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First Look At Harambe Nights Only At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park

Disney’s Animal Kingdom played host to the first of 10 Harambe Nights special events, and it was incredible! From the mouthwatering menu and that super addictive Lion Chow to DJ Khalifa and the Harambe Nights Band, with so many wonderful parts of the evening it could be difficult to pick a favorite. The crown jewel of the evening was the performance of “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild.”

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This 55-minute retelling of “The Lion King” story is like nothing guests have experienced before. Animated sequences on screens in the theater ebb and flow seamlessly with music, dance, and spoken word, all performed in the spirit and style of African cultural traditions. In one moment, a classic scene from the film plays out to a live underscore provided by a 25-piece orchestra.

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In another, a 16-voice choir of Harambe villagers steps up to sing as spirit dancers gracefully assume the roles of animals and other characters to help carry the tale forward. And it doesn’t get any more authentic than when Sangoma, the mystic shaman, commands the stage speaking in his native African tongue.

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Harambe Nights continues every Saturday evening through August 9, 2014, from 7 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. Each night, a celebrity narrator joins the villagers of Harambe for their performance of “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild.” The lineup of guest narrators features acclaimed and award-winning actors and actresses from film, TV, and Broadway, each bringing their own passion for “The Lion King” story. Scheduled to appear*:

  • June 14 – Avery Brooks: “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” “American History X”
  • June 21 – Montego Glover: “The Following,” “Memphis”
  • June 28 – David Alan Grier: “Porgy & Bess,” “In Living Color”
  • July 5 – Michael Beach: “ER,” “Third Watch,” “Sons of Anarchy”
  • July 12 – Harry Lennix: “The Blacklist,” “The Five Heartbeats”
  • July 19 – Joe Morton: “Scandal,” “American Gangster,” “The Good Wife”
  • July 26 – Alfre Woodard: “Desperate Housewives,” “Miss Evers Boys”
  • August 2 – Brian Stokes Mitchell: “Ragtime,” “Trapper John, M.D.,” “Glee”
  • August 9 – Patina Miller: “Pippin,” “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1”

(*Entertainment subject to change)

A limited number of tickets is still available for each of the remaining nights. Tickets are $119 for adults, $79 for ages 3-9, plus tax, and include parking, a Welcome Reception, “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild,” two hours of additional live entertainment during the Harambe Nights Street Party, and abundant food and drinks throughout the evening.

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For tickets, make sure you contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner.


Celebrate the Grandest Tales and Tastes of Africa During Harambe Nights at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of “The Lion King,” Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park will host Harambe Nights every Saturday evening June 7-Aug. 9, 2014.

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The journey begins with a Welcome Reception in the park’s Harambe Village where you will savour mouth-watering appetizers and African-inspired wine and beer. Then, it’s time for the “mane” event – an unforgettable performance of “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild.”

Bringing to life the story of Simba, this brand-new theatrical experience features a live orchestra and choir, dancers, digitally projected movie moments, as well as dramatic lighting and scenic elements – all hosted by a celebrity guest narrator.

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The lineup of celebrity narrators features stars from stage and screen. Scheduled to appear are*:

  • June 7 – Viola Davis (“The Help,” “Ender’s Game”)
  • June 14 – TBD
  • June 21 – Montego Glover (“The Following,” “Memphis”)
  • June 28 – David Alan Grier (“Porgy & Bess,” “In Living Color”)
  • July 5 – Michael Beach (“ER,” “Third Watch,” “Sons of Anarchy”)
  • July 12 – Harry Lennix (“The Blacklist,” “The Five Heartbeats”)
  • July 19 – Joe Morton (“Scandal,” “American Gangster,” “The Good Wife”)
  • July 26 – Alfre Woodard (“Desperate Housewives,” “Miss Evers Boys”)
  • Aug. 2 – Patina Miller (“Pippin,” The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1”)
  • Aug. 9 – Brian Stokes Mitchell (“Ragtime,” “Trapper John M.D.,” “Glee”)

*Entertainment subject to change.

After the show, the celebration continues with Harambe Nights Street Party. Guests can move to the beat as they enjoy an all-inclusive buffet of sophisticated and flavorful African cuisine and gourmet desserts. Disney Characters will be on hand as they show off their wild side. Plus, exclusive Lion King merchandise will be available for purchase during the event.

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The evening concludes with a special finale that could only happen at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park.

Harambe Nights takes place every Saturday from June 7-Aug. 9, 2014. The Welcome Reception begins at 7 p.m. and the “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild” starts at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $119 for adults, $79 for ages 3-9, plus tax. Tickets with premium floor seating are $134 for adults, $94 for ages 3-9, plus tax. Theme park admission is included for the special event only. All attractions, entertainment and other offerings outside of the designated event area will not be available.

Advance reservations are highly recommended. Capacity is limited. Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Agent to book your Harambe Nights tickets today!


Part of Your World: ‘The Little Mermaid’ Wing of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Opens September 15

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, which immerses guests in the stories of “Cars,” “Finding Nemo” and “The Lion King,” will celebrate the opening of “The Little Mermaid” courtyard this Saturday, September 15.

I recently had the opportunity to stay in the “Cars” courtyard for my son’s birthday, and the level of detail our Imagineers went to to recreate the places and characters from these films is simply amazing! Not to mention that the family suites offer three different sleeping areas, two bathrooms, and a kitchenette – plenty of room for a birthday party!

Here’s a look inside each of the resort’s four courtyards.

The Little Mermaid’ Wing of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Opens September 15

The Little Mermaid courtyard offers 864 standard rooms, which are decorated in perfect “Under the Sea” style. Outside, the area features large icons of Ariel, Flounder, Ursula, and King Triton, among others, plus a Flippin’ Fins pool.

The Finding Nemo courtyard offers 320 family suites, an impressive Big Blue Pool and a kids’ water play area. Character icons that can’t be missed here include Nemo, Marlin, Crush and Mr. Ray.

The Cars courtyard

If your kids loved the movie “Cars,” this is a not-to-be-missed trip through Radiator Springs. The Cars courtyard offers 480 family suites, and on your journey to your room, you’re sure to pass the Cozy Cone Motel, Tow Mater Towing & Salvage, the Wheel Well Motel and other nods to the film.

The Lion King courtyard, which offers 320 family suites, allows guests to embark on a journey through Africa with Simba and friends. Here guests can visit Pride Rock, watch Timon and Pumbaa dance “hakuna matata” style across a log bridge, and more.

Which area of the resort looks most intriguing to you? Tell us in the “comments” section below!

 

 

VIDEO: Discover All the Wings of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

Now that the Lion King Wing of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort it open we thought we would take a look back at some of the recent videos leading up to this point. Explore each one of these videos to discover all the exciting details Walt Disney World’s newest Resort Hotel has to offer.

The story begins here in the Finding Nemo Wing. In addition to offering family suites, the Finding Nemo wing features the largest resort swimming pool on property – complete with an underwater soundtrack. Check it out dudes and dudettes!

Guests with larger families now have a new place to stay, swim and sleep at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida. The all-new family suites at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort can accommodate up to six people, providing just the right amount of extra room to spread out. Check out this video to see the ingenious way a dining table converts into a nifty bed!

The new “Cars” wing at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort lets you sleep as well as play in the world of Lightning McQueen and his high-octane pals. The family suites also provide extra room to spread out. Take a look!

You can have a roarin’ good time at “The Lion King” wing now open at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida. Sleeping up to six people, these family suites are magical spaces featuring favorite characters and lots of hidden details. Check out the paws!

Walt’s Legacy of Protecting the Environment is Part of the Story at New Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, including the just opened Lion King wing, taps into Disney’s rich legacy of beloved characters and stories. It also taps into another part of the Disney legacy; a commitment to conservation and the environment that began with our company’s founder, Walt Disney, and is a key focus of our present and future.

Disney's Art of Animation Resort is Committed to Walt’s Legacy of Protecting the Environment

 A few of the environmental enhancements at the new resort include:

  • The opportunity for guests to help save wildlife and nature by contributing to the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund.
  • Energy-saving LED lighting in the Ink & Paint Shop, the resort’s merchandise shop, and other areas of the resort.

Disney's Art of Animation Resort is Committed to Walt’s Legacy of Protecting the Environment

  • Reusable plates and utensils in the Landscape of Flavors food court.
  • Recycle bins in key locations in the resort’s public areas (the most for any resort on property) and, of course, recycle bins in every guest room.
  • Environmental information integrated into cast members’ overall training and guidelines.

Disney's Art of Animation Resort is Committed to Walt’s Legacy of Protecting the Environment

Walt Disney World Resort maintains the state of Florida’s Green Lodging designation for all of its resort hotels. Disney’s BoardWalk Inn was among the first resorts in Florida to receive the designation when the program launched in 2004. As our newest resort, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will be undergoing the process required to achieve this designation after the final wing of the resort, themed after “The Little Mermaid,” opens in September. To achieve the Green Lodging designation, resorts must focus on five categories: water conservation, education and awareness, waste reduction, energy conservation and indoor air quality.

Vacationers Enjoy “Hakuna Matata” at New “Lion King” Family Suites

Opening Day at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

The Pride Lands of Africa is the scenic setting for the “Lion King,” the third phase of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort opening today at Walt Disney World Resort.  The new Lion King wing celebrates the journey of Simba, with landscapes and theming that reflect playful and poignant scenes from the Academy Award-winning Walt Disney Pictures animated film “The Lion King.”

New “Lion King” Family Suites at Disney's Art of Animation Resort

In the new Lion King wing, guests embark on a journey through Africa with encounters with characters and scenic moments from the film classic at every turn. King Mufasa towers atop Pride Rock while his evil brother Scar slinks in the shadows beyond the elephant graveyard. There’s Pumbaa and Timon with a young Simba dancing across a log bridge in true carefree “hakuna matata” fashion. Scar’s crazed and comical hyenas “guard” the elephant graveyard, a fun area sure to delight youngsters.

New “Lion King” Family Suites at Disney's Art of Animation Resort

Beneath the watchful eyes of Banzai, Shenzi and Ed, the comical hyenas in Disney’s “The Lion King,” guests channel their inner lion cub while visiting the elephant graveyard in the Lion King courtyard

New “Lion King” Family Suites at Disney's Art of Animation Resort

The storytelling comes to life inside the 320 family suites. Zazu takes center stage on the headboards while Pumbaa and Timon decorate the shower curtain. Youngsters can rest on a leaf-shaped chair or sleep alongside Simba who slumbers at the head of one of the beds.

New “Lion King” Family Suites at Disney's Art of Animation Resort

The Lion King wing marks the third in the four-phase opening of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. Earlier this summer, 320 “Finding Nemo” family suites and 480 “Cars” family suites opened. Each of four distinctly designed wings of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort celebrates rich storytelling, spirited characters, original sketches and playfulness with colorful icons and whimsical theming inspired by classic Disney and Disney•Pixar films.

New “Lion King” Family Suites at Disney's Art of Animation Resort

Zazu invites guests to enter the Pride Lands of Africa, the focal point of the Lion King wing at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.

New “Lion King” Family Suites at Disney's Art of Animation Resort

Timon, Pumbaa and Simba take a stroll through the courtyard of the new Lion King wing at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.

New “Lion King” Family Suites at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

The whimsical property, situated adjacent to Disney’s Pop Century Resort, offers rates from $248 per night. The 1,120 family suites include two bathrooms, a kitchenette and three separate sleeping areas that can sleep up to six. The 864 standard rooms at the “Little Mermaid” wing, opening in September, will sleep up to four, with rates as low as $94.

Construction Crews at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Celebrate “Topping Out”

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Disney Art of Animation Resort Topping Off

The hundreds of people who are building Disney’s Art of Animation Resort from the ground up gathered to mark the project’s “topping out.”

The “topping out” is a special moment that typically occurs in the construction and engineering industry when the highest piece of structure, either steel or concrete, is placed on the building’s frame. The tradition dates back to the Vikings, who would place an evergreen tree on the top of a building to celebrate and bring good luck.

At the construction site for Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, a crane helped lift the traditional evergreen to the roof of a building that will soon be part of the Lion King wing of the resort hotel.

“The hundreds of people we have working on Disney’s Art of Animation Resort are doing an amazing job helping us build a resort hotel that will really delight our guests,” said Gary Hoffmann, senior project manager for Walt Disney Imagineering. “The traditional topping out is an important milestone on a project that continues to run on schedule for an opening just ten months from now.”

In size and scope the construction of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is a major project at Walt Disney World Resort, creating upwards of 800 construction jobs. Once open in 2012, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will also create 750 permanent resort hotel jobs.

Walt Disney World Resort features 25 uniquely themed, Disney owned-and-operated resort hotels with more than 26,000 guest rooms – something for every taste and budget. Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will likewise be unique, with themed building exteriors and room interiors that bring to life The Lion King, Cars, Finding Nemo and The Little Mermaid.

Finding Nemo, Cars and The Lion King buildings will be entirely family suites, with 1,120 suites between them. The Little Mermaid buildings will feature 864 rooms in the “value” room category.

The construction of family suites at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is an innovative approach to a changing marketplace. Today more and more multi-generational families are traveling together for various celebrations, including family reunions. These families not only want to play together, they want to stay together, which has created tremendous demand for family suites.

The first wing of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Finding Nemo, is scheduled to open in May 2012.

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Walt Disney World Tiki Room Reopening Slated for August 15th 2011

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The Sunshine Pavilion, featuring a show variously known as “Tropical Serenade” and “The Enchanted Tiki Birds,” debuted on Oct. 1, 1971, in Magic Kingdom. In 1998, following substantial refurbishment, it re-launched as The Enchanted Tiki Room-Under New Management, with two famous Disney birds – Iago from Aladdin and Zazu from The Lion King– taking control and trying to spruce up the show.

Now the “new management” has been let go and the future of the Adventureland landmark is in the wings and wit of José, Fritz, Michael and Pierre – four crooning parrot hosts who have been entertaining guests at California’s Disneyland since 1963 in The Enchanted Tiki Room. Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, as the Magic Kingdom attraction now will be called, is being prepared for the premiere (tentatively on Aug. 15, 2011) of a show that will pay tribute to the Disneyland original – notable in theme park history for ushering in sophisticated Audio-Animatronics technology.

Prior to 1963, Walt Disney’s creative team had produced movable figures, but none had the sophistication of the bird-brained cast of the Tiki Room. José, Fritz, Michael and Pierre produce movements when solenoid coils hidden inside receive signals recorded onto magnetic tape and are regarded as the first “true” Audio-Animatronics figures.

They introduce a musical presentation by more than 200 birds, flowers and tikis. Even the audience gets into the act, joining in during the musical ditty “Let’s All Sing Like the Birdies Sing.”

While the show is steeped in tradition and maintains the original intent created by Walt Disney and his original team of Imagineers, Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room will feature the latest in technology – a state of the art show-control system, remastered audio, and a new versatile and energy efficient lighting system.

The attraction has shows throughout Magic Kingdom operating hours.

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Disney Imagineer Sculpts King Triton for New Art of Animation Resort

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Triton Sculpture Disney Art of Animation

A SCULPTURE FIT FOR A KING: Disney Imagineer Joni Van Buren sculpts a model of King Triton from Disney’s animated classic “The Little Mermaid.” King Triton, in his final form, will be 35-feet-tall and tower over guests at Disney Parks newest resort hotel, “Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.” The new resort at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. will feature themed building exteriors and room interiors that bring to life famous Disney and Disney-Pixar animated feature films like “The Lion King,” “Cars,” “Finding Nemo” and “The Little Mermaid.” Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is expected to open by the end of 2012 and reservations are now being accepted!

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Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and Royal Guest Rooms Can Now Be Booked for Vacations in 2012

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Royal Rooms Disney Port orleans

Two new ways for guests of Walt Disney World Resort to live like their favorite Disney characters can now be booked for 2012 vacations. Building on the success of Pirate Rooms at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, new “Disney Story Rooms” – Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and the Royal Guest Rooms at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort-Riverside — are under construction.

Opening in early spring 2012, the Royal Guest Rooms at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort-Riverside allow princes and princesses of all ages to stay where Disney royalty have stayed. Guests find regal touches left behind by some of their favorite Disney characters – fiber optics special effects above ornately decorated beds, gold and crystal accents, custom linens and drapes, and in-room art and details including Princely banners and Princess friends. The 512 Royal Guest Rooms start at $189 per night.

Walt Disney World guests also can now book rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, a brand new Walt Disney World Value resort opening in phases beginning early summer 2012. Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will immerse guests in their favorite Disney stories — including Disney• Pixar’s Finding Nemo and Cars as well as Walt Disney Pictures’ The Lion King and The Little Mermaid.

The one-of-a-kind resort will feature more than 800 standard guest rooms and more than 1,100 family suites (which sleep up to six people) at its completion. Standard rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort start at $94 per night and family suites start at $248 per night. Walt Disney World guests have more than 20 uniquely-themed resort hotels from which to choose – something for just about every taste, family size and budget. Walt Disney World resort hotels offer convenient transportation and access to Walt Disney World theme parks and other entertainment options.

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