On the Update Trail at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
October 19th, 2020
It’s a jungle out there, and we look to not only explore it but to relish it, as the weather is really great, and it’s a great time to relax and enjoy. We canvas the entire park, checking out the crowds, what’s open and closed, and what the total experience is like. Plus we highlight eight wonderful little nooks to sit back and enjoy the park by. And did we mention Flame Tree Barbecue, and perhaps the greatest cupcake ever created at Walt Disney World? All this and more awaits you in our park update. So gather your gear and join us on the trail. We offer a post, podcast and YouTube Video.
You can find our podcast here on Podbean, iTunes, Spotify, MyTuner, and ListenNotes. Key notes and photos are below, but you’ll find most of my commentary on the podcast.Also, be sure to not only catch the video on YouTube, but subscribe there as well so you get updates.
Park Entrance & Oasis
Here’s a map leading to some great places to chill out in the park. We feature a description of each in our podcast and video.
The first place to chill out is in front of Rain Forest Cafe at the entrance to the park. Lots of water falls and shade and benches.
Let’s head into the park.
Oasis is a beautiful spot in and of itself. What a great way to enter Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Not the openings in the walls behind the falls. A sneak preview of what’s to come on both sides.
Most people don’t realize that Discovery Island is home to some kangaroos. There are also wallabies in Oasis. But you have to look for them.
This Discovery Island Trail is the best way to see the kangaroos, and to see the Tree of Life up close.
Signs of Donald’s Dino-Bash still abound, though you can only see Donald on the cavalcade boat that goes around the park.
I don’t like Dinorama, but I love this gift shop.
This is what a dead theme park ride looks like.
Another great place to take a no-face cover break is on the benches that used to host Rivers of Light.
The show is gone but you can still see it here:
Expedition Everest was down all day, and not just for a few hours. Here’s a message guests received while in the park:
No mobile ordering is available at the local food cafes, as these are operated by a third party, and not by Disney. That explains the long lines.
These will be familiar…
Another great break spot, between Asia and Africa.
This outside food court at Africa has been pretty much closed since the parks reopened in July.
This area has really opened up, allowing guests to view the train coming and going.
It used to have a cluttered market feel, taking up space and inhibiting views of the passing train.
With guests unable to visit Expedition Everest, lines are much longer at other attractions, including Kilimanjaro Safaris.
That line extends to the back of Tusker House and nearly to the exit of the Festival of the Lion King.
This outdoor watering hole has reopened recently.
A passing cavalcade band.
You can see all of the Animal Kingdom Cavalcades, plus others from all four parks here:
Pandora: The World of Avatar
Whereas the line for Kilimanjaro Safaris went to the exit of Festival of the Lion King, the line for Pandora, went all the way to the entrance of the same show.
All in all, the queue was not a long wait, it was just extended greatly for social distancing.
Crowds in line and waiting for food & beverage create chaos in this corner of Pandora.
Still, in the craziness of the crowds you can still find some quiet places within Pandora if you know where to look. The video goes into all of the locations.
Flame Tree Barbecue
We finish out with lunch at Flame Tree Barbecue, a beautiful place this time of year. Our video on YouTube Video also showcases this cupcake, which is in my view, the best cupcake Disney has ever created. Seriously, this is an amazing dessert.
Our podcast and video also talk about why restaurants are backed up so badly during lunch time. It isn’t the size of the crowds, it’s the number of available tables given social distancing.
There’s Much More!
Thanks for joining us. Make sure you check out the following:
It’s where we take best-in-business ideas from the “Happiest Place on Earth” and help apply them to your business organization. Visit DisneyatWork.com
It’s our place for videos and more at my YouTube channel J. Jeff Kober.