In addition to the first glimpse of Avatarland, Disney teased of new nighttime entertainment coming to Animal Kingdom by 2017. Animal Kingdom has long struggled to be a “full day” park, with the park closing most days from around 5 or 6 pm. With the new addition of a major land, Disney will finally be able to extend the hours of the park. Animal Kingdom will add new entertainment offerings in non-Avatar parts of the park to delight guests who will be staying until those later hours. This will include a new nighttime version of a popular E-ticket attraction and a major new spectacular centered around the Tree of Life.

One of the most overlooked announcements about Animal Kingdom’s 2017 expansion is the fact that Kilimanjaro Safaris will offer a nighttime version. This popular attraction usually closes about an hour before park closing currently, so a new nighttime version will be a great new addition as well as a way to keep the back of the park alive during the night hours. It will be interesting to see what the new version entails, as many of the animals on the current Kilimanjaro Safaris are not nocturnal.

Animal Kingdom will finally get its nighttime spectacular, which means that every Walt Disney World park will have some way to entertain its guests at night. “Live music, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery” will all combine to entertain guests along Discovery River. This seems to combine some elements of World of Color and Tapestry of Nations, which sounds pretty exciting to me. Just don’t expect any fireworks, as that will probably startle the animals who reside at the Kingdom.


No word on when these two nighttime additions will be implemented, only that they are part of the largest expansion in Animal Kingdom’s history. It seems that Disney is hoping that Avatarland and these nighttime offerings will do to Animal Kingdom what Carsland, World of Color, and Buena Vista Street did for California Adventure. World of Color premiered almost two years before Carsland, so there’s a chance that you can be cruising along a nighttime safari or watching the Tree of Life light up well before 2017. However, all we know is that we’re a few years away from seeing these additions come to the park.

What do you think of the new nighttime offerings coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom? Let me know on Twitter or Facebook, or email me at [email protected].