Rafiki’s Planet Watch at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Will Not Re-Open Next Month

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Rafiki’s Planet Watch is in the north section of Africa.

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.

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Rafiki pointing the way.

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.

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Walking into Africa.

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.

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Christian about to board the Wildlife Express Train.

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.

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We liked the petting zoo! I wonder where the animals temporarily went this past year?

Walking the Habitat Habit!, an outdoor discovery trail featuring exotic sights and sounds, was fun too.

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Conservation Station.

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Some of the many animals – big and small – around the world that Disney’s Worldwide Conservation Fund is trying to help.

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At Rafiki’s meet and greet in 2017.   He’s been MIA in 2019 so far.

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Grandmother Willow singing a song about conservation.  This tree is being torn down during refurbishment construction.

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.

Wonderful World of Disney

Every kid in America watched this program on Sunday night in the 1960s.

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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.

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At Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s Tree of Life with our mom.

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.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

#TwoDisneySisters

Mickey ears DAK  Two

Two Disney Sisters

*****

 

Trying Avatar’s Night Blossom Drink at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Night Blossom drink1The Night Blossom drink is the Coolest Drink at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

It was a warm day at DAK – sunny and 90 degrees! – when the guys decided to give this icy slushy drink a try.

Night Blossom drink

Night Blossom slushy drink with paper straw.

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No one likes slushy drinks more than Mitch!!!

It’s a mixture of limeade with apple and desert pear flavors, layered on top of one another and topped with passion fruit Boba Balls.

drink4It tastes a little like Sour Skittles — sugary sweet with a layer of tart sour flavor on top.

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Caroline’s new Violet Lemonade Minnie Ears and trying the Violet Lemonade. It was good.

Disney fans say it’s similar to the Violet Lemonade drink available at Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival that Caroline tried and liked last month.

The guys all gave it a thumb’s up!

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Caroline and Mitch at the Floating Mountains.

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This is the perfect spot to enjoy a cool drink!

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The Floating Mountains of Pandora: The World of Avatar.

And, you can buy a Night Blossom Banshee!

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The Night Blossom Banshee is $59.95.

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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.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

#TwoDisneySisters

Two Disney Sisters

Two Disney Sisters  (fyi, Our favorite drink at Disney World is a Dole Whip Float!)

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Updated ‘Rivers of Light: We Are One’ Show Debuts May 2019

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The beautiful color-changing LED light sculptures floating on the river.

An updated version of the Rivers of Light show, titled “Rivers of Light: We Are One”, debuted Memorial Day Weekend 2019 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Full 18 minute video of new show:  Rivers of Light: We Are One May 2019

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We have seen this show several times now and have one word to describe it:  DISAPPOINTMENT.

Disney has a huge catalog of familiar music and award-winning animation – let’s start with “Tarzan” and “The Lion King” – and choose to use none of it in Rivers of Light.  A huge miss.

With the updated show, this error will be fixed.

We are looking forward to seeing the new version.  The show has all the gorgeous Disney elements with the stunning LED floats, the lighting, the synchronized water fountains, the flames, the venue…..it just needs a story guests can follow and it needs Disney music to tie it all together.

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Lovely.

“Rivers of Light: We Are One” introduces additional, stunning imagery and familiar animal characters from Disneynature films, along with a colorful tapestry of classic moments from Disney animation.

The updated show expresses our connection with animals and the emotions and milestones we all share in our journey through the great Circle of Life.

The new music of “Rivers of Light: We Are One” weaves together the original musical score and familiar Disney themes to create a powerful arrangement that inspires and carries us through moments of discovery, fun, friendship, fear, love and family.

“Rivers of Light: We Are One” comes to the Discovery River Amphitheater at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, beginning Memorial Day Weekend 2019.

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The last update of this show happened in September 2018 when in a cost-cutting move, Disney eliminated the live performers on the boats, the Water and Light Shamans.

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The Water Shaman beating on the drums in his final performance.

The remote-controlled boats are now empty of live performers.

(See our blog about the other budget cuts park-wide at DAK in 2018: Rafikis Planet Watch is Closing)

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Dozens of beautiful lights sculptures floating all over the lake.

We have seen Rivers of Light several times now and have to admit that we are not impressed.

Disney has a vast catalog of songs and melodies from over 90 years of movie making, including all the great songs from The Lion King.

They used none of it for Rivers of Light.  A missed opportunity.  The music is boring and not memorable at all.

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All the beautiful optics you expect from a Disney performance are there: Lights, water fountains, huge flames…but the music and story is blah.

Show Review:  The whole show and all the music is not engaging.  There’s a clear disconnect between the beautiful optics of the colorful show with all its waterworks and flames and the story line & music.

When this show first premiered for Disney VIP guests just before Earth Day 2016, it was a disaster and the whole thing was scrapped causing a 10-month delay in the opening.  That’s how bad it was.  All the original grand opening merchandise from April 2016 had to be destroyed.  The revised show premiered for guests in February 2017.

From the February 2017 premiere:   Continuing the grand Disney tradition of innovative, after-dark entertainment, “Rivers of Light” combines live performance, floating set pieces, a soaring musical score, fountains and more in a celebration of animals and nature. The story magically unfolds on the broad natural stage of the Discovery River, conveying the uplifting spirit of an ancient and timeless lantern ceremony and filled with symbolism, storytelling and plenty of heart.

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The floats change colors during the show.

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Tigers.

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All the pretty lotus flowers change colors and open up during the show to put on a synchronized water fountain show.

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Very dramatic.  I like the lights reflecting on the water’s surface.

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It really is a pretty show, it just needs a better storyline to bring it all together.

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Mickey ears DAK  Two

Two Disney Sisters

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.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

#TwoDisneySisters

two-disney-sisters

Two Disney Sisters

*****

Free Reusable ‘Penguins’ Shopping Bags at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Today!

penguins

Free reusable Penguins bags at DAK today.

Disneynature and Disney Parks are teaming up to celebrate Earth Day 2019 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World.

The new movie ‘Penguins’ is now playing in theaters and Disney Parks is helping conserve Earth resources by giving guests free reusable Penguins shopping bags.

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Sea Waste Artwork:  See the Adélie penguin sculpture walking over ocean trash. The sculpture is more than initially meets the eye – it’s made entirely out of recycled marine debris such as bottle caps, toothbrushes and even discarded toys, all recovered from oceans and waterways! The artwork was created by the nonprofit organization WashedAshore.org,

You can find them at DAK park entrance while supplies lasts, along with a penguin statue made from recycled plastic and rubber recovered from sea waste.

DAK Pegniun

Sea Waste Artwork:  See the Adélie penguin and her baby sculpture resting on a pebble nest. The installation is more than initially meets the eye – it’s made entirely out of recycled marine debris such as bottle caps, toothbrushes and even discarded toys, all recovered from oceans and waterways! The artwork was created by the nonprofit organization WashedAshore.org,

******************* 

We’ve written two books about our time working at Disney World.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

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!

#TwoDisneySisters

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Mickey Flower Face Two Sisters Magic Kingdom

Two Disney Sisters

Halloween 2017:  Recycling Disneyland shopping bags

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Caroline’s Halloween costume is made from merchandise bags from Disneyland!!! ❤

 

Seeing ‘Winged Encounters’ at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Tree of Life

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I think the Scarlet Macaw is one of the most beautiful birds!

We try and do something new and different on every trip to Disney World.

Last month, we were lucky to catch the Winged Encounters bird show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  We had never seen it before.

The short 5-minute show focuses on macaws and bird conservation.

The birds fly in (and out) while avian experts tell interesting facts about them.

 

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The Blue and Yellow Macaw.

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They fly over the crowd to their feeding station which is loaded with unsalted peanuts.

Each show is unique and uses different birds.  Our show had 5 different kinds of macaws in it, about 25 birds!

The featured macaws are hyacinth, green-winged, blue and gold, scarlet, military and blue-throated.  The Hyacinth Macaw is now extinct in the wild.  😦  That was the bird that starred in the animated movie, “Rio”.

You can see the 10:30am show, then see a show with completely different birds at 1:30pm!

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They fly right over your head.

A Pandemonium of Macaw Parrots

Watch in wonder as the winged stars of the show take off near the Tree of Life. Like a living kaleidoscope, the brilliantly colored birds swoop and soar over Discovery Island.

Keep your peepers peeled for appearances by 6 species of South American macaw: hyacinth, green-winged, blue and gold, scarlet, blue-throated and military. The largest have an incredible wingspan of around 48 inches.

Gather around as our resident bird care experts unlock the secrets of these fascinating creatures—and even answer questions from the audience.

It’s the ultimate bird-watching experience!

Show Times (most days): 9:30am, 10:30am, 11:30am, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, 3:30pm

Where:  Disney’s Animal Kingdom Tree of Life

Some cool photos from the bird show we watched:

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At their landing/training perch

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These birds are very well trained and very healthy.

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Blue and Yellow Macaws

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Sitting on the Tree of Life carvings.

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Friends

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The Tree of Life

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Scarlet Macaw

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Showing off for us.

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Best Friends

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 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!

#TwoDisneySisters

*****     

Meeting Lady DiVine at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – She is One Cool Plant!!!

CELEBRATING EARTH DAY 2019 AT DISNEY’S ANIMAL KINGDOM

April 22, 2019: Lady DiVine is in full bloom today!!!

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April 22, 2019: WOW! Lady DiVine is entirely covered by flowers today!!! So pretty!

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She should head on over to Epcot for the International Flower and Garden Festival going on there now!

She should head on over to Epcot for the 2019 International Flower and Garden Festival going on there right now.  She would fit right in!

We have never seen Lady DiVine in full bloom all covered in flowers before!
So beautiful!!!
Happy Earth Day 2019! 🙂

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Lady DiVine walking around

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So perfect for Earth Day!

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Wonderful.

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Caroline meeting Lady DiVine at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Hands down, one of the coolest characters at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is Lady DiVine.

When Caroline was working at DAK, she would see her on most days, usually between 10am – 2pm, slowly walking on the pathway between Discovery Island and Africa.

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Hello…..she’s so pretty…all covered in grape clusters!!

She’s painted a deep green, walks on stilts, and is wrapped in leaves, ivy, and grape clusters to camouflage herself into the rest of the park’s tropical foliage.

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So cool!  She’s almost 7 feet tall!

Lady DiVIne walks on stilts so her height can vary between 7 feet to 16 feet depending on what she is doing with her arms and legs.

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If you’re lucky, you might catch a peek of Lady DiVine walking around DAK around lunchtime.

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Lady DiVine slowly walking around the park.

Lady DiVine doesn’t make eye contact while she is hidden in the park’s foliage. In fact, she often keeps her eyes closed and the expression on her face looks like she is enjoying pure nirvana (aka ‘communing with nature’). Like all plants, she doesn’t ever speak, but she’s a great listener.   🙂

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Talking to the trees.

She also doesn’t sign autographs (take a look at her hands in the video below), but loves to pose for photos.

DiVine

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So cool!  Moving from tree to tree.

Totally awesome video of Lady DiVine in motion: Lady DiVine Walking at DAK    

DiVine is so beautiful!

Close-up photo of her beauty.  Lady DiVine is so pretty!

Hands down, we think she’s one of the coolest characters at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

We hope she never leaves! (DAK pun!)

She is hard to see when she's not moving and her eyes are closed!

She’s hard to see when she’s not moving and her eyes are closed!

Note:  Lady DiVine has a cast member character handler with her at all times now after some guests got too close and grabbed at her leaves and tried to topple her!!!

Some more images:

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Can you spot her???

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You know how tall this sign is!

DiVine2******************* 

Two Disney Sisters

We’ve written two books about our time working at Disney World.

Both are available on Amazon.com: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

#TwoDisneySisters

two-disney-sisters

Two Disney Sisters

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Having fun at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

 

Celebrating Earth Day 2019 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Party for the Planet

Celebrating Earth Month at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Guests can celebrate Earth Day 2019 by participating in ‘Party for the Planet’ activities at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, April 20 – April 22, 2019.

Earth Day is on April 22, 2019.

DAK’s Dedication Rock, April 22, 1998.  Do you know where this rock is at DAK?

FYI:  Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened 21 years ago on Earth Day, April 22, 1998.

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Party for the Planet #DisneyAnimals

Party for the Planet is a fun and festive way to connect with nature and be inspired to protect our planet through a variety of special offerings at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, including opportunities to explore the nature and wildlife of the park.

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Sea Waste Artwork:  See the Adélie penguin sculpture walking over sea trash. The sculpture is more than initially meets the eye – it’s made entirely out of recycled marine debris such as bottle caps, toothbrushes and even discarded toys, all recovered from oceans and waterways! The artwork was created by the nonprofit organization WashedAshore.org,

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Free reusable bags at DAK today given out to guest at the front entrance.

DAK Pegniun

Art to Save the Sea:  See the Adélie penguin and her baby sculpture resting on a pebble nest. The installation is more than initially meets the eye – it’s made entirely out of recycled marine debris such as bottle caps, toothbrushes and even discarded toys, all recovered from oceans and waterways! The artwork was created by the nonprofit organization WashedAshore.org.

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Earth Day Cupcake, $6. Well worth it! 🙂

Guests visiting during Earth Month 2019 can pick up a 2019 Party for the Planet Times Guide when entering the park to help plan your the day. While at the Oasis, guests can also select one of 10 different animal cut-outs and they are encouraged to take photos for sharing on social media using the hashtag #DisneyAnimals.

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Mickey & Friends at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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Happy birthday to Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

Event Highlights

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April 22, 2019: WOW! DiVine is entirely covered by flowers today!!! So pretty!

Connect with nature and wildlife at this annual Earth Day – Earth Month event from April 1 – April 30, 2019.  Watch the video here.

Discover a variety of enhanced park offerings during this glorious celebration, including:

  • A Special Welcome Celebration for Earth Month – See the festive kick-off for Party for the Planet on April 20th in front of the Tree of Life, featuring music, dancers and some of your favorite Disney Characters!
  • Exclusive Disney PhotoPass Opportunities  ̶  Throughout the park, you’ll find Disney PhotoPass frames that are part of the “Reverse the Decline” campaign and highlight animals supported by the Disney Conservation Fund.
  • Special Wilderness Explorers Badge Location ̶ Wilderness Explorers will have a special limited-time badge location helping Guests learn how to better connect with nature while on vacation―and once they return home.

Plus, look for special merchandise, a special-edition lunch menu at Tiffins, themed treats throughout the park and new Penny Press designs celebrating the Disney Conversation Fund—all available for a limited time.

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Celebrating Earth Day with my Disney bff, Ricky.

And, there will be special characters at the meet and greet locations:

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Kevin is out this month at Discovery Island!!!

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Jiminy Cricket only comes out on Earth Day weekend!

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Jiminy Cricket at DAK last year.

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On safari. #PartyForThePlanet

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Caroline at the Tree of Life with her DCP Alumni Magic Band.

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My new Earth Day earrings!  I love them!  ❤

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DAK gift cards…made of real wood!!!

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Special fun DAK merchandise!

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If you’re lucky, you might catch a peak of DiVine walking around DAK!

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Tree of Life dark chocolate cupcake. It was delicious!

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Final Note:  DAK has been mobbed in the early mornings because of Pandora.  It’s better to arrive at DAK mid- to late-morning, after 10am, to avoid long wait lines at the main entrance.

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Spring Break 2019:  DAK entrance is mobbed with people waiting to get into Pandora.

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The wait line for Flight of Passage!!!!  The FastPasses for this attraction have been extremely hard to get. 😦

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It’s sad all the marine wildlife being harmed by plastics in the oceans.

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Throwback Thursday...Our first visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

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.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

#TwoDisneySisters

DAK-Entrance

Welcome to Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

working together at DAK costume

Working together at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

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UP Dug DAK

We love meeting the characters from UP! #TwoDisneySisters