Disney’s Animal Kingdom Celebrates the Magic of Nature After Dark with New Nighttime Experiences

Filed in: Disney's Animal Kingdom

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla – 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, or dancing alongside African performers in Harambe, guests at Disney’s Animal Kingdom can enjoy the park’s captivating vibe and tone with extended hours and enhanced entertainment.

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 after dark experiences:

Pandora — The World of Avatar
The Valley of Mo’ara inside Pandora — The World of Avatar will welcome guests starting May 27, inviting them to explore exotic plants that come to life each with beautiful bioluminescence each night, a Na’vi built drum circle containing instruments playable by all, as well as Na’vi totems and other cultural items.

Rivers of Light
This new nighttime show takes guests on a magnificent journey with a mix of water, fire, nature and light choreographed to an original musical score. Continuing the park’s transformation from a day-into-nighttime experience, the amazing after-dark experience on the banks of Discovery River celebrates the majesty of nature and the connection between animals and humans in the world.

The Tree of Life Awakens
The theme park’s iconic Tree of Life undergoes 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.

Kilimanjaro 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.

Harambe Wildlife Parti
When the sun sets, the popular Village of Harambe becomes a hot spot with the 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 also can partake in exotic foods and libations, and explore the diverse wares of village artisans and merchants in the vibrant marketplace.

Discovery 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 captivates revelers with lively music, jubilant dance, vibrant costumes, stilt walkers and tasty culinary creations — winding from one end of the island to the other.

Satu’li Canteen Restaurant
In addition to the two new attractions inside Pandora — The World of Avatar, guests can enjoy Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s new fast casual eatery, Satu’li Canteen, located inside Pandora — The World of Avatar starting May 27. Serving lunch and dinner, Satu’li Canteen offers guests a variety of international-inspired dishes, vegetarian options and specialty libations. Satu’li Canteen–once owned and operated by Alpha Centauri Expeditions (ACE)–is now a peaceful dining facility adorned with Na’vi art and cultural items.

Tiffins Signature Restaurant
Guests can set off on an expedition where they will find a treasure trove of mouthwatering delights from far-off places at Tiffins. Open for both lunch and dinner, this new signature dining experience celebrates the art of traveling and includes 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.

New 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.