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Disney’s Animal Kingdom awakens after dark


As the night falls, the excitement rises with the all new evening experiences coming to life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The theme park undergoes a metamorphosis as the sun begins to set and this park that you think you are familiar with during the day transforms into a majestic, glowing jungle by night. Stories are projected in dancing colors that illuminate the way we see the beautiful world we live in. We take flight on the wings of light as we journey through the adventures of nature, balance, and harmony of all living things, and celebrate by rejoicing in song and dance for this beautiful Earth we live on.

Harambe Wildlife Parti

Harambe Wildlife Parti at Disney's Animal Kingdom
The music at the Harambe Wildlife Parti is really great!

We begin by venturing to the African Village of Harambe and find ourselves encompassed in a celebration full of singers, dancers and acrobats. The celebration begins each night at 5:00pm and the parti continues until 10:00pm, with various performances throughout the night.

Harambe Wildlife Parti at Disney's Animal Kingdom
At the Harambe Wildlife Parti it’s easy to bust a move

You will have the opportunity to join in and dance the night away with a live African band, and witness some amazing stunts performed by the Harambe Village Acrobats. Between performances be sure to stick around and hear the beautiful sounds of the mandinka harp called the kora. 

Harambe Village Acrobats at Disney's Animal Kingdom
The Harambe Village Acrobats are insanely entertaining.
An artist playing the kora at the Harambe Wildlife Parti at Disney's Animal Kingdom
The kora is a very unique instrument that makes some wonderful sounds

Discovery Island Carnivale

The celebration continues in Discovery Island, where we find cultures from all over the globe joining together in the Discovery Island Carnivale. The party takes over the streets of Discovery Island with dancers, musicians, and stilt walkers in elaborate, neon-glowing costumes. 

Discovery Island Carnivale at Disney's Animal Kingdom
Getting the Discovery Island Carnivale started off right

This street party begins at 6:00pm and continues throughout the night at various times until 9:45pm. The bright, energizing, and colorful parade starts its journey to the heart of the park in Africa, and ends at the the Discovery Island Stage where we all get the chance to join together in celebration. 

Discovery Island Carnivale at Disney's Animal Kingdom
Dancing the night away at the Discovery Island Carnivale

What better way to begin your vacation than to let loose and join in with this colorful “celebration dance, dancing in the street, with everyone you meet.”

Nomad Lounge

Nomad Lounge - outdoor seatingatDisney's Animal Kingdom
The outdoor patio at the Nomad Lounge is a unique way to experience some of the sights and sounds of the park

After all the dancing, take some time to relax with an exotic cocktail at the new Nomad Lounge located next to the also brand-new Tiffins in Discovery Island, which is just a short walk from the Carnivale Celebration.  

Nomad Lounge - indoor seating at Disney's Animal Kingdom
The indoor lounge is a great way to have an intimate drink with a special someone

This waterside lounge features appetizers, desserts, cocktails, and beverages inspired from travels around the globe. The lounge offers both indoor and beautiful outdoor seating on a wrap-around balcony overlooking the water and the brush of the Animal Kingdom Jungle; the balcony is lined with inviting couches to sink into with a delicious drink in hand.

Inside find beautiful linen draping, eclectic decor, and warm lighting that transports you to an enticing watering hole. The bar offers a bevy of seating options including couches, tables, and seats at the bar. I can’t think of a better way to spend a vacation!

Nomad Lounge - Hibiscus Henna & Lamu Libation drinks
The Hibiscus Henna and Lamu Libation are some of the delicious libations the Nomad lounge has to offer

The Tree of Life – Nighttime Awakenings

The Tree of Life awakening at Disney's Animal Kingdom
Just one of the four amazing awakenings at the Treee of Life

As the parties continue throughout the park, the heart of the glowing jungle reminds us of the beauty and balance of nature. The Tree of Life awakens in dancing lights as animals come alive from the tree in magical color by weaving a tale that illustrates the remarkable story between all living things.

The illuminated shows begin at sundown and continue throughout the evening with four different stories projected at various times until park close. Each show is only three minutes long, so be sure to make it a point to catch one of these amazing displays.

The Tree of Life - Nighttime Awakenings Disney’s Animal Kingdom
The projection mapping of the Tree of Life is one of the most technically advanced marvels in all of Walt Disney World

While waiting for the tree to transform into a canvas that shares the story of nature and love, watch carefully, as the tree is very much alive; the animal spirits will make themselves known as they awaken from their slumber. Each of the four shows captivates our senses, with stories ranging in blossoming romance to the unlikeliest of friendships.  

Nighttime Merchandise

With new nighttime glowing events at Animal Kingdom, comes new glowing merchandise. Take part in the glowing jungle with some great new, neon gear. Available throughout the park, you can now purchase glowing hats, headbands, necklaces, and exclusive animal light-up swords. 

Nighttime Merchandise at Disney's Animal Kingdom
The new tiger light swords are a roaring good time

Nighttime Kilimanjaro Safari

The new nighttime Kilimanjaro Safari is a welcome twist on one of the park’s classics. We climb aboard and venture into the dark of night, and quickly realize the uniqueness of visiting this safari after dark does not only come from the sense of sight, but from sense of sound as well. We quickly pay close attention to the many sounds surrounding us; trying to decipher which animals are making the noises. 

Killamanjaro Safaris at Disney's Animal Kingdom
The new lighting effects on the attraction make it look like the safari is in permanent sunset

To allow for sight on this night safari, lighting has been strategically placed. The beginning of the safari resembles the warm glow of the sun setting on the grassy Savanna. As the safari continues, the lighting transformers to a colder blue hue resembling moonlight peeking through the treetops and silhouetting the animals with a halo of light.

The nighttime safari also gives a chance to learn the sleeping and grazing patterns of the animals. You may even have the opportunity to see the lions wide awake roaming Pride Rock. Be sure to attend this nighttime safari for a completely new experience that is a complete feast for the senses. 

The Jungle Book: Alive With Magic

To close the book of our night’s adventure we make one last stop and take a page out of The Jungle Book. Located in the new space created for Rivers of Light in the Asia section of the park, this is a nighttime spectacle that will entertain all ages.

The Jungle Book: Alive With Magic barge
A look at one of the many barges used in The Jungle Book: Alive With Magic

The show begins in darkness as the sound of the sitar strings resonate throughout the theater. While soft bells quietly ring, performers slowly cascade down the steps carrying candles as they enter the stage. Boats with hanging lanterns glide over a glassy waterway carrying dancers and musicians to magnificent floating stages that are adorned in beautiful, Indian inspired columns and intricate decoration. Flutes and drums the begin to play as the show begins.  

The Jungle Book: Alive With Magic at Disney's Animal Kingdom
The Jungle Book: Alive With Magic uses the water screens from the future Rivers of Light show

The floating stages are painted in an aura of light that transitions to tell the story of fear, bravery, courage, and love. The reflections in the water create a breathtaking, glowing watercolor backdrop for the classic story we all carry dear to our hearts to unfold. The stunning Indian influences in dance, music, costume and colorful imagery projected on screens of falling water have created a beautiful Indian sanctuary that can only take place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

I hope you have the chance to experience this captivating performance, along with all the other incredible experiences that now await you and that the memories you make will last a lifetime.

Whigh one of these new experiences at Disney’s Animal Kingdom are you most excited for?


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About Mia Cintron

Mia was born and raised on Florida’s Space Coast, her favorite activity is exploring the theme parks with her hubby, and making unforgettable memories. She wants to share her experiences and advice that drive her love for the theme parks with others. You can follow her journey on Instagram, Facebook, and her blog.