My Interview with the Mouse: Animal Kingdom Comes Alive at Night #AwakenSummer 

This week I had the chance to interview the the main Mouse and Rafiki to get the inside scoop on how Disney’s Animal Kingdom is literally coming ALIVE at night this summer starting MEMORIAL DAY weekend. Hooray!  We’ve got the quick scoop below  on everything you need to know about Animal Kingdom’s brand NEW night time offerings including some bonus video footage of the new Tree of Life projected night show.

 Inside Scoop Video Interview with Disney’s Marketing and Strategy Director for Animal Kingdom

Extraspecial Ways Animal Kingdom Comes Alive at Night

Animal Kingdom is absolutely ROMANTIC and GORGEOUS in the evening hours with low level natural lighting quietly surrounding all the greenery and small pathways as you travel between “Asia”, “Africa” and beyond in Animal Kingdom.

Doesn’t Mount Everest look stunning? Rides will be open in the evening – like the Kali River Rapids, Dinoland amusements, and Everest. Plus — there will be a brand new NIGHT  Safari along with all kinds of festive dancing too with African performers in Harambe Marketplace. Then to cap off the evening — a brand new NIGHT show!

Some of the biggest items you need to add to you MUST DO Animal Kingdom evening list are:

1. Ride Kilimanjaro Safaris at night! 

Check out the Savannah at Sunset and beyond. Lighting looks very natural and I was very surprised how many animals we saw in what was total darkness (9:00 at night!) The animals seemed surprisingly active compared to the heat of the day too. I spotted Rhinos, Elephants, Hippos and more! Two new additions to the Safari animals include the more nocturnal and very active African painted wild dogs and hyenas.

2. Catch the Brand new Rivers of Light Show

This will be stunning. We previewed one act in the show and it was fantastic! Think of a very illuminating musical experience – to celebrate the magic of animals, humans and the natural world with a blend of performers, floating lanterns and all kinds of water, lights, and projections — including what looked like a forest of fireflies and animals dancing over the water.

  3. Watch the Tree of Life “awakenings” – Projected Light show 

This was spectacular! The photos do not do it justice but it was marvelous to see this projected light show on the Tree of Life along with this subtle “movements” within the bark of the tree that Disney calls “Awakenings”. Simply magical!

Tree of Life Animal Kingdom Light show

Tree of Life at night

Disney invited me to attend their summer press preview and paid for my travel expenses. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own. 

About Colleen Padilla

Colleen Padilla, the founder and editor of ClassyMommy.com lives in the Philly suburbs and is a full time mom for her 2 children, Mackenzie (7) and Kyle (5). Colleen and the Classy Mommy website have been featured on Fox News, Good Morning America, The New York Times, Parenting Magazine, The New York Post, local Philadelphia ABC, CBS, and NBC programs. Colleen has appeared in a TV special about Alpha Moms on South Korea’s NBC affiliate SBS. She also co-authored The Digital Mom Handbook (HarperCollins).

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