Get Wild at Disney’s Animal Kingdom


Trek through Disney's Animal Kingdom Savannah. Photo Credit: Julie K.

Trek through Disney’s Animal Kingdom Savannah.
Photo Credit: Julie K.

Backstage tours at Disney give glimpses into sights that we normally would not see during a day in the parks. These tours are offered at an additional cost and cover everything from horticulture to costuming. Tours are a fantastic alternative to the parks and a wonderful addition to any Disney vacation.

The Wild Africa Trek at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a 3 hour VIP tour that should be added to every Disney fan’s bucket list. Guests ages 8 and up have some very close encounters with the star residents of the Animal Kingdom Savannah. During the tour you will be guided through a viewing of hippos and crocodiles from a rope bridge 10 feet above. Don’t worry…you are securely harnessed to a cable, so there will be no unfortunate face-to-face meetings with Tick-Tock the Crocodile.

During your tour, you will also have the opportunity to try some African-inspired snack foods. Depending on the time of day you select for your tour; you will be given either breakfast or lunch menu items.

The tours start at 8:00AM and run every 45 minutes until the last tour of the day at 2:30PM. The expedition does also require theme park admission as well as a charge for the tour. Current tour admission rates can be obtained by calling Disney at (407) WDW- TOUR. Additional details, including restrictions and clothing requirements can be found here.

Will you plan a tour for your next Disney vacation?


Caw! Caw! Roar!


Adventure is out there

Have you ever dreamed of going on an adventure like Carl and Russell from the movie, “Up”?  Searching the land for new discoveries and exploring the world around you? Consider making your wishes come true on your next Walt Disney World vacation. Here are some suggestions for the most exciting “Up” themed day at the resort.

“Caw! Caw! Roar!”

Begin your journey at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and become a Wilderness Explorer for the day. Pick up your free official Wilderness Explorers Handbook and earn badges by completing activities throughout the park. Disney cast members serve as your Troop Leaders and Badge Guides and help you along the way with some direction and answers. By finishing your tasks, you will learn about wildlife, culture and even recycling!

“Adventure is out there!”

Grab your grape soda pins and head on over to Downtown Disney to soar on the Characters in Flight balloon. This giant helium balloon takes guests on a tethered 10 minute flight up to 400 feet in the air. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Walt Disney World Resort and surrounding landscape.

Fly during the day to see up to 10 miles away, or at night to see the twinkling lights of the city. You can even plan your flight during the fireworks in the parks to further enhance your experience. Check your park map or My Disney Experience app for nightly fireworks schedules.

The Characters in Flight balloon does not fly during storms or if the wind speed is greater than 22 miles per hour. Guests under the age of 9 must be accompanied by someone 18 years of age or older. The cost associated with this experience is currently $12.00 per child and $18.00 per adult. The hours of operation are 8:30 AM- 12:00 Midnight.

“Chocolate, I smell chocolate!”

After your flight, grab a meal at the Rainforest Café in Downtown Disney and dine amongst a setting that will remind you of Carl and Russell’s destination; Paradise Falls. Enjoy the lush trees and tropical birds as you enjoy American-style cuisine. Russell’s bird friend, Kevin would approve of the Sparkling Volcano dessert. Made for three or more people, this giant chocolate brownie cake is served warm and topped with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and chocolate sauce!

After dinner, stroll through Downtown Disney, check out the shops and start planning your next Disney adventure.

Do you plan theme days for your Disney trips?

Avatar Coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Avatar Land


Some exciting announcements were made at the D23 Expo in Japan as reported by, including the addition of Avatar attractions and experiences within Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The expansion of Animal Kingdom has been long discussed and as explained at the Expo, the changes will most likely take effect by 2017.

What’s New?

Avatar land attractions including a jungle with lanterns, floating mountains and plants will take guests to the land of Pandora for an experience never before felt at the Disney parks.  An evening show at Discovery River featuring lights, water effects and animal images will be introduced.  As with any new Disney experience, the concept art doesn’t really give us a full picture of what we will see; however the Disney Imagineers have a huge task in front of them of bringing Pandora to life.

The new land will have a home in the Camp Minnie- Mickey area. The Festival of the Lion King is rumored to be moving to a new theatre in the Africa section of the park.

My Thoughts

Animal Kingdom has always been my escape from the loud and crowded theme park hustle and bustle. Riding on Kilimanjaro Safaris is truly an escape like nothing else…and probably the most relaxing experience in Walt Disney World.  While it is difficult to imagine Animal Kingdom getting a makeover, it will be interesting to be in the park after dusk. This will not only give guests a new experience, but allow for more choices in your evening entertainment; which could mean less crowds since everyone is spread out amongst several parks. My hope is that Disney will retain those quiet areas of Animal Kingdom and of course give the animals themselves a refuge from all the sounds and sights of these new attractions. After all, they are the stars of the show and should be allowed to feel comfy and safe.

What are your thoughts on the changes? Do you think this is a good addition to Animal Kingdom?