Time FrameMemorial Day Weekend May 28-30, 2016
- The Tree of Life Awakens - The park icon will have several "awakenings" throughout the night as it is illuminated with projections of wildlife. This will officially debuted May 27, 2016. Test footage can be found below:
- The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic - This limited engagement show will take place along Discovery River and will feature music and special effects. This officially debuted May 28, 2016.
- Discovery Island Carnivale - The nightly show will feature music, dance, costumes and stilt walkers. This officially debuted May 27, 2016.
- Harambe Wildlife Parti - Guests in Africa can dance alongside entertainers and street musicians to the beat of African music. This officially debuted May 27, 2016.
- "Tiffins" and "Nomad Lounge" are new restaurants in Discovery Island. TIffins is a signature restaurant and Nomad Lounge is a cocktail bar connected to Tiffins. These officially debuted May 27, 2016.
- Larger walk way in front of Tree of Life exhibits. This area is expected to see nighttime entertainment.
- A new animal habitat has being constructed for the Cotton-Top Tamarins across from Creature Comforts. We are considering this exhibit part of the Discovery Island Trails. This opened on October 15, 2014.
- Isle of Java was relocated to a larger permanent stand to the right of Flame Tree Barbecue on December 16th, 2014. Previously this was located on the right hand side of the Discovery Island side of the Discovery Island to Oasis bridge.
- Exterior work and planters were added around Island Mercantile. This was completed in mid-April, 2015.
- Creature Comforts re-opened as a Starbucks location. Opened June 18, 2015.
- Flame Tree Barbecue refurbished with expanded covered areas. Opened June 30, 2015.
Expansion and re-theming to Disney Outfitters store. The store was split into two parts. The original part of the store re-opened and was re-named Discovery Trading Company on March 15, 2016. The other part of the store referred to as the "Riverside Depot" includes 5000 square feet of additional retail space. This opened December 9, 2015.
- Currently, it appears that Discovery Trading Company/Disney Outfitters and Riverside Depot will operate as separate stores with an interior connection, similar to the stores along Hollywood Boulevard in Disney's Hollywood Studios.
May 28, 2016: The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic officially debuted.
May 27, 2016: The Tree of Life Awakens shows, Discovery Island Carnivale, Harambe Wildlife Parti, Tiffins and Nomad Lounge officially debuted. The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic soft opened.
May 20, 2016: The Disney Parks Blog announced that the following nighttime attractions and entertainment would officially debut on May 27th:
- Tree of Life Awakens
- Harambe Wildlife Parti
- Discovery Island Carnivale
Debuting the next night (May 28th) will be the interim show Jungle Book: Alive With Magic.
Fastpass+ for select nighttime offerings will become available on May 21st.
April 20, 2016: Disney has released an official press video of Tree of Life Awakens testing.
April 19, 2016: Disney issued a press release discussing the new offerings for the Animal Kingdom this summer. It mentioned that an opening date for Rivers of Light is coming soon, but it also announced several other nighttime offerings debuting Memorial Day Weekend:
- The Tree of Life Awakens - The park icon will have several "awakenings" throughout the night as it is illuminated with projections of wildlife.
- The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic - This limited engagement show will take place along Discovery River and will feature music and special effects
- Discovery Island Carnivale - The nightly show will feature music, dance, costumes and stilt walkers
- Harambe Wildlife Parti- Guests in Africa can dance alongside entertainers and street musicians to the beat of African music.
April 15, 2016: Disney is planning a three day media event discussing projects currently in development. It is expected that between April 18-20th Disney will offer more details on Rivers of Light as well as the other entertainment offerings coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom.
April 5, 2016: The Disney Parks Blog shared additional menu details on the soon to open Tiffins restaurant. Tiffins is a signature restaurant coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom this summer.
Per the blog:
The menu offers something for everyone – from a berbere-spiced lamb chop to a New York strip steak or beef short rib with potatoes. Starters include a Lobster-Popcorn Thai Curry Soup with Basil and Peanuts (Asia/Africa) to marinated grilled octopus (Europe). Sustainable seasonal fish crudo (South America) and a salad of roasted baby beets and goat cheese with walnut granola and a sun-dried cherry vinaigrette Discovery Island (North America) round out international creations.
Entrees include Berber-Spiced Lamb Chop with Mustard Greens, Lentil Stew and Mint Chutney (Africa); Berkshire Pork Tenderloin with Huitlacoche Tamale, Hominy Succotash and Red Mole Sauce (South America); Miso-glazed Black Cod with Forbidden Rice in Steamed Bok Choy with Turmeric Sauce (Asia), and Grilled Head-on Shrimp with Tomatoes, Roasted Fennel, Olives and Sea Urchin Butter Sauce (Europe). For vegetarians, the Roasted Market Vegetable Curry with Quinoa, Zucchini and Lime Chutney brings a taste of Asia.
Beverages focus on Africa, Asia and South America, including handcrafted cocktails and beers. Non-alcoholic beverages include exotic-fruit- flavored lemonades, Asian and African premium loose-leaf teas and coffee beans from Columbia, Ethiopia, Indonesia and Tanzania.
In addition to Tiffins, an adjacent lounge called Nomad Lounge is also opening soon. Per the blog,
With 55 seats inside, and 46 seats in a covered outdoor area, Nomad Lounge offers a half- dozen small bites such as a vegetarian summer roll, a seared Wagyu beef skewer, honey-glazed coriander-spiced pork ribs, Indian butter-chicken wings, seasonal fish balls with shishito peppers and house-made head cheese and chicken liver pate with chutney.
Like Tiffins, the lounge offers handcrafted cocktails with African, Asian and South American flavors, imported beers and a South American and South African wine list. Non-alcoholic beverages include exotic-fruit- flavored lemonades, Asian and African premium loose-leaf teas and coffee beans from Columbia, Ethiopia, Indonesia and Tanzania.
March 31, 2016: The Disney Parks Blog shared more details on Tiffins, the soon to open signature restaurant coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom.
- Tiffin is the Indian word for a lunchbox used by travelers (also a mid-day meal)
- The restaurant will open this summer (instead of April 22nd as originally thought).
- Seats 252 guests
- Open for lunch and dinner
- Menu inspired by Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas
March 30, 2016: @Spokesmayne on Twitter posted a photo of the new lighting for the Tree of Life.
March 21, 2016: The Disney Parks Blog mentioned that the Tree of Life will have nightly "awakenings" as the animal spirits of the tree are brought to “light” by magical fireflies. Additional details on this will be coming soon.
March 15, 2016: Disney Outfitters re-opened with the name Discovery Trading Company. DisneyWorld.com has not been updated with the new name and it is unclear of Discovery Trading Company and Riverside Depot will exist as a single store or two separate stores.
March 15, 2016: DisneyWorld.com states on the official pages for Tiffins and Nomad Lounge that both restaurants will open on April 22, 2016.
March 2, 2016: DisneyWorld.com launched a "Coming Soon" page for Harambe Wildlife Parti, a new nighttime entertainment offering in the Village of Harambe.
March 2, 2016: DisneyWorld.com launched "Coming Soon" pages for both the previously announced Tiffins restaurant as well as an adjacent lounge called Nomad Lounge & Cocktail Bar.
The lounge will offer small plates and drinks. Offerings include vegetarian summer rolls, Indian butte chicken wings, seared Wagyu beef skewers and honey-glazed coriander-spiced pork ribs.
January 26, 2016: WDWMagic.com is reporting that the Disney Outfitters shop is now completely walled off. It is expected to re-open in March as part of a joint shop with Riverside Depot.
January 21, 2016: WDWThemeParks.com posted a construction update that includes photos of Tiffins.
December 14, 2015: Disney issued a press release detailing reasons to visit Walt Disney World in 2016. In it, it is mentioned that Tiffins will debut this spring.
December 9, 2015: The Riverside Depot expansion to the existing Disney Outfitters shop opened. The expansion includes an additional 5000 square feet of retail space.
The original Disney Outfitters footprint is also expected to undergo a refurbishment in early 2016 into the spring. Currently, it appears that Disney Outfitters and Riverside Depot will operate as separate stores with an interior connection, similar to the stores along Hollywood Boulevard in Disney's Hollywood Studios.
November 20, 2015: The Disney Parks Blog confirmed that the new table service restaurant coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom will be called Tiffins. Per the blog:
Tiffins will celebrate the art of traveling, featuring a diverse menu drawing from places that inspired the creation of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Open for both lunch and dinner, Tiffins will also include waterfront views from comfortable indoor and outdoor seating areas. And if you’re wondering about the story behind the name, “tiffin” is an Indian English word for a midday meal or a type of container used to carry food while traveling.
November 17, 2015: WDWMagic.com user WDWtraveler posted photos of the refurbished Pizzafari and the exterior includes new signage that is more subtle than the previous bright sign. It appears that the paint scheme throughout Discovery Island is become more subtle.
November 16, 2015: Orlando Parks News posted a photo update that shows additional signage for "Riverside Depot". It appears that the retail construction will be classified as a new shop.
November 7, 2015: Orlando Parks News posted a photo update around Disney's Animal Kingdom. The update includes photos of the Disney Outfitters expansion and signage that reads "Riverside Depot". It is unclear if Riverside Depot will technically be an additional store or part of the extension of Disney Outfitters.
November 4, 2015: New signage has appeared on the exterior of Island Mercantile.
October 21, 2015: WDWMagic.com user WDWtraveler posted a photo update of the new Pizzafari area. The restaurant remains closed, but walls have been removed revealing a wider pathway that will lead towards Pandora: The World of Avatar. Additional construction of the new table service restaurant is also visible.
September 9, 2015: WDWMagic.com user lnsemsf has reported that the refurbishment for Pizzafari has been extended through November 14th, re-opening on November 15th.
August 24, 2015: Pizzafari closed for refurbishment.
August 15, 2015: At the D23 Expo Parks and Resorts Presentation Joe Rohde discussed how "fireflies" will prompt the transition into nighttime at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
August 3, 2015: WDWMagic.com is reporting that Pizzafari will be closed for refurbishment from August 24 through October 19th, re-opening on October 20th. This is likely related to kitchen improvements for the new Discovery Island restaurant.
July 8, 2015: WDWMagic.com user MyKingdomAwaits has reported that during the Tree of Life refurbishment, Disney installed LED lights to illuminate the leaves of the tree. This technology is expected to be used during the Rivers of Light show as well as for atmospheric purposes in the evening.
June 30, 2015: Flame Tree Barbecue re-opened with expanded covered areas.
June 18, 2015: Creature Comforts re-opened as a Starbucks location.
June 17, 2015: WDWMagic.com user Drew81 has reported that the Lemurs have returned to Discovery Island.
June 16, 2015: WDWMagic.com user lnsemsf has reported that Flame Tree Barbecue is expected to re-open June 30th.
June 15, 2015: JamboEveryone.com has posted photos of the interior of the new Starbucks location.
June 5, 2015: WDWMagic.com has reported that the new location is expected to open on June 18th, 2015
May 29, 2015: WDWMagic.com user lmsemsf has reported that Flame Tree Barbecue is expected to re-open June 26th.
May 17, 2015: WDWThemeParks.com provided a photo construction update on the projects at the Tree of Life Exhibits, Creature Comforts and Disney Outfitters.
April 18, 2015: OrlandoParksNews.com has posted a photo update. Notable items include:
- Construction walls around the Island Mercantile have been removed to reveal new pathways, planters and trees
- The Ring-Tailed and Collared Lemurs have returned to the "It's Tough to be a Bug" entrance area. New informational signs have been added.
- Work continues around the Disney Outfitters Expansion
- Work continues around Flame Tree Barbecue with the walls being relocated and new planters revealed.
March 27, 2015: WDWMagic.com user WDWtraveler many walls near Flame Tree Barbecue have been removed. The passageway between Flametree Barbecue and Disney Outfitters leading to Dinoland USA is now open. The area opened with low rock walls surrounding small plants and trees. The expansion of Disney Outfitters is also increasingly visible as large concrete walls are rising above the construction walls.
February 13, 2015: WDWMagic.com user lnsemsf has reported that the Flame Tree Barbecue's refurbishment has been extended through April 22nd.
February 7, 2015: The Disney Parks Blog revealed photos of the new area in front of the Tree of Life. The new area features new tree roots and animal carvings. The widened walkway is expected to help facilitate additional entertainment being developed over the next few years.
January 16, 2015: WDWThemeParks.com has posted a photo update on the Discovery Island Changes.
January 6, 2015: WDWMagic.com is reporting that the Flame Tree BBQ refurbishment will result in improvements to the seating and ordering areas of the restaurant. Additional covered seating areas will be constructed and coverings will be added to the ordering area and the walkways connecting the seating areas.
December 16, 2014: WDWMagic.com is reporting that the new Joffrey's coffee location is now open. The new location has been named Isle of Java and is the permanent location of the snack stand that shared the same name. The previous snack stand was located in front of the Disney Outfitters store just over the bridge from the Oasis into Discovery Island.
December 15, 2014: WDWMagic.com is reporting that Creature Comforts will have it's last day of operation on January 5, 2015. At that point it is expected to remain closed into June when it will re-open as a Starbucks location.
November 25, 2014: WDWMagic.com user danlb_2000 has reported that Disney filed a Notice of Commencement for additional work on Flame Tree Barbecue. The permit refers to the area as the "Safari Cantina".
November 24, 2014: WDWMagic.com user WDWtraveler posted a photo that showed construction walls in Discovery Island being moved back. Two small islands of foliage were revealed as well as new pavement in the area. The expectation is that this area will see additional nighttime entertainment requiring the additional space. The concept art attached to this photo further indicates this.
November 20, 2014: WDWMagic.com is reporting that a new table service restaurant is coming to Discovery Island in 2015. The new restaurant is expected to use part of the seating area for Pizzafari. The menu and name of the new facility are currently unknown.
November 18, 2014: WDWMagic.com is reporting that Flame Tree Barbecue will be closing for an extensive refurbishment beginning January 5th, 2015. The refurbishment is expected to take three months and will include additional covering to the seating area and walkways.
October 15, 2014: The Disney Parks Blog has reported that the new cotton top tamarin exhibit has opened.
September 16, 2014: WDWThemeParks.com has posted a photo of the new tamarin exhibit.
August 24, 2014: WDWMagic.com user drew81 has posted photos of the construction of the new Cotton Top Tamarin exhibit near Creature Comforts.
July 24, 2014: WDWMagic.com has posted photos of the construction taking place in Discovery Island. The project involves the removal of the tip board, an expansion to the Disney Outfitters store and a new habitat for the Cotton Top Tamarins.
June 5, 2014: WDWMagic.com has reported that the Disney Outfitters shop will be expanded into the area currently being occupied by the tip board.
January 20, 2014: WDWMagic.com has reported that Creature Comforts will be converted to a quick service dining location in the future. It is expected to close in January of 2015.
October 12, 2013: At the D23 Expo in Tokyo, Disney officially announced a new nighttime show coming to the Animal Kingdom on Discovery River, this would also be accompanied by live entertainment throughout the area.
Creature Comforts, Creature Comforts Shop, Discovery Island, Discovery Island Trails, Discovery Trading Company, Flame Tree Barbecue, Island Mercantile, Nomad Lounge & Cocktail Bar, Pizzafari, The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic, The Tree of Life, The Tree of Life Awakenings, The Tree of Life Exhibits, Tiffins