Details About Disney’s Animal Kingdom After Dark

DAK at Night 2

More exciting news out of D23 Expo! Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek announced the plans Disney has to transform Disney’s Animal Kingdom after dark with new nighttime entertainment and experiences offering guests longer days than ever before at this one-of-a-kind theme park.

Rivers of LightNew details were just unveiled, telling guests more about the show that will take place on Discovery River at the park, between Discovery Island and Expedition Everest. Expected to open next spring, “Rivers of Light” will be an innovative experience unlike anything ever seen in a Disney park, combining live performers, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery. “Rivers of Light” will magically come to life on the natural stage of Discovery River, delighting guests and truly capping off a full day of adventures at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

“This is going to be a ceremonial event that will happen on our lake,” said Imagineer Joe Rohde. “It takes the idea of the special nature of the animals that are in this park and turns it into a celebration of the beauty of these animals. It starts simply and humbly, continues to unfold and grow as bigger and more elaborate lanterns appear, and then huge curtains of water and light emerge from the water with animals within them. And ultimately it takes off into the sky.”

Safari at NightNew details were also shared on a new nighttime adventure: Sunset Kilimanjaro Safaris. This popular attraction will be extended into the evenings next spring for an experience where guests will travel through the African savanna amid the magical orange glow of the setting sun and discover two species new to the attraction: African wild dogs and hyenas.

I am thrilled to see Animal Kingdom getting extended hours and evening entertainment. I love this park and I’m looking forward to being able to enjoy it at night!

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Toy Story Land Coming To Hollywood Studios

Toy Story Land

Toy Story fans received exciting news this weekend during the D23 Expo when Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek announced the plans Disney has to expand the Toy Story franchise presence in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Here’s the scoop on what we have learned so far courtesy of Disney:


Toy Story Land 2The reimagining of Disney’s Hollywood Studios will take guests to infinity and beyond, allowing them to step into the worlds of their favorite films, starting with Toy Story Land.  This new 11-acre land will transport guests into the adventurous outdoors of Andy’s backyard.  Guests will think they’ve been shrunk to the size of Woody and Buzz as they are surrounded by oversized toys that Andy has assembled using his vivid imagination. Using toys like building blocks, plastic buckets and shovels, and game board pieces, Andy has designed the perfect setting for this land, which will include two new attractions for any Disney park and one expanded favorite.

  • Family-friendly roller coaster – All on the back of Slinky Dog, this coaster will zip and zoom, plunge and coast as it takes guests on a fun, toy-filled adventure throughout the new land.
  • Alien saucers attraction – The famous little green aliens from the movie will take guests around for a spin in their very own flying saucers.  The music, lighting and sound effects add to the flurry of action, while “The Claw” looms over.
  • Toy Story Mania! – Guests glide into the Toy Story Midway Games Play Set and take aim at 3D objects in a variety of fast-paced games, with an expansion that adds a third track to this popular attraction.

No timeline has been released yet for the new Toy Story Land, but it is safe to expect at least 3 to 5 years of construction before it is complete. In the meantime, it looks like Disney will be giving us a few things along the way to keep the excitement growing!

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Star Wars Land And Enhancements Coming To Disney World

Star Wars Land 4

Star Wars fans received thrilling news this weekend during the D23 Expo when Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced the ambitious plans Disney has in the works to add even more Star Wars to the parks. Here’s the scoop on what we have learned so far:

Star Wars Land 1Plans to bring Star Wars to life include creating Disney’s largest single themed land expansion ever at 14 acres, transporting guests to a never-before-seen planet, a remote trading port and one of the last stops before wild space where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life.

Along with retail and dining, this land will include two signature attractions. The first will be an epic Star Wars adventure that puts you in the middle of a climatic battle between the First Order and the Resistance. The second attraction will put guests behind the controls of one of the most recognizable ships in the galaxy, the Millennium Falcon, as they take on a customized secret mission.

And if the incredible new land wasn’t enough, Disney also announced several new Star Wars experiences and enhancements being added to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, many of which will be opening relatively soon.

  • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue – Later this year, Star Tours will include a new adventure featuring locations and characters from the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, giving guests a new adventure in the Star Wars galaxy.
  • Star Wars Launch BayStar Wars Launch Bay – This interactive experience will take guests into the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with special exhibits and peeks behind-the-scenes, including opportunities to visit with new and favorite Star Wars characters, special merchandise and food offerings.  Star Wars Launch Bay will be located in the Animation Courtyard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and will be available for guests later this year.
  • Jedi Training Academy— A favorite of younger fans is reimagined with a new experience that includes new characters and a new villain to battle from the popular Disney X D series “Star Wars Rebels.”
  • Season of the Force – This new seasonal event, beginning early 2016, brings new  Star Wars experiences to guests. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, guests will close out weekend nights with a new fireworks spectacular set to the iconic score of the Star Wars movies.

No timeline has been released yet for the new Star Wars Land, but it is probably safe to expect about 3 to 5 years of construction before it is complete. In the meantime, it looks like Disney will be giving us a few things along the way to keep the excitement growing!

501 WaysHeading to Disney World soon?

If you are planning a vacation to Disney World, be sure to check out these valuable resources to help you save time and money:

Do you love Star Wars? What new addition are you most excited about?
Please leave a comment!