Walt Disney World announced today that Animal Kingdom will be adding holiday decor and entertainment for the Christmas season. In this post, we’ll quickly run down the additions and then add our thoughts on the announcements. If you’d like to see the announcement from the Disney Parks Blog, click here.
In Discovery Island, guests will be greeted by hand-crafted decorations made by the artist’s who call the island home. This area will be a ‘celebration of winter’. Essentially, the area will be covered with white holiday decorations. Along with that, colorful, animal-inspired luminaries line the rooftops, and wireframe lanterns in the shape of beautiful birds can be found perched throughout the area.
During the day, guests will encounter with life-size, sculpted puppets of winter animals that will be serenaded by musicians. During the evening, the wonderful ‘Tree of Life Awakenings’ will be adding a few wintry tales.
Moving around the park, DinoLand will be adding colorful decorations and a Christmas-themed dance party with the usual characters from Donald’s Dino Bash. Moving to Asia, the theatre district in Andapur will be decorated for Diwali which will include glowing flowers and lanterns.
In Africa, the village of Harambe will blend western traditions with the colors and textiles of African Celebrations. This will include the musicians who play from their costuming to the music they play. Finally, Pandora will even get into the mix as the inhabitants have decorated Pongu Pongu for the festivities. All of this will begin November 8th, 2019 at Animal Kingdom.
Animal Kingdom is easily Walt Disney World’s most subtle park. Adorned with extreme detail and natural beauty around every corner, the park didn’t receive as many seasonal overlays as the other three WDW parks. Hollywood Studios, Epcot and Magic Kingdom all have had wonderful holiday decor. Animal Kingdom had a few subtle decorations but never fully participated in the Christmas fun. With this news it seems that Animal Kingdom will now be in full Christmas mode.
That’s not to say the park will lose it’s subtlety. The decor and entertainment in Pandora and Harambe sounds largely the same as last year to me. Honestly, these additions all sound tasteful and will keep the theme of the park while adding fun holiday enhancements. Well, DinoLand isn’t exactly a lovely place to be but the other areas all seem tasteful.
The Asia and Discovery Island decor is the most intriguing to me. I think the Asia area will end up very vibrant but is off in an otherwise fairly nondescript place so as not to get in the way of the land’s story. That section of the park is a beautiful place to walk around and this decor should only enhance that walk.
Discovery Island is a perfect frame for the Tree of Life and will be even more vibrant and lively with the holiday enhancement. Having the puppets during the day should make for fun interactions for the whole family and I’m very eager to see the holiday overlay on Tree of Life Awakening. This is one of my favorite shows already and adding something seasonal should be very fun to watch.
All in all, I think this is great news. None of the decor sounds intrusive to the park’s beautiful design and story but will instead enhance what is already there. Animal Kingdom seemed like a sort of afterthought when it came to Christmas before but now it will be at the forefront of Disney World’s holiday offerings. We can’t wait to check it out!
What do you think of these Animal Kingdom holiday additions? Let us know in the comments below. We’ll be sure to update readers with any additional information on these offerings in the months leading up to the holidays. Planning a trip to Walt Disney World? Check out our planning guide here. If you enjoy what you are reading here on Wandering in Disney please share this post with your friends, as well as like our social media pages. You can also subscribe to the blog via WordPress or email. All of those links are on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading, we really appreciate it!