5 Things to Do at Night at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Since it opened in 1998, Disney’s Animal Kingdom has been considered by many to be a “half day” park. That is because there were no nighttime activities. When the sun went down the park would close, often as early as 5:00. That is no longer the case. Disney’s Animal Kingdom is now a great place to visit after dark. The park is beautiful at night, and the classic rides such as Expedition Everest and Kali River Rapids are even more exciting. Here are five things that you can now do after dark at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

5. Nomad Lounge

Discovery Island

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is huge, and with the late hours you’ll probably be tired once the sun goes down. That makes it the perfect time to stop by Nomad Lounge! Located next to Tiffins, you can sit down and relax for a little while. Order an appetizer, such as House-made Head Cheese and Chicken Liver Pate, Seared Wagyu Beef, or Vegetarian Summer Roll with Ponzu. You are going to want something to wash down your appetizer, and that is where Nomad Lounge really shines. Specialty drinks for those 21 and older include Leaping Lizard, Spice Trader Classic, and Tempting Tigress. There are also non-alcoholic specialties, such as Happy Macaque and Lilly Gorill-ie. You don’t have to wait until after dark to visit Nomad Lounge, but by then you’ll be happy to have a place to sit down and recharge.

4. Discovery Island Carnivale

Discovery Island

Once the sun goes down it is time to party! That is what Discovery Island Carnivale is all about. Enjoy the colorful costumes, the stilt walkers, and the beauty of nature, but what you’ll remember about Discovery Island Carnivale is the music. You can clap or dance along with The Viva Street Band! and more. The party lasts for hours, so you won’t have to worry that you’ll miss it.

3. Kilimanjaro Safaris Nocturnal Encounters


For years the secret to riding Kilimanjaro Safaris has been to ride first thing in the morning, since that is when the animals are the most active. That is no longer necessarily the case. Kilimanjaro Safaris now runs at night as well, giving you a new look into the lives of the nocturnal animals. Harambe Wildlife Reserve is lit to mimic twilight, so you will still be able to see. Check the time for sunset before making your FastPass+ reservation, the best time to ride is right as the sun goes down.

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2. Tree of Life Awakenings

Discovery Island

The Tree of Life is the icon at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. There are over 300 animals carved into the trunk, and it houses the It’s Tough to Be a Bug! show. At night, you’ll now be amazed by the Tree of Life. It comes alive with color, but it does not stop there. Several times each night something magical happens. The Tree of Life becomes a projection screen and the animals seem to come to life. The show lasts for about three minutes. The times are not published, and most Cast Members don’t know when the magic is going to happen. You’ll just need to stare at the icon for a while, waiting. The Tree of Life is now so beautiful at night that you won’t mind.

1. The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic

Discovery Island

Walt Disney World fans were disappointed when they learned that the new nighttime show, Rivers of Light, was not going to debut on schedule. There is now a great temporary show to keep the smile on your face through the end of the night at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic will run nightly at least through Labor Day, weather permitting. You’ll experience The Jungle Book with live performers, music, water screens, and more. If you want to see The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic you need to make your plans soon, because it won’t be around forever. The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic is the perfect way to end your day, and it will help Disney’s Animal Kingdom to lose its reputation as a “half day” park.

About PaulaK

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. When I was nine my family went to Disneyland and I was hooked. I grew up, attended New England College in Henniker, NH and eventually moved to Virginia. I worked as a disc jockey, married and became a full time mom when our daughter was born. Fast forward several years. In 2010 we moved to Central Florida and my Disney obsession grew. I now work as a freelance writer and spend my spare time in the parks. Under the name Paula Brown I penned the novels Dream Wanderers and The Coffee Cruiser. I also am a co-author of Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide. I'm obsessed with Star Wars, so this is a good time to live in Central Florida. I've been a vegetarian for well over a decade, a choice that my daughter eventually made as well. While my husband still hasn't joined us fully he has given up most meats except for seafood. I was relieved to find that vegetarian dining is not difficult at Walt Disney World.