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With most Disney fan’s attentions turned to the crowning jewel of Fantasyland’s overhaul, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, it was easy to overlook what was going on behind construction walls over at Animal Kingdom.  But when Harambe’s expansion was finally unveiled last weekend what seemed to be just a simple transport of a theater show to another area of the park to make room for the Avatar-inspired land, turned out to be so much more than the sum of its parts would appear on paper.  Frankly as magnificent a wonder as Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is, the execution of this addition to the Animal Kingdom’s Africa left me with far more of that little-kid-rush that is inspired every time I feel Disney has gone that extra mile to make sure no detail is spared.  Much like the rest of Animal Kingdom (with now just a couple glaring exceptions) this new area of the park has breathtaking detail.  It makes you want to just soak in the atmosphere and that’s exactly what I did.  And now I want you join me.  To see this expansion and the greatness of Disney’s Animal Kingdom at its best through my lens.

 

Here we go…

Harambe Theatre Now Open for Business.

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Even the simplest of directional signs becomes an opportunity for theming at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Often times concept art depicts something reality can’t match. The scope, scale, and beauty at even a first glance shows that’s not the case here.

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The use of vivid colors against more muted backdrops brings character and life to the story of Harambe.

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Our first real good look at the King and his new theatre that is part of a massive looking fort on the edge of this East African port town.

Just in case you were forgetting this is a Disney theme park and I wouldn’t blame you, a gift shop. 😉

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But even this tiny outpost lives up to Animal Kingdom’s theming excellence.

I always notice the smallest of details but even someone who isn’t looking for them, feels the complete picture and story they paint.

Of course there is enough Lion King merchandise to go around but back to our main plot line we go. 🙂

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Disney has mastered the art of Animal Kingdom’s perfect imperfections. This bench is carved by history, colored by the sands of time and as imperfect and beautiful as humanity itself.

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All day, everyday.

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