Animal Kingdom Construction Update

| March 13, 2015 | 19 Replies

This week we take a closer look at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and their construction projects. There is a lot of construction going on in the park, but in spite of that you can still have an enjoyable visit.


Take a little time to explore along the path in the Oasis on your way toward the Tree of Life. You will find different creatures like anteaters, ducks, and birds.  You truly feel like you are out in the woods.


As you get to the top of the hill looking toward the Tree of Life be prepared for lots of construction walls. I will give Disney credit for all the detail they put on the walls so you can be entertained while walking past them.

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Notice anything different here?  This is where the Tip Board used to be.


This is a look back up the hill.  Typically, there would be a PhotoPass photographer at the top so you can get your pictures with the Tree of Life behind you.


Be sure to get your picture taken at the base of the Tree and check out the new animal carvings.


I headed toward the Kilimanjaro Safari. Even this attraction has construction going on. There are some burlap fences but I am not sure why they are there. There also was a project going on behind this fence.

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But don’t let that upset you.  There were plenty of animals out for everyone to enjoy.  This trip I was able to see all kinds of animals up close to the truck.

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They have removed the Poaching storyline from the Safari. So now instead of racing and bumping along through the woods it is a leisurely ride back to the station. I miss the poaching storyline because now it seems they don’t try to educate you about the danger to the animals from poachers.

I then wandered through Asia and Dinoland to see what construction was going on. The Flame Tree Barbecue is closed for rehab but I was able to get down near the water of the Discovery River to take some pictures of the construction here. This is where the new “Rivers of Light” nighttime show will take place.  This shows will feature swirling animal imagery, water screen, live music, and floating lanterns. There has not been an announcement for when this show will debut.

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These walls are up on Discovery Island as you head for Dinoland USA.

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These scrims are on the walkway headed towards Finding Nemo- The Musical and Expedition Everest. Basically your view of the river is covered with scrims. I do love the details on them so take a little time to enjoy them as you walk by.

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The backside of the scrims around Discovery River.


Avatar Land is being created where the old Camp Minnie Mickey used to be. It is expected to open in 2017.


They are also closing off part of the right parking lot as you look at the front of Animal Kingdom.  I am not sure what they are doing here but will report back in future updates.

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Finally, I think Walt Disney World needs to think about some maintenance on their parking lot trams. The one I was on was disgustingly dirty. How hard is it to wash them every now and then.  If I had been wearing light colored clothes I would hate to see what they looked like. Walt Disney World used to be about the details but I think they have forgotten the trams.

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So do I recommend you visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom?  Yes I do. There is still plenty to see and do while they refresh and add new attractions to the park.  You may need to be a little creative when you take your photos but you can have an awesome time. Till next time, See you in the parks!

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Category: Disney World

  • Rob S

    Can you still get a good picture with the Tree of Life in the background along the back oath between Africa and Asia?

    • Kathy Werling

      Yes you can if you are standing in Asia.

    • Austin Wells

      you can if you are in front of it too. we did with the photopass photographers just the other day

  • Rob S


  • PoliticalTruth

    Honestly this makes me a little happier our spring trip was cancelled. I am hoping a few more things are put together by the time we head there for Christmas. I LOVE AK, its one of my favourite parks, but like this …. I wouldn’t be happy at all …

  • Paul Saint

    This is my favorite of the four parks at WDW. It is so full of Life, and you feel that as you walk into this wonderful experience. Being a lover of animals, I was thrilled when Disney announced this park. I remember it making headlines and having the announcement on E!TV. I was watching it being revealed and I almost fainted. It seem such a great combination: Disney & animals! Looking forward to all the things ahead for my personal favorite.

  • pat

    I’ve said this before. Always enjoy your blogs, which are always accompanied by so many pictures! When I read your commwent about the trams, I knew they had to be in pretty rough shape as you always have a positive spin on the details, even when the parks or DTD are awash in walls and scrims. It is your continued enthusium for the parks and Disney in general that make your stories a pleasure to read. Keep them coming Kathy. It’s a great way for those of us who are unable to frequent WDW to keep up with the place we love.

  • Ruth Lindsey Haney

    When I first went to AK I was really disappointed and thought I did not like it at all. Each trip I like it more and more. It is my favorite park. Thanks for your postings and pictures. They help to wash the home sickness away. It has been 3 years since our last trip and hope health wise it will not be much longer before we go back.

  • Karen

    When I visited WDW for the first time in1992, it was spotlessly clean. I mean CM’s who caught a piece of trash in midair if someone tossed it away from a trash can. ( Shame on guests who do this). It is a lot of ” the little things” that have gone by the wayside. I agree that the seats should be washed down each night, like the streets of MK are. For those of us who have visited dozens of times , It is the details and the little things that catch our attention and matter. Bathrooms need to be clean as well. We need to have a strong voice to help keep the details in the forefront.

    • katieb

      I typically go to Disney World every year. I think the parks are amazingly clean. I haven’t seen any degradation whatsoever.

      • Elroy

        Katieb, not to be rude, but you really haven’t been looking. They no longer paint things overnight if they were chipped like they used to be. When I was there last, just before Fantasyland opened, they hadn’t painted the Dumbo ride for over a year and it was starting to show wear. When we were dining on the Boardwalk, they were cleaning the siding with a power washer and getting us all wet. This is something that used to be done after hours. They should at least put the prince increases to maintaining the buses, boats, trams etc. Read the book, ‘The Keys to the Kingdom’ and when you go back, see if everything they used to do they still do. Bob Iger is not as interested in the parks as Eisner was. Especially when Roy O was alive. You will see that it is going downhill. Albeit slowly, but going downhill.

    • MrNico

      When we went at Thanksgiving I noticed the same thing about the trams and wear and tear. Many seats need fiberglass repair or paint. Last week we never rode a tram as we were staying on property at POFQ and used the buses and boats. I think they have picked up on some of the maintenance that had slipped by in recent years, but some work still needs to be done. The bathrooms were all very good this trip.

  • Charles Long

    The wife and I have always enjoyed Animal Kingdom. When we got back home after our first trip, a volunteer at the food bank where I volunteer had just returned from a church trip to Africa. The group had done work at a school they sponsor there. He had time to take a trip while there and brought back many pictures. I told him, “You know, if I didn’t know better I would think you just went to Disney World.” Point being, AK is that realistic it was difficult to tell the difference between Africa and AK.

    • Kathy Werling

      When I walk around Harambe Village it reminds me of when I lived in Africa as a child. They have really captured the feel of Africa.

  • Austin Wells

    My girflriend and i just went on the wild africa trek the first of this month and the guides told us all of the construction going on throughout the safari is for the night time safari update, they told us that they will have hyenas and other nocturnal animals out and about. thought id share!

    • Kathy Werling

      Thank you for the information.

  • Janet May

    Loved the animal pictures!

  • Catherin

    Do we know when any of the walls and scrims will be coming down? Avatarland is scheduled for 2017 but I’m sure not all of these are to remain in place for that long are they?

  • Josh

    When is the Rivers of Light show going to open