Disney’s Animal Kingdom is on a path to rejuvenation that can be felt throughout the theme park. Yet one of the least talked about and potentially most important additions coming to Animal Kingdom’s nightly repertoire of attractions and entertainment comes with Sunset Kilimanjaro Safaris. During the day Kilimanjaro Safaris is one of the best Disney Parks attractions on the planet but as day turned to night Animal Kingdom’s staple attraction went dark as well. But as Animal Kingdom’s Portfolio Creative Executive Joe Rohde shared with us at the D23 Expo 2015 things are about to get just a bit more magical very soon. Walt Disney Imagineering aims to extend the warm orange glow of sunset deep into the night giving guests the opportunity to experience Kilimanjaro Safaris in a way that most never have before. That’s how Sunset Kilimanjaro Safaris comes to be and yet as you imagined there is more.
Guests will be happy to know the population of animals will be increased at the attraction whilst also adding two new species that like to play in the night, African Wild Dogs and Hyenas. Rohde was quick to reference his love for Hyenas despite their obvious negative reputation thanks in part to a Walt Disney Studios animated film about a lion cub who rises to the challenges of becoming king that you may have heard of. So with all this in mind it was time for us to take a ride on Kilimanjaro Safaris, appropriately at sunset, and take a peek at the changes underway at this recreation of an African Savanna.
After the grand view of the African Savanna those familiar with the attraction know the ride vehicle then proceeds to hug the western edge of the territory before making a turn to the east. Now before this turn there is a new habitat under construction that will likely house the new species of animals. The habitat is formed with a backdrop of an outcrop of rock formations with a prominent tree and grassland forming much of the rest. It’s just a tease right now as the animals are the star of this show but it’s an important step as Animal Kingdom continues towards its new nighttime offerings. There is still much we have to learn about Sunset Kilimanjaro Safaris and as we approach its 2016 debut we expect we’ll learn far more. For now, the Sun sets once more and we get ever closer to Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s new day.