Big Changes to Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Please note: some posts may contain affiliate links which means our team could earn money if you purchase products from our site


Disney’s Animal Kingdom is known more as a “Half-Day” Park. Disney thinks it’s time to change that perception. At the end of 2014, Camp Minnie and Mickey closed, and they are making way for some BIG Changes! The new land will be based off the movie Avatar. The land is expected to open in stages with completion in 2017. Once the transformation is complete, you can expect longer hours and more nighttime activities. Animal Kingdom’s future is looking bright. Here are some changes that should be happening as Animal Kingdoms expands.

  • Characters: Since Camp Minnie and Mickey closed, characters are spread throughout the park. Nothing has been officially released, but you can expect that there will be some unique character greetings in the new Avatar Land. This will more than likely be the only place you can find some of these special Meet and Greets.
  • Dining: While a statement hasn’t been released about the dining for the new land, a large rumor is that there will be at least one Quick Service Restaurant made to look like an Army mess hall, like the one from the movie itself.
  • Nighttime Safari: Disney has announced that there will be a nighttime safari ride coming soon. Date has not been released. Kilimanjaro Safari is a popular ride, cause you never know whats going to happen or what you will see. Every time is different. That is during the day, now you will be able to go around and see all the nocturnal animals.
  • Rivers of Light: One of the reasons Animal Kingdom is considered a half-day park is it’s lack of nightly entertainment. That is all about to change. Rivers of Light is going to be a night time show on and around Discovery River. It will feature live music, water screens, floating lanterns, and more. A highlight is expected to be the illumination of the Tree of Life, which is having all of its leaves replaced for the new production. Rivers of Life is expected to open sometime in the spring of 2016.
  • Rides: A new land needs rides, and two have been announced by Disney. The first is a Avatar based dark boat ride. It will be a family friendly attraction, and will take guests into the jungles of Pandora at night. It is expected that the indoor ride will use plenty of audio-animatronics so that guests will feel like that are traveling through the movie. The attraction that has everyone excited is the other new ride that will be in Avatar Land. Guests will hop onto a mountain banshee and take a trip over Pandora. While the ride will most likely use IMAX screens, don’t compare it to Soarin’. The ride might also use 3D to make it more realistic. It’s supposed to be unlike any other ride on the planet, so expectations are already high.

So get ready for a whole new Animal Kingdom! Pretty soon you maybe have to add another day to your trip so you can fit it all in.

My name is Jamie. If you need tips, tricks or help planning and booking your next dream vacation, I would love to help you! I’m a writer for Chip & Co and DisneyAddicts and I’m an Independent Travel Agent with World of Magic Travel their preferred travel agency. Feel free to contact me at or follow me on Facebook


Let our friends at Destinations to Travel help you book your next Disney Vacation. They are the preferred Travel Agency of Chip and Company and Disney Addicts, and who we use ourselves.

Get started below for your FREE No Obligation Quote.

Book With our friends at Destinations to Travel

MM slash DD slash YYYY
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

For the BEST in Disney, Universal, Dollywood, and SeaWorld Theme Park News, Entertainment, Merchandise & More follow us on, Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube. Don't forget to check out the Chip and Company Radio Network too!

Written by:

This account is for Past Writers and Friends who love Disney and want to share that love with you.
View All Posts
Follow Me :

2 thoughts on “Big Changes to Disney’s Animal Kingdom

  1. While I am excited at the prospect of all the new areas and attractions in my favorite park (cannot wait until Rivers of Light starts up!), a part of me still hope that, eventually, the originally planned area of Beastly Kingdomme will also make its debut at Animal Kingdom, as well.

Comments are closed.