Incredible Summer Kickoff at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom

Memorial Day Weekend is considered by many to be the unofficial start of summer, and there are plenty of extras to celebrate at Walt Disney World. This year, it’s called Incredible Summer. I was invited to Disney’s Animal Kingdom on May 25 for the kickoff of the celebration. There is plenty of fun for all ages.


I saw UP! A Great Bird Adventure when it debuted on April 22. There were a few technical problems that day, plus the birds didn’t seem to be used to performing in front of so many people. That said, I could tell at the time that the show had plenty of potential. I’m glad that I was able to see it again, because the problems have been worked out, the birds are ready, and it’s a really fun show.

After we saw UP! my group was treated to an information session about the show. We learned that there are approximately 15 species of birds that perform each show, and that they might rotate the birds from one show to the next, depending on the behavior of the animals. We also learned that audiences seem to like it when the birds go off script. A large number of the birds in the show were rescued. If the weather looks bad don’t expect UP! to necessarily be canceled. There is a rain version of the show.

May 25 also brought the debut of Donald’s Dino-Bash! to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Donald learned that birds are actually all descended from dinosaurs, so he loaded up the truck and headed to DinoLand U.S.A. The celebration is a must do for character lovers, because for the summer there are eight characters in DinoLand. You can encounter Donald, Daisy, Scrooge McDuck, Launchpad McQuack, Goofy, and Pluto. Head down the Cretaceous Trail and you’ll encounter Chip ‘n’ Dale, all dressed up so that they’ll fit in at DinoLand U.S.A.

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Part of Donald’s Dino-Bash! is a dance party daily from 4:00 until 8:00. Unfortunately, there were technical difficulties and the threat of inclement weather, and it was canceled. If you were one of the dozen or so people who saw the short Facebook Live video, I apologize that we weren’t able to bring you something more than a cancellation announcement.

If you’re heading to Walt Disney World during the summer months, you need to include Disney’s Animal Kingdom in your plans. The extra characters alone are enough of a reason to celebrate, and once the technical problems are worked out the dance party will be a bash. With Pandora – The World of Avatar, the nighttime offerings, and one of the best thrill rides at Walt Disney World, Disney’s Animal Kingdom has lost 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.