The Jungle Book: Alive With Magic At Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Jungle Book Alive 2

If you have a trip to Walt Disney World coming up soon, you’ve probably been anxiously waiting to experience the much anticipated Disney’s Animal Kingdom nighttime experiences. Well, great news, most of the after dark fun began Memorial Day Weekend including a limited time show – “The Jungle Book: Alive With Magic”!  Here’s everything you need to know about this new entertainment option courtesy of Disney:


Live singers, dancers, musicians and fire performers celebrate the epic story of The Walt Disney Studios’ “The Jungle Book” in a limited-engagement nighttime extravaganza that opened on May 28, 2016, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World Resort.

Jungle Book Alive 1Performed beneath the stars in the park’s new outdoor 5,000-seat Discovery River Theater, “The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic,” debuts as the park introduces additional nighttime entertainment including a post-sunset Kilimanjaro Safaris adventure and visually stunning Tree of Life “awakenings” with Discovery Island song-and-dance merriment.

“The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic” welcomes guests to the dangerous, captivating world of the young “man cub” Mowgli and the jungle animals that protect and threaten him. Featuring traditional Indian music as well as the wildly popular songs of The Jungle Book, the show immerses guests in the culture of and beauty of India and the peril of the jungle with singers, musicians, dancers and visuals.

As the show opens, barges festooned with Indian banners and intricate flower decorations float into view carrying river-bound singers, dancers and musicians.

Jungle Book Alive 4The show’s opening number begins with an ethereal Indian chant in the Rajasthan style, then builds to an energetic sound featuring drummers and performers offering gifts of light with a dance of candles. The music segues to the film’s score, and the show’s water screens rise to reveal an image of the ornate cover of “The Jungle Book” story by Rudyard Kipling. As the book pages open, an engraved jungle scene transitions from black and white to the colorful 3-D world of the film.

Driven by John Debney’s “The Jungle Book” film score, the show’s live music is arranged in Indian styles that feature the sitar and tabla drums for beloved tunes including “The Bare Necessities,” “Trust in Me,” and “I Wan’na Be Like You.” Big-screen images from the film combine with impressionist projections and narration by the panther character Bagheera, to open a portal into the artfully-told story.

The 25-minute show is awash in special effects that include fire, and massive water-screen projections. While some of the cast tell the story from water’s edge and inside the theater, multiple barges and boats become additional sets pulsating with dozens of performers, scenic backdrops and light and fire effects.

Jungle Book Alive 3“We’ve been fortunate to work with an amazing team of collaborators from around the world, from the filmmakers behind the blockbuster movie to a creative team of artists who helped to infuse our show with authentic aspects of the culture of India,” said Michael Jung, executive creative director, Walt Disney Imagineering.

Poignant film moments resonate, as when “wolf-mother” Raksha says farewell to Mowgli and tells him, “You will always be my son.” As the journey proceeds, guests will flinch at the sudden roar of tiger Shere Khan that leads to a thrilling chase, and they’ll laugh at antics of Baloo, the free-spirited bear and pal of Mowgli. As the tale unfolds, the audience can’t help but be mesmerized by the frighteningly hypnotic charm of Kaa.

Breathtaking water-screen images of an elephant herd, a virtuosic fire performance and dynamic live percussion build to a frenzied show climax. For the show finale, the cast of “The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic,” performs an Indian-influenced mega-medley that becomes a boisterous mash-up of the acclaimed film’s top tunes, and performers spread throughout the aisles to transform the amphitheater into one huge immersive party celebrating the music, story and world of “The Jungle Book.”


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:

Are you excited to see “The Jungle Book: Alive With Magic”?
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Disney’s Animal Kingdom After Dark Begins Memorial Day Weekend

DAK at Night 2

If you’re like me and have a trip to Walt Disney World coming up in the next few weeks, you’ve probably been anxiously waiting for Disney to release more details about the much anticipated Disney’s Animal Kingdom nighttime experiences. Recently Disney announced that the opening of these new evening activities was being pushed back from its originally scheduled date of April 22, 2016 to an unknown date this summer. Well, great news, most of the after dark experiences will begin Memorial Day Weekend! Here’s everything you need to know courtesy of Disney:


Nightfall brings more mystery and majesty to Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park as guests discover rich new experiences under the stars. Whether riding Kilimanjaro Safaris at sunset, rollicking aboard rafts on Kali River Rapids at twilight, dancing alongside African performers in Harambe, or reveling in a live musical celebration of Disney’s new hit film “The Jungle Book”, guests at Disney’s Animal Kingdom can enjoy the park’s captivating new vibe and tone when it expands its offerings with extended hours and enhanced entertainment, scheduled to begin Memorial Day Weekend.

DAK at Night 2“Disney’s Animal Kingdom is such a majestic and beautiful park,” said George A. Kalogridis, President of Walt Disney World Resort, “With new experiences and new ways to experience favorite attractions, nighttime at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be a can’t-miss experience for Walt Disney World guests.”

Like the animal world itself, Disney’s Animal Kingdom continues to evolve since opening on Earth Day in 1998. As the park shifts to nighttime, a magical ambiance emerges, inviting guests to share in its wonder with heightened senses. At nightfall the sounds of rustling foliage, animal calls, and colorful prayer flags flapping in the wind become even more distinct. Softly lit, once-familiar paths now cast in shadows make every twist and turn a new discovery. Most of the park’s popular attractions will remain open for guests to enjoy after dark.

The animal encounters shift at twilight, too, as darkness camouflages the boundaries between wildlife and guests. The kingdom comes alive with intriguing nighttime animal behaviors — never disappointing humanity’s enduring fascination with creatures of our planet.

Highlights of new experiences:

DAK at Night 1The Tree of Life Awakens

The theme park’s iconic Tree of Life will undergo extraordinary “awakenings” throughout the evening as the animal spirits are brought to life by magical fireflies that reveal colorful stories of wonder and enchantment. High-tech projections of nature scenes take on a magical quality as they appear to dramatically emanate from within the Tree of Life.

DAK at Night 5Kilimanjaro Safaris after Dark

Each evening, the popular Kilimanjaro Safaris daytime experience is artfully bathed in the glow of sunset with special lighting allowing guests to explore this attraction well into the night. During the expedition, guests can now encounter the nighttime behavior of the wildlife and better tune in to the unique vocalization of the animals. Plus, there are two new species to discover: African wild dogs and hyenas.

Jungle BookThe Jungle Book: Alive with Magic

For the summer, Discovery River becomes the stage for music and pageantry in a limited-engagement show inspired by Disney’s hit live-action film “The Jungle Book”. The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic is a live show filled with music and special effects that celebrates the new film and the classic songs, now infused with an Indian influence.

DAK at Night 6Harambe Wildlife Parti

When the sun sets, the popular Village of Harambe will become a hot spot with the new Harambe Wildlife Parti. Here, “party animals” can dance alongside a variety of entertainers and local street musicians, and enjoy the lively rhythms of African music. Guests can also partake in exotic foods and libations, and explore the diverse wares of village artisans and merchants in the vibrant marketplace.

DAK at Night 4Discovery Island Carnivale

The spirited community of Discovery Island has come together to celebrate their love of the natural world with the Discovery Island Carnivale. This nightly experience will captivate guests with lively music, jubilant dance, vibrant costumes, stilt walkers and tasty culinary creations — winding from one end of the island to the other.

Tiffins 3Tiffins Signature Restaurant

In addition to the diverse new entertainment offerings, guests will enjoy Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s new signature eatery, Tiffins. Open for both lunch and dinner, this new signature dining experience will celebrate the art of traveling and include waterfront views from both indoor and outdoor seating areas. “Tiffin” is an Indian English word meaning midday meal or type of container used to carry food while traveling.

DAK at Night 7New Adventures with Favorite Attractions

Most attractions remain open at nightfall, and will shine like never before. At sundown, Kali River Rapids will reveal mysterious twists and turns throughout the rainforest with dramatic and drenching fun. Expedition Everest thrills adventurers as it lurches forward and backward through the icy peaks of the Himalayas. At night, the majestic mountain challenges trekkers to an evening ride revealing breathtaking views of the Animal Kingdom canopied by starlight. Amidst the colorful midway games at Chester & Hester’s Dino-Rama in DinoLand U.S.A., the thrills turn up aboard the zany Triceratop Spin or Primeval Whirl under the lights.

DAK at Night 3More Magic to Come with “Rivers of Light”

The nighttime will grow even more magical with the premiere of the majestic nighttime jewel, “Rivers of Light.” This illuminating musical experience – currently in development with a premiere date to be announced soon – will celebrate the magic of animals, humans and the natural world with a blend of performers, floating lanterns and theatrical animal imagery.  The Disney creative team collaborated with the award-winning filmmakers at Disneynature to bring never-before-seen footage, telling dramatic and compelling stories from the animal world to the show.

On the natural stage of Discovery River, guests will marvel as a timeless custom comes to life before their eyes in a stirring performance. The ceremony begins with the arrival of a pair of mystical hosts, two complementary forces who come to the river bearing gifts of light. They set out from the shore on elaborate lantern vessels, engaging in a dramatic dance of water and light to summon the animal spirits. With these storytellers as guides, the wonders of “Rivers of Light” unfold, building to a magnificent finale with bursts of light as animal images soar to the heavens– signifying the ancient belief that when animals passed from one world to another they danced in the sky and became beautiful rivers of light.


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:

Are you looking forward to visiting Animal Kingdom at night?
Please leave a comment; we would love to hear from you!

Disney Movie Review – The Jungle Book

Jungle Book

In the midst of a huge spring snowstorm, my boys and I decided it was time to hit the movies again. This time, we ventured out to the theatre to see the newest Disney release, “The Jungle Book”As a little girl, I was a huge fan of the Disney read-along version of this story, so I was eager to see the live action film based on one of my childhood’s most cherished stories. My boys (ages 13 and 10) had mixed feelings about it. My youngest was looking forward to it, but my teenager was torn between sleeping in or eating junk food at the theatre. Ultimately, his teenage boy appetite won out and he came with us. For the first time in a long time, we all really enjoyed the same movie…three resounding thumbs up! Read on for all of the details and don’t worry, there are no spoilers in this review.

The Story

The Jungle Book 7Directed by Jon Favreau (“Iron Man”), based on Rudyard Kipling’s timeless stories and inspired by Disney’s classic animated film, “The Jungle Book” is an all-new live-action epic adventure about Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi), a man-cub who’s been raised by a family of wolves. But Mowgli finds he is no longer welcome in the jungle when fearsome tiger Shere Khan (voice of Idris Elba), who bears the scars of Man, promises to eliminate what he sees as a threat. Urged to abandon the only home he’s ever known, Mowgli embarks on a captivating journey of self-discovery, guided by panther-turned-stern mentor Bagheera (voice of Ben Kingsley), and the free-spirited bear Baloo (voice of Bill Murray). Along the way, Mowgli encounters jungle creatures who don’t exactly have his best interests at heart, including Kaa (voice of Scarlett Johansson), a python whose seductive voice and gaze hypnotizes the man-cub, and the smooth-talking King Louie (voice of Christopher Walken), who tries to coerce Mowgli into giving up the secret to the elusive and deadly red flower: fire. The all-star cast also includes Lupita Nyong’o as the voice of the fiercely protective mother wolf Raksha, and Giancarlo Esposito as the voice of wolf pack’s alpha male Akela. “The Jungle Book” seamlessly blends live-action with photorealistic CGI animals and environments, using up-to-the-minute technology and storytelling techniques to immerse audiences in an enchanting and lush world.

Our Review

The Jungle Book

Overall my boys and I loved this film. I give it an A-, my teenager gives it a B, and my youngest son gives it a B+. The inspiring story, all-star voice cast, and spectacular computer-generated effects are really what make this film a winner. If there is a downside, and it wasn’t easy to find one, it is that the musical numbers most Disney classics are known for are sorely lacking in this version. Only three songs are featured, one of which is only in the credits, and the two that are prominent in the film are more spoken than sung. Aside from that minor issue, “The Jungle Book” is stunning. It should be noted that this isn’t your typical light-hearted Disney animated film, “The Jungle Book” is dark, slow-paced, and violent. The vicious animal fights and perilous situations that beloved main characters find themselves in could be alarming to younger viewers. The messages of bravery, family, and teamwork are strong though, and ultimately should leave you and your family feeling inspired.

I would recommend this film for children at least 9 years old based on my experience with my boys, however you may find that the violence against animals could make it difficult for sensitive children of all ages to watch. I’ve included the trailer below and for more details, reviews, ratings and for help determining if it might be right for your family, please check out this link or feel free to ask me a question in the comments section.

Sneak Peek

Have you seen “The Jungle Book”?
Did you enjoy it? Please leave a comment; we would love to hear from you!