Last summer, Disney Parks announced that Rafiki’s Planet Watch was going seasonal, aka “temporarily closing”, on October 20, 2018. The last day for Rafiki’s meet and greet was September 29, 2018. It was expected that it would be closed for refurbishment through the winter and into Spring 2019.
It was supposed to open “seasonally” during high crowd months, i.e., Summer 2019, but that isn’t happening with the summer season officially starting in just a few weeks.
Check here for Updates: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/attractions/animal-kingdom/conservation-station/
“Rafiki’s Planet Watch and Wildlife Express will fully reopen this summer! The area will boast a few new enhancements for you to enjoy as we celebrate 25 years of The Lion King.”
Construction has been delayed and we suspect it’s all because of the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge construction going on at a frantic pace at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Disney only has so many construction teams and contractors and there’s major construction going on all across the Disney World property with Star Wars at DHS, Tron at MK, and the new Ratatouille ride at Epcot. And the new Riviera resort and the new Skyliner gondola system….Disney is spending BILLIONS before the 50th anniversary celebration in 2021.
This means that this summer, the Wildlife Express train will not be running, the conservation station is closed, the Affection Section petting zoo is closed, and Rafiki’s meet and greet will continue to be closed.
Expect Rafiki’s Planet Watch to re-open in late August/early September 2019 now.
Rafiki’s Planet Watch
Before it closed for refurbishment, it was fun to take the Wildlife Express Train to Conservation Station at Rafiki’s Planet Watch.
You could visit Affection Section, the animal petting with a variety of animals, including goats and sheep. They were very friendly. Not sure where they are being housed now.
Walking the Habitat Habit!, an outdoor discovery trail featuring exotic sights and sounds, was fun too.
The Song of the Rainforest booths, which were home to Grandmother Willow from Pocahontas, are being torn down to accommodate a space dedicated to Disney’s rich heritage of wildlife animation, showcasing how Disney animators have historically taken inspiration from live animals to ensure accuracy and realism in their work.
They’ll tie this in to historical film examples, like Bambi and The Lion King. Nods to True-Life Adventures, the original fourteen full-length and short-subject documentary films produced by Walt Disney Productions for Sunday night’s Wonderful World of Disney program in the late 1940s to 1960s will be showcased.
Devoted to the preservation and conservation of animals, Rafiki’s Planet Watch features fun educational exhibits and activities to help create awareness of animal issues and offers a behind-the-scenes look into the inner workings of Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park.
We’ve written two books about our time working and playing at Disney World.
Both are available on Amazon.com: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.
If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/
Have a magical day!