Between all four Walt Disney World theme parks, Animal Kingdom is easily the most unique.
This nature-dedicated Disney park offers everything from exciting attractions to educational experiences, character meet-and-greets, and live animal sightings.
Animal Kingdom Park operates both like a vast theme park and like a giant zoo. In fact, Animal Kingdom is the most-visited zoo in the world according to the Guinness World Record.
Make No Mistake, There’s Nothing Like Animal Kingdom Park
It’s also one of the most beautiful Disney parks in the world, with all its greenery, foliage, and animals. Not to mention Pandora – The World of Avatar, which is otherworldly and ethereal in a way that other Disney Parks simply can’t compare to, especially at night.
Once the sun goes down, Pandora – The World of Avatar can truly shine. In James Cameron’s Avatar series, the bioluminescence of the alien flora and fauna is a big part of what makes the films so visually stunning. Walt Disney Imagineering has taken this bioluminescence and built it right into the Disney park. The only trouble is that guests rarely get to see it!
Not only is Pandora at night a must-see experience, but some of the animal activity heightens as the sun goes down toward the theme park’s closing time. That being said, Animal Kingdom almost always closes before guests see any of it…until now.
Pandora’s Bioluminescence Isn’t the Only Experience Guests Are Missing Out On…
Extended Evening Hours are nothing new for Walt Disney World, with several resort hotels participating in this practice.
For guests staying at specific Disney World resort hotels, Extended Evening Hours gives visitors an extra two hours to enjoy the theme parks. This has been in place for theme parks such as EPCOT and Magic Kingdom, with Hollywood Studios recently joining the club.
Still, Animal Kingdom has been purposefully left in the dark (pun totally intended). It’s no secret that Animal Kingdom closes earlier than any Disney park, with most nights ending at 7 p.m. Frequent visitors and Florida residents will know that in the summer, the sun often sets later than 7 p.m., meaning that guests visiting Animal Kingdom almost never get to see the theme park after dark.
But it seems that this may be changing soon.
A Historical Change Is Coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom
According to Walt Disney World’s official website, Animal Kingdom will begin holding Extended Evening Hours starting on November 8, giving guests an extra two hours in the theme park.
That’s an extra two hours to experience a beloved ride such as Expedition Everest or Kali River Rapids in the dark. Guests may be able to travel the outdoor trails, such as Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail or Maharajah Jungle Trek, without the unrelenting sunshine bearing down on them.
While Disney has yet to make an official announcement regarding Animal Kingdom’s Extended Evening Hours, we can expect one in the coming months. After all, this will be a historical change for the theme park!