate).
     
  6. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Moderator Staff Member

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  7. jibster

    jibster Well-Known Member

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    With the late-night hours at DAK starting tonight including the official premiere of Kilimanjaro Safaris After Dark, videos and reviews of the new "experience" (or more properly the new way to experience the same attraction) along with the other new additions (including the temporary Jungle Book show added to the summer while the long-delayed previously announced Rivers of Light is completed) should begin appearing all over in the next few days. For now, anyone interested can view some video that gives an idea of what the Safari will look like at night:

    VIDEO - Kilimanjaro Safaris After Dark