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Animal Kingdom Update: October 2018

Animal Kingdom Update: October 2018

We conclude our Walt Disney World updates for October 2018 with our first-ever journey to Animal Kingdom. Properly, not first ever, however our first devoted progress report from the park. As we began doing these final summer time after Pandora – World of Avatar debuted, there hasn’t been a lot development at Animal Kingdom, and therefore no main purpose for an replace.

There nonetheless isn’t a lot development, and we debated to have this be Half three of our Walt Disney World Fall Journey Recap as an alternative of an Animal Kingdom replace, however it does really feel a bit extra “update-ish.” (And in the long run, does the title actually matter?)

With that stated, quite a bit has modified at Animal Kingdom since Pandora debuted, and for these of you who don’t pay shut consideration to all the newest developments at Walt Disney World, or aren’t capable of go to often, it’s in all probability value checking in on the park.

Principally, this submit is combine between an easy park ‘progress report’ and the rambling ideas of a visit recap, together with my evaluation of the reworked ‘Up! A Great Bird Adventure.’ Apart from that, we’ll additionally share ideas on Donald’s Dino-Bash, a final go to to Rafiki’s Planet Watch, and pictures from across the park.

Because it’s going to be the longest a part of this Animal Kingdom replace, let’s begin with my Up! A Nice Hen Journey evaluation. I can perceive the will to replace Flights of Marvel. The Guano Joe tour information bit felt a bit like the kind of factor you’d see at Common Studios Florida within the 1990s; it was each dated and tacky. This isn’t to say the premise was downright dangerous, it simply wanted a refresh.

The narrative framework provided by way of the tour information offered transitions between chook segments and injected a way of ‘Disney’ polish that you simply wouldn’t discover at an area zoo. And naturally, given the run of the present, Disney followers turned hooked up to the Guano Joe character, who was a strong performer in an amusing position.

We beloved Flights of Marvel, however to be trustworthy, after the primary couple of occasions with the tour information bit, I might’ve used that dramatically toned down…or gone totally. For me, the guts of this present–in both incarnation–is the birds and the way they work with their human trainers.

That’s the emotional heft and the guts of the present, and it doesn’t want anything to be partaking. (On the contrary, I’d say the extra simple Frequent Flyers Chook Present on the San Diego Zoo is best than any model of the Animal Kingdom fowl present I’ve seen.)

As for Up! A Nice Fowl Journey, the birds are nonetheless current, in order that’s good. I can’t inform if their position has been diminished with extra speaking between human and character performers, or if these segments are simply so uninteresting that they really feel interminably lengthy. Both means, I discover myself testing when Russell and Dug are on stage with out birds. These segments of the present are (nonetheless) written for a 7 and underneath viewers.

Finally, I discover myself questioning why injecting characters was deemed crucial. The birds featured in Flights of Marvel are lovely, majestic creatures that impart a way of…properly…marvel in friends of all ages. Youngsters love animals. I do know this not as a result of I’ve youngsters, however as a result of I as soon as was a child, and I keep in mind me and all of my pals beloved animals. 

If immediately’s youngsters are bored by one thing like Flights of Marvel, it says much more about us as a society than it does about Flights of Marvel. I could also be a bit cynical, however I actually doubt this was the case–at the very least in vital numbers. Our animal kingdom wouldn’t stop to be fascinating and awe-inspiring via the eyes of a kid over the course of 1 era simply because iPads have been invented.

If there have been complaints about Flights of Marvel not being Disney sufficient, and once more I actually query the notion that there have been, I’d hazard a guess that these got here from mother and father who “paid a lot of money to be here” and “didn’t expect to see some bird show we could’ve seen at the local zoo.” Nicely, to these hypothetical individuals, the brand new model of the present actually provides new which means to an previous adage: watch out what you would like for. 

The difficulty with the brand new present is that it takes an idea with close to common attraction (birds) and provides one thing with lower than common attraction (characters). Youngsters should prefer it as a result of they’re the audience for characters, however as we’ve coated above, they’d like a fowl present regardless.

So the query for everybody else turns into, is that factor with common attraction sufficient of a draw to beat the factor with restricted attraction? For me, the reply is not any. The character elements are an excessive amount of of a drag, and I can see higher pure fowl exhibits elsewhere.

Flights of Marvel undoubtedly might’ve used a refresh, however I’d argue that taking it within the actual other way and peeling again much more of the non-bird stuff would’ve been the suitable measure. Have a number or somebody who’s a talented entertainer to facilitate the motion and transition between segments, however drop every thing hokey. The birds can converse for themselves.

On a extra constructive observe, I’m an enormous fan of Donald’s Dino-Bash. The premise of that is intelligent and wry, and the execution is spot on. The meet and greet areas have a ton of element, and the character choice is nicely finished, as are these cute dinosaur PJs for Chip & Dale.

That is in all probability the primary dance get together I’ve seen and thought, “this dance party enhances this area of the park.” Thoughts you, this space of the park is Dino-Rama, one thing I feel is full junk, however Donald’s Dino-Bash continues to be a pleasant asset to Animal Kingdom. I hope it sticks round.

Because it was closing shortly after our go to, I additionally determined to make the trek out to Rafiki’s Planet Watch to pay my respects to my goat homies and see the world once more. It had been some time.

Walt Disney World’s present intention is to retool points of Rafiki’s Planet Watch and reopen it in Spring 2019.

Personally, I might not be in the least stunned if this by no means occurs. And I truthfully wouldn’t fault Disney for it.

Having to entry this space by way of practice after which having a modest stroll for probably minimal payoff is one thing that can’t be fastened. Extra character decorations or no matter they could add doesn’t actually change the equation.

The difficulty with Rafiki’s Planet Watch will all the time be that it’s solely accessible by way of practice. Even when they have been so as to add an E-Ticket curler coaster again right here (they aren’t), that practice can be a problem.

Besides then, the difficulty wouldn’t be that the payoff isn’t value it, it’d be that you need to wait in an extended line twice: as soon as for the practice and as soon as for the journey.

There could be some stability to be struck, maybe including a number of uncommon characters, interactive reveals with Zootopia characters, and so on., however I nonetheless assume there’d be points with effort v. payoff.

Or they might simply triple the variety of goats. Extra goats, extra enjoyable. It’s simply science.

It’s actually too dangerous that Rafiki’s Planet Watch is unpopular. The petting zoo is cute, the reveals inside are fascinating, and it’s a pleasant place to decelerate and decompress.

Rafiki’s Planet Watch is the sort of factor the parks all want, even when most friends overlook them. (You possibly can argue that the Boneyard fills that position, however they’re clearly very totally different and, I feel, complementary.)

Whereas I used to be at Rafiki’s Planet Watch, I noticed my first-ever Animal process–a hen put underneath and x-rayed as a result of it wasn’t consuming.

Watching this was superior. If the unique EPCOT Middle pavilions impressed my era to enter sure fields, one of these factor would encourage as we speak’s youngsters to turn out to be veterinarians or go into different animal bioscience fields.

As we famous in our “Walt Disney World Crowd Update: A Tale of Two Seasons,” wait occasions stay lengthy for each Pandora – World of Avatar points of interest.

We noticed waits of over three hours for Avatar Flight of Passage, with the queue stretching all through the land and out the walkway to Harambe. Different days, waits have been over four hours.

Expedition Everest is enjoyable as all the time, even with piles of uncleaned hair tie choices being made to the Disco Yeti.

There’s all the time numerous merchandise for Expedition Everest, however nothing that appeals to me. These things jogs my memory of Abercrombie from the late 1990s.

Additionally noticed It’s Robust to Be a Bug, a present I really like however don’t see typically.

Sadly, the Hopper Audio Animatronics determine was not working, which was an enormous bummer. I’m kind of stunned they run the present with out him, as he’s fairly integral to the expertise.

Right here’s a dinosaur:

And one other:

That’s no less than 27 years of excellent luck–you’re welcome.

This mug shouldn’t be new, however I feel it’s actually cool.

That’s about it for our Animal Kingdom replace. Not a ton right here that’s new-new, however it’s a park that continues to vary post-Pandora. We’re hopeful that continues to be the case forward of Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary; although there are rather more urgent priorities, Animal Kingdom might nonetheless use some tweaks and refreshes.

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Your Ideas

What do you consider Animal Kingdom’s chook exhibits? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment of Up! A Nice Hen Journey? Different ideas about Animal Kingdom? Any questions we might help you reply? Listening to your suggestions—even once you disagree with us—is each fascinating to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas under within the feedback!