While fans were definitely excited about these new additions, some were a little underwhelmed after experiencing a few of these activities. Let's find out why.
- LIVE MUSIC: This is undoubtedly a major component of the experience. No other Disney nighttime show on earth currently has live music. This is a very big plus in our book, as it helps in creating an entirely different experience every time the show is viewed. Of course, it is important to mention that there is also a recorded base that plays during each segment of the show.
- LIVE PERFORMERS: In addition to performers playing instruments, the cast of the show includes dancers, singers, and many other artists that all work very hard to make the experience enjoyable.
- THE SOUNDTRACK: The musical score of this show is very catchy. In addition to popular songs from The Jungle Book (they are extremely similar to the songs featured in the original animated movie created by Walt Disney, so everyone will be able to recognize them), the show is infused with Indian-inspired music that is very upbeat. Young kids are even invited to dance along with some performers during a specific segment of the show.
- THE LIGHTING: The barges, the trees, and even the amphitheaters all come alive during the show thanks to dramatic lighting that enhances the overall show. We were pleasantly surprised by this.
- THE DURATION OF THE SHOW: The show is about 25 minutes long, which is very similar to the duration of Fantasmic! This helps to avoid having a rushed experience (that would be an even bigger dissatisfier for Guests who waited more than an hour before the show began).
The awakenings consist of multiple (different) projection shows on the park's icon that bring the carved animals to life thanks to "fireflies" that live within the tree. These shows are 4 to 5 minutes long, and take place every 10 to 15 minutes after the sun goes down.
What is great about these short performances is the amazing quality of the projections, the soundtracks used during each of the segments, and the easy-to-follow stories behind the animals that come to life. We were mesmerized by these projections, despite having seen Celebrate the Magic (Magic Kingdom's projection show) many times. The lack of Disney music and characters feels like a breath of fresh air.
While it is true that there are fewer animals visible after the sun goes down (we all should have expected that to happen, though), we do not agree that there is nothing to see. We personally boarded one of the very last trucks of the night (it was around 10:55 p.m.), and we were able to clearly see the following:
- Greater Kudus;
- Pink-Backed Pelicans;
- Wild Dogs;
- Ankole Cattle;
- Greater Flamingos;
In addition to new lights installed around the ride path (most of which can't even be seen during the day, as they have been tastefully disguised as trees), new sound effects can be heard in different sections of the ride, and a few new props can be seen near the area where the Black Rhino resides.
What do you think? Are you looking forward to experience Animal Kingdom after dark? Let us know!
I am looking forward to seeing Animal Kingdom at night.
Can't wait to get back and see the park at night! I may have to add another day so we can check it out twice.
Just changed our breakfast reservation at Tusker house to include preferred seating for this. 63 days and counting.
I can only afford a Disney day once a year. For that reason, I am only going to Epcot this year. However, when Avatar opens next year, I can't wait to see it and the rest of Animal Kingdom at night, the way parks ought to be seen.
The safari and Everest are great after dark. We saw the lion and his pride moving around (rather than just sunning themselves). Everest at night gives great views.
Thanks for this great update! 👍
At the prices Disney charges and the high standards they hold themselves to, I don't think it should matter whether it is temporary or not or how many days they had to create it.
Reviewers should NOT take that stuff into account. This is an offering Disney put out to the public and even charged higher prices for (the dining package with Tiffin's). They should be held accountable. Disney used to be better than this. They've turned their focus away from families and over to shareholders. What a shame.
I am sorry to say this, but saying that the time restraints shouldn't be taken into account is ludicrous. Even if Disney has a lot of cash available they can't do miracles. The amount of time they had to create an entirely new nighttime show was too short. Just to create a parade it may take two years. 40 days to put together a 25-minute show is nothing.
Sure, "hold Disney accountable"--don't pay the money if you don't want to see it, pay the money if you do.
(they don't force you to watch it)
While I realize that there were time constraints involved with putting this show together, I am grateful for the honest reviews. I don't want a reviewer to say a show is good simply because Disney was able to throw one together on short notice.
I'll be in Walt Disney World next month, and we will be spending a day at Animal Kingdom. I don't get to take a trip like this often, so I don't want to waste the little time I have to spend here. Whether the show was put together quickly or not, I need to know if it's worth spending a significant amount of time out of my day to see it. Now, based on the reviews I've seen, I can put the time I would have lost seeing a mediocre show into doing something more worthwhile for us.
I do regret that I am not able to make it to Orlando (from Germany) this year.
"THE JUNGLE BOOK: ALIVE WITH MAGIC" though does put some relieve on me, I have watched parts of the show on youtube ... pls Disney - fix it and come back to your old standards.
With all the things in Disney's pipeline I am very sure though that all will finally come together.
As I said, I used to be in Orlando 1-2 times a year, but with all these thigns going on right now (not only Disney!), including jungle book, I am more than looking forward to be back in about latest 12 months from now...
@Sarah: I hope you counted our review as being one of the honest reviews. Even though we have stated that we take into consideration the time constraint, we don't believe to have sugar-coated our review. We still believe it would not work as a permanent show, but in our personal opinion, it's not that big disaster everyone wants you to believe. For example, Universal's Cinematic Spectacular is MUCH worse that The Jungle Book in our personal opinion. Does that make The Jungle Book sound more appealing? No, it does not. But there are less entertaining shows out there.
@OTPN: Yes, I do feel you did a good job of addressing both the positives and negatives of the show. I didn't mean to imply otherwise- I just wanted to illustrate why a straightforward review, regardless of the circumstances surrounding the show, is appreciated. I'm not really big into stage shows, so this one is going to be a pass for us. If it was really spectacular, my mind may have been changed. Thank you!
My wife and I just got back from the World today and we were able to take in the nighttime festivities (most of them) at AK.
Jungle Book was quite a mess. Not the worst, but not very good. On the upside, the new lakeside theater is a beauty and hopefully Rivers of Light is a worthy inhabitant.
Tree of Life Awakening. You have to be pretty cold-hearted not to enjoy this little show. As mentioned in the review above, these are short and sweet little projection shows that are different throughout the night. We saw one with a deer and one featuring a bunny and both were really enjoyable. Fun addition to the park.
Nighttime Safari. We really enjoyed this even though I'm still on the fence overall about that giant LED screen with the fake sunset. Frankly, I think it's going to confuse people as to what exactly it's supposed to be. Several people on our safari asked the driver point blank what they were seeing and the driver was sure to answer off-mic ("It's the sunset"). We saw many of the animals that we usually see during the day, including the lions, elephants, giraffes, crocodiles, hipppos, etc.
Entertainment at Harambe Village. We only managed to catch the acrobats, but they put on a great 15-minute show. Grab a Tusker Lager at the Dawa Bar next door and just enjoy the show.
Bonus: Tiffins and Nomad Lounge. The new sit down restaurant at AK (and the attached lounge) were big hits for the wife and I. No kidding - the meal we had at Tiffins (I had steak and brisket; wife had a chicken dish) were the best meals we've had on property in years. Yes, it's a pricey place, but I think it could be a real hit. The food and the service (thanks, Alan), were fantastic!
Yes Sarah! These thoughts exactly!! I saw the show last night and was sorry I wasted a fast pass. I am certainly glad I did not waste $$ by doing the special dining/seating. See the show if you wish, but use your time wisely as I wish I had used mine riding Everest multiple times - regardless of Disney's time constraints!!