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

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Rafiki’s Planet Watch at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is Going Seasonal

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

Rafiki’s Planet Watch is going seasonal, aka “temporarily closing”, on October 20, 2018.

The last day for Rafiki’s meet and greet is September 29, 2018.

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Rafiki pointing the way.

This means that, until next summer, the Wildlife Express train will not be running, the conservation station will be closed, the Affection Section petting zoo will be closed, and Rafiki’s meet and greet will be closed.

Expect Rafiki’s Planet Watch to re-open around late May 2019.

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Walking into Africa.

Rafiki’s Planet Watch

While you still can, take the Wildlife Express Train to Conservation Station at Rafiki’s Planet Watch.

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Christian about to board the Wildlife Express.

While there, visit Affection Section, the animal petting with a variety of animals, including goats and sheep.  They are very friendly.

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We like the petting zoo! I wonder where the animals will temporarily go for 3 months until it re-opens?

Walk the Habitat Habit!, an outdoor discovery trail featuring exotic sights and sounds.

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Conservation Station.

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Some of the animals around the world that Disney’s conservation program is trying to help.

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At Rafiki’s meet and greet. They will probably set up another meet and greet area for him in Africa.

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Grandmother Willow singing a song about conservation.

Devoted to the preservation and conservations 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 the Tree of Life.

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Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

Lions and Tigers and Strollers, Oh My!

This is not Caroline’s first time in the Disney College Program. Along with her sister, she was previously accepted into the program a few years earlier.  Back in Colorado, Caroline was wishing for a little more pixie dust to brighten up her life.  On a whim, she decides to apply to the exclusive Disney Alumni Summer Program.

Now that she’s back, things get wild.

Wild, as in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where Caroline is assigned to work in Stroller Rental.  While not the most glamorous position in the park, it’s often ground zero for humanity at its best and at its worst.

While Caroline makes many “Magical Moments” for deserving guests whose pixie dust has gone temporarily sideways, she also receives magical moments of her own through the friendships she makes, going to Disney cast member exclusive events, and all the spectacular dining opportunities at Disney World.

Caroline tells all – from the ins and outs of Disney’s secret training class called Traditions; to learning how to be a happy cast member during on-the-job training; to what it’s like to interact with fellow cast members and the guests who are ready to explore the most magical place on earth.

Join Caroline as she takes you on a wild ride through her adventures in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. But be careful, it’s a jungle out there!

Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:  Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

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Adventure is out there!

About the Author:

Caroline’s love for all things Disney, and desire to grow up to be a Disney princess, is the reason she always wanted to work for Disney.  Her dream came true working as a cast member at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Caroline is the co-author of the book, Two Girls and a Mouse Tale, about her adventures working at Disney World with her sister.

She is currently a 7th grade middle school Social Studies teacher in Colorado.

Daily blog link:  https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

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Welcome to Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

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Celebrating Earth Day 2017 with ‘Party for the Planet’ at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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Party for the Planet #DisneyAnimals

Guests can honor Earth Day 2017 by participating in ‘Party for the Planet’ activities at Disney’s Animal Kingdom on April 21-23, 2017. [Earth Day is April 22, 2017.]

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 Animal Kingdom, including opportunities to explore the nature and wildlife of the park.

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Special sweet treats will be available.

Guests visiting over the weekend of April 21-23 can pick up a 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.

Guests can also shop for special merchandise inspired by nature and wildlife including Boiled Books (featuring embossed artwork and stationery created with pressed natural elements, like leaves, flowers and seeds), Petal Pushers (a purveyor of giftable plants), and Jortra (selling handmade jewelry made from coffee beans, orange peels and cantaloupe seeds). These special vendors can be found outside Island Merchantile on Discovery Island and at Mombasa Marketplace in Africa.

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

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Jiminy Cricket only comes out on Earth Day weekend!

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At the Tree of Life

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Tree of Life Cupcake, $5.19. Well worth it!

Jiminy Cricket at DAK

Jiminy Cricket at DAK last year.  He was out at Planet Rafiki all weekend this year.

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On Saturday’s safari.

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My new Earth Day earrings!

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dole whip

Two Disney Sisters

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

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Rivers of Light Finally Opening Soon!

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Beautiful!

If all goes according to plan, Rivers of Light should finally debut at Disney’s Animal Kingdom sometime in late October!

The dress rehearsals and technical work on the show are both scheduled to be wrapping up today (September 30th).  After that, the show could technically debut at any time, and we’re thinking in a few weeks (around November  1st) after Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party wraps up.

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The Tree of Life is used as the backdrop for the show.

Now, this is good news for us as we’ll be there at the end of the month! [For those of you that follow our blog, you’ll remember that Caroline made a special trip to DAK on Earth Day 2016 to see the RoL debut that never happened!]

Dress Rehearsal Preview:  Rivers of Light Preview

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All the new nighttime attractions and entertainment at DAK this fall.

The show, originally slated to debut almost 6 months ago on April 22, 2016 – Earth Day -, was indefinitely delayed due to problems with the automated show barges and floats, including one float that unfortunately sank during a rehearsal performance in April.

The show’s downtime and delay has also been used to rewrite large portions of the performance that Disney management deemed “too boring”. The show features animal-inspired floats and lanterns, special lighting and waterworks and fountains,  plus live performers and storytellers.

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The new Rivers of Light amphitheater with seating for 5,000.

The amphitheater overlooking the park’s Discovery River, which seats over 5,000 guests, was completed in March and is open for guests to sit in and rest during the day.

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New RoL merch.  Very pretty!

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Popcorn in a Lotus Flower container.

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We’re looking forward to seeing it finally!

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working together at DAK

Working together at DAK.

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

***

Nighttime Awakenings at DAK’s Tree of Life

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Animal spirits coming alive on the Tree of Life.

 

First look at the new Nighttime Awakening Show on the Tree of Life:  Nighttime Awakenings.

A brand new after-dark show is coming to DAK and we can’t wait to see it!  It’s called Nighttime Awakenings.  It’s premiering on Earth Day 2016, April 22nd.

A sunset, great Tree of Life will come alive with swirling colors, twinkling fireflies, and numerous animal spirits!

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The Tree of Life after dark

After the sun sets, animal spirits within the great tree come alive and reveal themselves in mesmerizing color and light.

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The Tree of Life at sunset.

During the evening hours, pay special attention to the Tree of Life at the center of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park. At various times, flickering fireflies magically appear and awaken the wondrous animals spirits carved into the tree’s towering trunk—bringing to light a stunning visual extravaganza swarming with vivid color and animated imagery.

Witness a graceful young doe embark on a thrilling cross-country journey. Behold love blossoming between 2 hummingbirds. See a spry fox spreading gifts of love among the denizens of a wintry forest.

A feast for the eyes, each approximately 3-minute-long revelation celebrates the eternal balance and harmony that exists in all living things, big or small, and is sure to inspire and delight the entire family, big and small.

Good night DAK!

I worked at DAK for 1 1/2 years and it’s my favorite Disney park!  “Be careful – it’s a jungle out there!” 🙂

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working together at DAK

Working together at DAK.

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program (Fall 2013/Spring 2014) and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:

http://www.amazon.com/Girls-Mouse-Tale-Elly-Collins/dp/1941500110/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1430687055&sr=1-1&keywords=two+girls+and+a+mouse+tale

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April 2016: New Rivers of Light to Open!

You can see the stadium seating going in on both side of Discovery River Lake.

You can see the stadium seating going in on both sides of Discovery River Lake.

First Look at the new Rivers of Light:   New Rivers of Light Show

We got to check on the progress of the new Rivers of Light attraction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom last month.

The soft opening day has been set for April 19, 2016, with a grand opening set for Earth Day 2016 on April 22, 2016.  (Earth Day is also the anniversary day for DAK’s opening back on April 22, 1998.)

There will be stadium seating for 10,000 or so guests, very much like what’s at ‘Fantasmic!’ in Hollywood Studios right now.

Seating will be available on both sides of Discovery River Lake between Expedition Everest and the Theater in the Wild, currently home to Finding Nemo: The Musical.

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As viewed from the bridge into Africa.

Projection rock.

Projection rock (on right) for show’s electronics and lighting.

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January 2016:  Still moving dirt!

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Huge crew working on this project to keep it on track for the grand opening!

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Grand opening rock at DAK:  April 1998

 

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CM guest passes are blocked out April 19 – April 30th because of all the grand opening events.

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“Rivers of Light” promises to be an innovative show unlike anything ever seen in Disney Parks, combining live music, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery. The show will magically come to life on the broad, natural stage of the Discovery River, between Discovery Island and Expedition Everest, delighting our guests and truly capping off a full day of adventures at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

“Rivers of Light” concept art.

Rivers of Light promises to be an innovative show unlike anything ever seen in Disney Parks, combining live music, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery.

The show will magically come to life on the broad, natural stage of the Discovery River, between Discovery Island and Expedition Everest, delighting guests and truly capping off a full day of adventures at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. [We’re hoping it will be somewhat like the fabulous ‘World of Color’ show at California Adventure in Disneyland!]

This means that DAK will be able to stay open much, much later.

Sometimes in the winter, DAK closes as early as 5pm.

And, of course, no fireworks are allowed because of the sleeping animals.

It’s going to be amazing!

Rivers of Light will premiere late April 2016.

Construction video (May 2015): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pokwZ4RSCvM#t=101

This will be so pretty so see a night!

The fully illuminated Tree of Life.  This will be so pretty to see at night!

The other thing that they’ve been working on at Discovery Island is replacing every single leaf on the Tree of Life with 200,000 twinkling, LED illumination lights that can be set to music!

The Rivers of Light show will include projection mapping onto the huge Tree of Life itself.

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working together at DAK

Working together at DAK.

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program (Fall 2013/Spring 2014) and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:

http://www.amazon.com/Girls-Mouse-Tale-Elly-Collins/dp/1941500110/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1430687055&sr=1-1&keywords=two+girls+and+a+mouse+tale

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Update on Disney’s Animal Kingdom ‘Rivers of Light’

You can see the stadium seating going in on both side of Discovery River Lake.

You can see the stadium seating going in on both sides of Discovery River Lake.

Every day at work, I get to see them working on the new ‘Rivers of Light’ viewing area and the show’s infrastructure. (Rivers of Light is the new water-based night show coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom this spring.)

They have made huge progress this summer on the seating area.

They have made huge progress this summer on the seating area.

There will be stadium seating for 10,000 or so guests, very much like what’s at ‘Fantasmic!’ in Hollywood Studios right now.

Seating will be available on both sides of Discovery River Lake between Expedition Everest and the Theater in the Wild, currently home to Finding Nemo: The Musical.

Projection rock.

Projection rock (right) for show’s electronics and lighting.

Recently, they drained down some of the lake’s water and were installing the light and fountain features.

“Rivers of Light” promises to be an innovative show unlike anything ever seen in Disney Parks, combining live music, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery. The show will magically come to life on the broad, natural stage of the Discovery River, between Discovery Island and Expedition Everest, delighting our guests and truly capping off a full day of adventures at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

“Rivers of Light” concept art.

Rivers of Light promises to be an innovative show unlike anything ever seen in Disney Parks, combining live music, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery.

The show will magically come to life on the broad, natural stage of the Discovery River, between Discovery Island and Expedition Everest, delighting guests and truly capping off a full day of adventures at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. [We’re hoping it will be somewhat like the fabulous ‘World of Color’ show at California Adventure in Disneyland!]

This means that DAK will be able to stay open much, much later.

Sometimes in the winter, DAK closes as early as 5pm.

And, of course, no fireworks are allowed because of the sleeping animals.

It’s going to be amazing!

Rivers of Light will premiere in the Spring of 2016.

Construction video (May 2015): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pokwZ4RSCvM#t=101

This will be so pretty so see a night!

The fully illuminated Tree of Life.  This will be so pretty to see at night!

The other thing that they’ve been working on at Discovery Island is replacing every single leaf on the Tree of Life with 200,000 twinkling, LED illumination lights that can be set to music!

The Rivers of Light show will likely include projection mapping onto the huge Tree of Life itself.
🙂

On the bus with all my DAK coworkers.

On the bus with all my DAK coworkers.

***************************************

Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program (Fall 2013/Spring 2014) and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney.

http://www.amazon.com/Girls-Mouse-Tale-Elly-Collins/dp/1941500110/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1430687055&sr=1-1&keywords=two+girls+and+a+mouse+tale

Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

***