Disney After Hours Events Expand to Disney’s Hollywood Studios & Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney After Hours Events Expand to Disney’s Hollywood Studios & Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney After Hours events have been such a huge hit among Disney fans and we wanted to share this good news with you first: not only are more event nights set for Magic Kingdom Park, but for the first time, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom will join in on the fun!

In case you aren’t familiar with Disney After Hours events, these evening events are your opportunity to experience the magic of a Disney theme park for three hours after regular park hours, which means little-to-no wait for attractions, experiences and character greetings! You can even enter the park early – at 7 p.m. on your event night – before Disney After Hours begins. Ice cream, popcorn and select beverages are also included in your Disney After Hours admission, which is a separately priced ticket from daytime park admission.

Here’s what to expect at each park:

Dumbo the Flying Elephant attraction at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort

Magic Kingdom Park
Enjoy classic favorite attractions from Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Space Mountain as well as newer favorites like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, plus many more. Event nights will run on: Nov. 26; and Dec. 3, 10, 2018; and Jan. 7, 17, 24 and 28, 2019; Feb. 7, 14, and 28, 2019; and March 7, 2019.

Tickets are currently available for Disney After Hours at Magic Kingdom Park at DisneyWorld.com/DisneyAfterHours.

Toy Story Mania! at Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort

Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Imagine having little-to-no wait for newly opened Toy Story Land attractions, including Slinky Dog Dash, Alien Swirling Saucers and Toy Story Mania! Rockin’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror and other attractions will also be available. Select quick-service food & beverage locations will also stay open for purchases throughout the night. Event nights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be: Dec. 8, 15 and 22, 2018; and Jan. 5, 12 and 19, 2019; Feb. 2, 9 and 16, 2019; March 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30, 2019; and April 6 and 13, 2019.

Pandora – The World of Avatar Tree of Life Awakenings

Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Enjoy the best Disney’s Animal Kingdom has to offer at night, including heart-tugging Tree of Life Awakenings, the adventures within Pandora – The World of Avatar and more. Select quick-service food & beverage locations will remain open throughout the night for purchases. Dates at Disney’s Animal Kingdom are: Dec. 4, 12 and 18, 2018; and Jan. 8, 16, 22 and 31, 2019; and Feb. 5, 6, 12, 13, 19 and 26, 2019; and March 5, 20 and 27, 2019; and April 3, 2019.

Tickets for Disney After Hours events at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be on-sale November 15 through the Disney Reservation Center by calling 407-939-7795.

All Disney After Hours event tickets cost $125 + tax for advance purchase and $129 + tax for day-of purchases. Disney Vacation Club members and Annual Passholders do receive a discounted price $95 + tax.

Keep your eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more updates and information.

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Wildlife Wednesday: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Celebrates Halloween with Pumpkins

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, we know the importance of taking a break from the every day for some fun. For animals in our care, this fun comes in the form of enrichment, and it plays an important part in their day-to-day routine with mental and physical activities that appeal to the animals’ behaviors. With Halloween and fall in full swing, we’re celebrating the spirit of the season in our enrichment by crafting some pumpkin treats.

Our animal care team looks forward to decorating the pumpkins each year and coming up with new, novel ways to excite and encourage play and foraging behaviors among the animals. Some of the keepers even add bugs, worms and other tasty treats inside the pumpkins, which prompts the animals to do a little exploring, too.

When the animals discover the pumpkins in their habitats, some start to paw and pounce, others dig into snacks, and others shred and smash the gourds within minutes.

Here’s a peek at our pumpkin palooza with mandrills, gorillas, tigers, meerkats, hippos and more.

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Find your #HappyPlace: The “Best Eats” Around Walt Disney World Resort

Our mission continues! We searched high and low for the tastiest “best eats” for your next visit to Walt Disney World Resort.

The vegetarian 7-Layer Rice Bowl can be found at Fairfax Fare at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Take advantage of mobile ordering using My Disney Experience to get ahead of the line and get even more time to try more snacks!

Trek over to Mr. Kamal’s, a gem of a dining location between Asia and Africa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom for fries jam packed with flavors of chili, paprika, tzatziki sauce AND Sriracha ketchup.

The Croque Glacé from L’Artisan des Glaces at Epcot is complete with a brioche bun – did somebody say c’est YUM!?

What is your favorite “best eat” at Walt Disney World Resort?

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Play Disney Parks Mobile App Adding New Interactive Experiences at Walt Disney World Resort

There’s something exciting about the anticipation of checking in to a Disney Resort hotel and beginning your vacation, or getting ready to fly on the back of a mountain banshee in Pandora – The World of Avatar.

Now, we’re about to make moments like these even more special, with two new interactive experiences coming soon to the Play Disney Parks mobile app, which turns wait time into play time and offers guests a variety of fun activities to enjoy together.

Stories of the Enchanted Gallery at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will be the first Play Disney Parks experience based at a Disney Resort hotel and will allow you to bring the art-filled walls of the lobby to life while checking in or enjoying your stay. Through the app, you’ll become your own animator, creating themed art that transforms into living, breathing stories inspired by “Finding Nemo,” “The Lion King,” “The Little Mermaid” and “Cars.”

Play Disney Parks Mobile App: Stories of the Enchanted Gallery at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

The ACE Guide to Pandora: Valley of Mo’ara Edition at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will enable you to join Alpha Centauri Expeditions (ACE) on an adventurous journey as you explore the colors, cultures and creatures of Pandora. Scan your surroundings for exotic lifeforms, create indigenous music and experience other interactive gameplay alongside your friends and family while learning all about this alien moon through interesting facts, trivia and activities. This experience can be accessed anywhere within the park, but is especially great when waiting in the queue line at the very popular Avatar Flight of Passage attraction.

You’ll also be able to earn, collect and share several new Play Disney Parks achievements as part of these new experiences. And, while in the app, keep your eyes (and ears) open for some great new Apple Music* playlists featuring songs inspired by Disney animated films, Disney lullabies and even classic Disney tales read aloud.

Since debuting in June, the Play Disney Parks app has immersed guests further in the Disney stories they know and love, through themed games, Disney trivia, digital achievements, music and more – whether they are playing on Main Street, U.S.A. or waiting in line at beloved attractions.

Be sure to download the app from the App Store or Google Play to be among the first to enjoy these latest enhancements. There’s many more exciting additions in development for the app at both Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort, so stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for future updates.

Message, data and roaming rates may apply. Availability subject to handset limitations, and features may vary by handset, service provider or otherwise. Coverage and app stores not available everywhere. If you’re under 18, get your parents’ permission first. Some features require separate theme park admission.

*Some features require Apple Music subscription and are only available on iOS devices. Separate terms and conditions apply.

Apple, iPhone and Apple Music are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

Google Play is a trademark of Google LLC.

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The Okapi Population Gets a Boost at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Today is World Okapi Day, and I believe there’s no better way to celebrate this magnificent animal than announcing the birth of one more!

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is celebrating the birth of a rare okapi, who was born on Oct. 1 to mom Zelda. Weighing in at 54 pounds, the calf was up and mobile within the first hour of his birth. He has been nursing and bonding with his mom. The pair will remain in a backstage habitat for the next few months before joining the animals on the savanna.

Baby Okapi at Disney's Animal Kingdom park Baby Okapi at Disney's Animal Kingdom park

The calf’s parents – mom Zelda and dad Mandazi – were chosen to breed through the Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is overseen by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and ensures responsible breeding of threatened and endangered species.

When I visited the okapi care team recently, keeper Kim Thomson expressed how excited she was to care for a new calf and how it changes the dynamics of her team’s routine.

“We will spend a lot of time conducting observations on mom and calf making sure the calf is bonding well with mom, nursing well and basically hitting all of the milestones we would expect of a growing okapi,” Kim said.

Okapis are an endangered species found in rainforests of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Known as the ghosts of the forest, okapis are shy, reclusive and rarely encountered in the wild. In fact, they weren’t even discovered until 1901. There are an estimated 20,000 okapi in the world, and their population continues to decline due to poaching and habitat loss from commercial logging and mining.

Through the Disney Conservation Fund and our involvement in the AZA’s Species Survival Plan, I’m proud to say Disney has been at the forefront of okapi conservation for many years. We have a long-standing relationship with the Okapi Conservation Project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In fact, the AZA recently recognized Disney’s Animal Kingdom for its contributions to the Okapi Conservation Project.

To learn more about okapis and other animals you can visit at the Walt Disney World Resort, visit DisneyAnimals.com.

Okapi infographic

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Go Wild this Fall with Magic Shots at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

If you’re looking for photo opportunities at Walt Disney World Resort that celebrate this time of year, Disney PhotoPass Service has you covered!

I’ve already shared information about the fall-themed virtual backdrops available at the Disney PhotoPass Studio at Disney Springs and the photo opportunities offered exclusively during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom Park, but did you know that Disney PhotoPass Service also offers Magic Shots at Disney’s Animal Kingdom that are perfect for getting into the spirit of the season? Check them out!

Animated Magic Shot from Disney PhotoPass at Disney's Animal Kingdom Animated Magic Shot from Disney PhotoPass at Disney's Animal Kingdom Featuring Iago

At the entrance to the park, you can marvel at the colors of the wind or have a certain snide parrot from “Aladdin” join your picture.

Animated Magic Shot from Disney PhotoPass at Disney's Animal Kingdom Featuring 'The Lion King' Animated Magic Shot from Disney PhotoPass at Disney's Animal Kingdom Featuring 'The Lion King'

If you’re brave enough, visit the Disney PhotoPass photographer stationed near Yak & Yeti Restaurant, where Shere Khan or Kaa from “The Jungle Book” might creep into your photo.

Animated Magic Shot from Disney PhotoPass at Disney's Animal Kingdom Featuring 'The Lion King'

Be prepared: When you visit select photographers in Africa, you might find yourself surrounded by the hyenas from “The Lion King.”

The Magic Shots featuring Shere Khan and Iago are only available through October 31, so don’t forget to include them during your upcoming visit!

Want to take home all of your Disney PhotoPass photos from your day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom? Consider purchasing Memory Maker One Day!

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#DisneyFamilia: Creando Magical Moments!

Our Hispanic Heritage Month celebration continues with a great historia.

This week, we are featuring Aida Rivera, Guest Experience Manager for Disney Live Entertainment at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

One of the best things about her role is meeting and interacting with visitantes that come from Puerto Rico.

Take a look and see how Aida’s family and the love of her culture inspire her day to day at Walt Disney World Resort!

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Wildlife Wednesday: Get ‘Up Close with Rhinos’ Starting Nov. 1

When I think of all the magnificent animals I’ve had the chance to encounter in my career, I’m always awestruck by the rhinoceros. As the second largest-land animal on Earth, they are a massive sight to behold – from their horns to their hoofs and thick armored skin – all of it. I feel fortunate to have the chance to be close to these majestic animals but soon you’ll have a chance too. Today, I’m thrilled to announce guests will have a chance to make a real connection with white rhinos at Disney’s Animal Kingdom through an exciting new backstage animal experience called “Up Close with Rhinos.”

Starting Nov. 1, this 60-minute guided adventure will give guests a behind-the-scenes look at how our dedicated animal team cares for the white rhinos on Kilimanjaro Safaris and how Disney is helping save endangered rhinos in the wild. As part of this intimate experience, guests may even get a chance to touch a rhino. It is an appreciation like no other, and we hope it will inspire our guests to aid in their conservation.

Up Close with Rhinos at Disney's Animals Kingdom

Our keepers are as excited about “Up Close with Rhinos” as I am. Caitlin Miller on our rhino care team told me, “I love talking to guests about how unique each individual rhino’s personality is. I know once guests come and meet the rhinos, they are going to see just how amazing they are and will want to help us secure a future for them.”

Rhinos in the wild are found in bush country and open grassy flatlands in Africa and Southeast Asia. They are among the most endangered animals in the world due largely in part to poaching. Disney is proud to support rhino conservation efforts around the world, including those of Sumatran rhinos, which are found only in Indonesia and are critically endangered. To date, the Disney Conservation Fund has provided more than $2 million to support rhino conservation efforts around the world.

One tour of “Up Close with Rhinos” will be offered each day. The booking window for the one-hour experience opens Sept. 22, which is World Rhino Day. Guests must be at least 4 years old to participate, and the cost is $40 (plus tax). Discounts are available to select passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members. To make a reservation, call 407-WDW-PLAY.

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Wild Africa Trek Guide Spots Giraffe Aella For First Time

It has been a whole week since Aella (pronounced eye-la), a two-month-old Masai giraffe joined her mom Lily on the Kilimanjaro Safaris savanna for the first time, and she’s drawing lots of “ooohhs” and “ahhhs” from guests who spot her during their safari adventure.

Aella is a welcome addition to the herd, and her arrival marks another success for our dedicated animal care team. Aella’s parents – Lily and George – were chosen to breed through the Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is overseen by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and ensures responsible breeding of threatened and endangered species.

Our cast members are equally as excited as our guests when seeing Aella – in fact, some even get emotional because they develop strong bonds with the animals they care for and the ones they see each day.

One great example is Kelly Waldo, a Wild Africa Trek excursion guide. Each day, Kelly takes guests on an exclusive tour of the savanna, sharing fun facts about the animals and how Disney is helping save them in the wild. She also takes lots of photos – both of the animals and the Wild Africa Trek guests. One of her favorite subjects is Lily, the first giraffe she could identify from the patterns on her chest.

Kelly was there the first day Aella started exploring the savanna, and it was a moment she will never forget.

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Find Your #HappyPlace: Global Adventures at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Epcot

Do you ever feel like your park adventures belong in a video shoot? Well, I do! So I grabbed some fellow cast member friends and set out to capture the best Walt Disney World Resort experiences for young adults. And let me tell you – there are plenty!

Over the next few weeks, I’ll show you how my friends and I have fun at Walt Disney World Resort. From exciting rides, to yummy snacks and even pool-side relaxation, we have found our #HappyPlace right here!

Our first adventure took us through the Himalayan mountains, across the African savannah and to a beautiful land with floating mountains at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Next, we headed to Epcot, feeling like world travelers. Full speed ahead we took a spin on Test Track, which is personally one of my favorites!

Then, we made our way through World Showcase. There even was a guacamole toast! (Yes, that’s a thing now, guys.)

Next week we’ll take you to a tropical isle! Did someone say, “private cabana?”

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#DisneyKids Donald’s Dino-Bash! Brings Dino-tastic Energy to Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Animal Kingdom has always been a go-to park for families with little kids. It’s definitely got a more chill vibe than the other parks and there is so much here to do for little ones. In DinoLand U.S.A. you can dig for bones in the Boneyard, sing along at “Finding Nemo – The Musical” or soar high on TriceraTop Spin. The debut of Donald’s Dino-Bash! brings loads of new character greetings to DinoLand U.S.A. There’s also a chance to shake your tail feathers with Chip ‘n Dale during a late afternoon dance party celebrating Donald’s discovery that ducks are actually descendants of dinosaurs. Who knew? Take a look as these kids show off some dance moves and meet characters like Launchpad McQuack and Daisy Duck.

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Wildlife Wednesday: Happy 1st Birthday, Anala & Jeda! 

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is celebrating the first birthday of the first Sumatran tiger cubs born at the park, Anala and Jeda. To mark the special occasion, our animal care team created a birthday-themed enrichment treat – a “cake” made for them to gnaw and paw. Enrichment is an important part of their care and is stimulating and fun for the animals.

The cubs have had a momentous first year. Both are thriving and have made significant growth in size and skills, as they stay close to their mom Sohni and learn from her lead.  
 
Born weighing roughly three pounds each, Anala and Jeda have grown into robust young cubs. Today, Anala weighs 160 pounds, and Jeda is 167. For the sake of comparison, their father Malosi weighs 290 pounds.

Sumatran tiger cubs at one month old Sumatran tiger cubs at seven months old

 
(Cubs shown in photos above at one-month old on left and about seven months old on right.)

The cubs continue to hit all their development milestones and enjoy learning to be tigers – they practice hiding, creeping and pouncing on mom and each other.

As you might expect, Anala and Jeda act like siblings. They have a special bond but differ in many ways. Anala is feisty and independent in spirit. Jeda is more laid back. Both are incredibly intelligent, and guests continue to enjoy watching the tiger family play and explore their habitat on the Maharajah Jungle Trek.  
 
Anala and Jeda have also learned, like their parents, to participate in their own medical care. For example, they respond to certain hand signals or verbal cues by voluntarily opening their mouths or standing on a station for routine weight checks. They also present their tails and paws for inspection on cue.
 
Disney’s Animal Kingdom is proud to play an important role in the worldwide conservation and understanding of Sumatran tigers, a critically endangered species. The birth of these Sumatran tiger cubs was a remarkable event that took nearly three years of planning through the Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is overseen by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and ensures responsible breeding.

Fewer than 500 Sumatran tigers are left in the wild due to threats such as habitat loss, poaching and the illegal wildlife trade. Since 1995, the Disney Conservation Fund has provided more than $2.5 million to 14 nonprofit organizations working to protect tigers and their habitats in the wild. As a part of its focus on saving wildlife, the DCF is also helping the Wildlife Conservation Society and its partners protect tigers in Sumatra, Indonesia, by building support for tiger conservation, combating illegal wildlife trade and supporting community rangers who walked more than 5,600 miles in the last year to patrol 1,700 square miles of tigers’ forest habitat.
 
You can see Sohni, Malosi and their cubs on the Maharajah Jungle Trek and learn more about tigers by visiting DisneyAnimals.com.
 

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Upcoming Events

  1. Miami/Brickell Festival of the Arts

    October 20, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - January 15, 2019 @ 6:00 pm UTC+0
  2. NOVEMBERFEST 2018

    November 14 @ 4:00 pm - November 18 @ 8:00 pm UTC+0
  3. Florida Tiny House Music Festival (3rd Annual)

    November 16 @ 12:00 pm - November 18 @ 6:00 pm UTC+0
  4. Orlando Balloon Glow

    November 16 @ 5:00 pm - November 18 @ 10:00 pm UTC+0
  5. Run The Race 5K -Christian Fun Run & Walk

    November 17 @ 8:00 am - 11:00 am UTC+0
  6. Day of Thanks – Community Food Give Away

    November 17 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm UTC+0
  7. Xtreme Sports Festival

    November 17 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm UTC+0
  8. SWFLORIDA CON

    November 17 @ 10:00 am - November 18 @ 6:00 pm UTC+0
  9. DeLand Fall Festival of the Arts 2018

    November 17 @ 10:00 am - November 18 @ 5:00 pm UTC+0
  10. 4th ANNUAL ALPACA FESTIVAL – SWEET BLOSSOM ALPACAS

    November 17 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm UTC+0

Upcoming Events

  1. Miami/Brickell Festival of the Arts

    October 20, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - January 15, 2019 @ 6:00 pm UTC+0
  2. NOVEMBERFEST 2018

    November 14 @ 4:00 pm - November 18 @ 8:00 pm UTC+0
  3. Florida Tiny House Music Festival (3rd Annual)

    November 16 @ 12:00 pm - November 18 @ 6:00 pm UTC+0
  4. Orlando Balloon Glow

    November 16 @ 5:00 pm - November 18 @ 10:00 pm UTC+0
  5. Run The Race 5K -Christian Fun Run & Walk

    November 17 @ 8:00 am - 11:00 am UTC+0
  6. Day of Thanks – Community Food Give Away

    November 17 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm UTC+0
  7. Xtreme Sports Festival

    November 17 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm UTC+0
  8. SWFLORIDA CON

    November 17 @ 10:00 am - November 18 @ 6:00 pm UTC+0
  9. DeLand Fall Festival of the Arts 2018

    November 17 @ 10:00 am - November 18 @ 5:00 pm UTC+0
  10. 4th ANNUAL ALPACA FESTIVAL – SWEET BLOSSOM ALPACAS

    November 17 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm UTC+0

Join our Fun Network

  1. Miami/Brickell Festival of the Arts

    October 20, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - January 15, 2019 @ 6:00 pm UTC+0
  2. NOVEMBERFEST 2018

    November 14 @ 4:00 pm - November 18 @ 8:00 pm UTC+0
  3. Florida Tiny House Music Festival (3rd Annual)

    November 16 @ 12:00 pm - November 18 @ 6:00 pm UTC+0
  4. Orlando Balloon Glow

    November 16 @ 5:00 pm - November 18 @ 10:00 pm UTC+0
  5. Run The Race 5K -Christian Fun Run & Walk

    November 17 @ 8:00 am - 11:00 am UTC+0
  6. Day of Thanks – Community Food Give Away

    November 17 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm UTC+0
  7. Xtreme Sports Festival

    November 17 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm UTC+0
  8. SWFLORIDA CON

    November 17 @ 10:00 am - November 18 @ 6:00 pm UTC+0
  9. DeLand Fall Festival of the Arts 2018

    November 17 @ 10:00 am - November 18 @ 5:00 pm UTC+0
  10. 4th ANNUAL ALPACA FESTIVAL – SWEET BLOSSOM ALPACAS

    November 17 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm UTC+0