Review of Disney KiteTails at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney KiteTails

Walt Disney World is currently celebrating its Golden Anniversary. The majority of The World’s Most Magical Celebration is taking place at the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT, because those two Parks opened on October 1, although on different years. That doesn’t mean that there is nothing special elsewhere. There are Fab 50 Statues and Beacons of Magic in all four Theme Parks. There is also a brand new show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom; Disney KiteTails. I stopped by on October 3 to see what it is all about.

There are two different versions of Disney KiteTails. The show that I saw was based on “The Lion King”. The other option features characters from “The Jungle Book”. Seating is in the Rivers of Light Theater, on the DinoLand U.S.A. side. There were people watching from the Asia side of the theater, but that isn’t where the show is focused.

Credit: PaulaK

I arrived about 20 minutes before the 12:15 show was scheduled to start. A couple of minutes later, the Discovery Island Drummers cruise left for its trip around the Discovery River. I thought that was a bit odd, because I didn’t see how they would be back before the show started. I was in for a great surprise.

At about 12:00 some performers came into the audience with kites. They entertained the audience while music played. Once things were getting closer even more performers came out. This time it was with turtle puppets and kites based on “Finding Nemo”. They passed out some of the puppets to kids so that they could get in on the fun.

Disney KiteTails Discovery Island Drummers

At 12:10 an announcement was made that Disney KiteTails would begin in ten minutes. I assumed that they had to push things back because the Discovery Island Drummers headed out too late. I was wrong. At 12:15, the music stopped and the Discovery Island Drummers cruise returned. It stopped in front of the seats, and the music switched to a short, live, interactive performance with them! This was a nice way to start. I always enjoy watching them, and their high energy show got the crowd excited!

Credit: PaulaK

The actual Disney KiteTails show started at 12:20. The large kites were flown out on the water on jet skis, while performers walked across the front of the seats with smaller kites. Familiar songs played while the kites soared.

Disney KiteTails 

One thing that was interesting to watch was when a kite needed to land. There was no easy way to do it, so the performers had to crash the kite. I think that some of the people in the audience enjoyed that almost as much as the rest of the show.

Credit: PaulaK 

While the Walt Disney World website says that Disney KiteTails lasts for ten minutes, the show that I watched lasted for eight. That does not include the kites in the audience beforehand or the Discovery Island Drummers. I’ve heard rumors that there have been technical problems, I don’t know if that shaved off a couple of minutes or not. After it was over the people on the jet skis maneuvered to near the front of the seats to wave.

I loved Disney KiteTails, and would not have minded if the show was a few minutes longer. It was a creative and an amusing break in the middle of the day. If you go, keep in mind that the theater could be in the direct sun. The seats were built for a nighttime show, so shade was not a consideration. Disney KiteTails runs weather permitting.

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.