By far my favorite photo we shared this week on the Disney Parks Blog was of the new baby gorilla that was just born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The yet-to-be-named male gorilla is the fourth to be born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in the park’s history. Too cute!
posted on August 16th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager
posted on August 15th, 2014 by Rachel Daneault, Primate-Carnivore Zoological Manager
Hamjambo! This is a Swahili greeting guests may hear at Disney’s Animal Kingdom as they make their way through Africa to experience the sights, sounds and attractions of the area inspired by the diversity of the country. Another Swahili term is ‘karibuni’ which means welcome. Guests who travel down the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail may be among the first to help welcome the newest member of the gorilla family troop!
The Animal Programs team reported that mom, Azizi, has been doing great with her new baby boy. During the first days of an infant’s life, mom needs to learn how to locomote while the infant clings to her body. Nursing and learning how to cling to mom without assistance are among the first essential skills for this little guy. Usually, within the first week, the infant is clinging with all four limbs and mom may return to quadrapedal locomotion.
As with any new baby, there is a lot of curiosity about the newest member of the group especially from 4 year old, Lilly. Both Azizi and Gino (silverback/dad) have been disciplining her appropriately if she gets too rambunctious. So far, she has touched him gently on the head.
The new baby, which is yet to be named, is the fourth gorilla born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan, which manages genetic diversity among species through detailed records of individual animals. The first gorilla birth at Disney’s Animal Kingdom occurred in 1997 before the park opened, the second baby arrived in 1999 and the third was born in 2010.
Join us in saying ‘karibuni’ to the newest member of the Disney’s Animal Kingdom family!
posted on August 11th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort
Those of you who visit the Disneyland Resort every holiday season know what happens when holidays collide – in two words … Jack Skellington. So it should be no surprise to find one of our favorite Halloweentown characters on our Alex and Ani bangles.
So treat yourself, as this is no trick, and get ready for Halloween a little early this year. Look for the new Jack Skellington bangle starting today at the following Disney Parks locations or online.
- Disney California Adventure park – Elias & Co.
- Disneyland park – New Century Jewelry
- Downtown Disney District – Disney Vault 28 and World of Disney Store
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Disney Outfitters
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort – Bayview Gifts
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Once Upon a Time
- Downtown Disney Marketplace – Tren-D and World of Disney Store
- Epcot – Heritage Manor Gifts and Mouse Gear
- Magic Kingdom Park – Uptown Jewelers
Online – Shop Now!
So what comes after fall and Halloween? Winter of course! Just like Elsa, the cold never bothered me anyway, and these “Frozen”-inspired bangles, featuring Anna and Elsa are bound to be hot! Look for them in stores and online beginning September 8.
posted on August 11th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer
If you’re headed to Disney’s Animal Kingdom for an early-morning safari, here are delicious new reasons to wait and have breakfast at the park.
Just for grown-ups, we’ll start with four new morning pick-me-ups at Dawa Bar in Harambe Village, all inventive variations on the classic brunch cocktail, the Bloody Mary. The Discovery Island Bloody Mary is Grey Goose Vodka, Bloody Mary mix, lime juice and olive juice, garnished with parsley and a skewer of mozzarella cheese, tomato, basil and stuffed olive. The Dawa Bloody Mary kicks up the heat level with Worcestershire sauce and horseradish, and is garnished with fresh basil and a skewer of truffle and blue cheese-stuffed olive and prosciutto. The Asian Bloody Mary adds spicy kimchee-sriracha puree and is garnished with Asian slaw (cucumber, carrot, daikon radish) and tandoori shrimp. Finally, the African Bloody Mary is finished with spicy African berbere sauce and garnished with berbere-rubbed beef jerky, celery stalk, carrot and parsley.
All four drinks are $9.50.
At Pizzafari in Discovery Island, our favorite new healthful breakfast is the Ancient Hot-Grain Cereal, a hearty bowl of oatmeal, barley and quinoa simmered with spices and topped with salted caramel crumble ($3.99).
Also at Pizzafari, the new multi-grain breakfast croissant is stuffed with egg whites, fresh spinach, provolone cheese and vegetable chutney, with a side of breakfast potatoes ($7.49); the hearty breakfast burrito has a filling of scrambled eggs, sausage, peppers, cheese and salsa ($6.49). The kids’ breakfast pizza starts with a flatbread that’s topped with scrambled egg, chopped bacon and Cheddar cheese ($4.99); the kids’ breakfast platter is a generous combo of scrambled eggs, turkey sausage, breakfast potatoes and multigrain hot cereal ($4.99).
The breakfast offerings at Pizzafari are part of the Disney Dining Plan.
posted on August 4th, 2014 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer
Coffee fans, rejoice! Joffrey’s Coffee and Tea Company is introducing nine new coffees – Disney Parks and Resorts Specialty Coffee Collection, a collaboration with Joffrey’s head roastmaster and some of the top Disney chefs.
We love the pretty packaging almost as much as the 100 percent Specialty Grade Arabica coffee. From Walt Disney World Resort, there’s a new coffee for Tusker House Restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, The Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, The Wave … of American Flavors and California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Cítricos and Narcoossee’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. At Disneyland Resort, both Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel have their own special coffees.
Best of all, since you can’t wake up at Disney every morning, you can order the special blends online at http://www.joffreys.com/DisneyParksandResorts.
Based in Tampa, Fla., Joffrey’s was one of the first specialty roasters in Florida, and their relationship with Disney began in 1995 with a single kiosk at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park at Walt Disney World Resort.
posted on July 30th, 2014 by Russ J. Stacey, Writer, Yellow Shoes Creative Group
When was the last time you looked at a billboard — I mean really looked? Ever spot a facet of one that you missed at first glance? Something that made it pop?
When it comes to Disney theme park billboards, bet you didn’t realize all that’s entailed into making them so exceptional, filled with sly references and artfully hidden gems. Well, those creative whizzes at Disney’s Yellow Shoes Creative Group know how to ensure they don’t just look amazing and enticing, but also tell a story. But why go the extra mile?
“We hope to remind guests of how much fun they had on the attractions or that they create a sense of anticipation to want to go on them if they haven’t,” explains Yellow Shoes Senior Art Director Steve Carsella. “Having all the details in the billboards is in line with a Disney theme park experience by adding something special wherever you look.”
For instance, on one of the latest Expedition Everest billboards, subtle yet oh-so-clever tidbits include the Yeti’s footprints in what looks like random texture in the snow, an authentic Tibetan carving embedded in the “T” in the word “EVEREST” and the Yeti’s shadow disguised as a rock cropping. Meanwhile, a new Twilight Zone Tower of Terror board includes a falling brick that is actually an old-timey radio that’s a prop from the attraction’s queue and a Hidden Mickey stamped on another brick.
When designing and implementing billboards, there are general creative tenets that are taken into consideration, of course. Does it accurately depict the attraction? Is it readable? Does it feel cinematic? Are there strong details that don’t impede the message? But it takes that Disney magic of adding just enough originality and ingenuity that assures they are always surprising, dynamic and uncommon.
“I think it follows in the steps of Walt himself to pay attention to the details and to offer our guests something out of the ordinary,” Steve says.
So now that you know, maybe next time you’ll take the time to appreciate all the thought and effort that go into Disney billboards. Just wait until it’s safe to check them out!
posted on July 28th, 2014 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort
Wondering what merchandise events are headed your way this August at Walt Disney World Resort? Take a look!
July 30 – August 3: Looking for the opportunity to meet artist Greg McCullough? Greg will be appearing at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace, July 30 – August 3 and again from August 20 – 24. Planning to visit Epcot, August 13 – 17? Great! Look for additional appearances by Greg at their Art of Disney, throughout the day. Learn more.
August 7 - Meet Disney’s “Planes: Fire & Rescue” director/co-writer Bobs Gannaway from 3 – 4 p.m. at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace, as he signs some of the new “Planes: Fire & Rescue” merchandise available at Disney Parks. Learn more.
August 7 – 11: Find the latest releases from Precious Moments doll designer and artist Linda Rick at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Learn more.
August 14 – 17: Keep an eye out! Renowned artist David E. Doss will be appearing daily at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Stop in and find a new piece of art to add to your collection! Learn more.
August 14 – 17: It’s time for you to check out the latest releases from international artist Larry Dotson, who will be appearing throughout the day at Main Street Cinema in Magic Kingdom Park. Learn more.
August 23: Keep an eye out for spellbinding commemorative T-shirts and more as part of the “Villains Unleashed” event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Remember, a separate ticket is required to attend this event. If you are thinking of going, purchase tickets now at www.DisneyVillainsParty.com or by calling 407.939.1933.
August 29: Be sure to pick up a copy of Tinker Bell: An Evolution, a full biography about everyone’s favorite fiery fairy by author Mindy Johnson. Mindy will appear at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace from 3 – 4 p.m., alongside special guest and Disney Legend, Alice Davis. Tip: Also being released during the event is Marc Davis: Walt Disney’s Renaissance Man. Learn more.
It’s also your last chance to get your ticket to Disney Trade Celebration 2014 – Imagination Gala taking place at World ShowPlace in Epcot, September 5 – 7. A limited number of tickets are still available, so sign up for the Pin and Vinylmation Showcase Packages today! Tip: Keep watching www.DisneyParksMerchandise.com as we release details about this year’s Silent Auction lots. Learn more.
There’s one last thing I couldn’t resist showing you. Here is a sneak peek at the next hand-painted Ink & Paint Cel debuting at the Animation Gallery in Disney’s Hollywood Studios on September 27, 2014. This limited release titled “Summertime Pals” is so cool, you won’t be able to resist it. Not able to make it to the event? Disney Event Services is taking pre-orders via www.disneyurl.com/CelPreOrder now through September 25, 2014 at 5 p.m. EDT. Learn more.
Are you ready for these events and more?
posted on July 12th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager
Harambe Nights includes “The Lion King Concert in the Wild,” a retelling of “The Lion King” that features a celebrity narrator, live orchestra, choir and more. The evening event also features a welcome reception and the post-show street party that features Afro-pop music, performers, a buffet and more. Check out the gallery above for some additional photos we’ve never shared from the event.
Have you enjoyed Harambe Nights this year? If so, tell us what you liked about it in the “Comments” section below!
posted on July 10th, 2014 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment
We’re halfway through the 10-week run of Harambe Nights, our new special event at Disney’s Animal Kingdom celebrating the 20th anniversary of “The Lion King.” Guests have been raving about the African-inspired cuisine, the street party entertainment, the celebrity narrators, and the live orchestra and choir for “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild.”
Held inside the newly built Harambe Theatre, “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild” is a 55-minute theatrical experience created exclusively for Harambe Nights and completely different from the “Festival of the Lion King” show presented during the daytime. In fact, today we have for you a unique look at how the Harambe Theatre is transformed from day to night, as our Entertainment team sets the stage for “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild.”
From Viola Davis to David Alan Grier, each celebrity narrator who has participated in “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild” has brought his or her own unique talent and passion to the performance. The lineup of narrators features stars from movies, TV, and Broadway. Scheduled to appear on upcoming nights are*:
- 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”
The first five weeks of Harambe Nights were all sold out, but great seats are still available for each of the remaining dates in July and August. You’ll need to act fast, though! Tickets are $119 for adults, $79 for ages 3-9, plus tax. Your ticket includes parking, a welcome reception with drinks and hors d’oeuvres, “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild” show, two hours of additional live entertainment during the Harambe Nights Street Party, and an abundant dinner buffet. For tickets, visit Disneyworld.com/HarambeNights or call 407-939-1319.
For an even more in-depth look at “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild,” follow the links below to our previous stories here on Disney Parks Blog.
(*Entertainment subject to change)
Wildlife Wednesday: Myth Busters – When’s the Best Time to See Your Favorite Animals at Disney’s Animal Kingdom?
posted on July 9th, 2014 by Katie Leighty, Ph.D., Science Operations Manager
It’s no secret that a highlight of visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the opportunity to see plenty of beautiful animals! Over the years, a commonly shared “tip” has been to get to the park early because animals are more likely to be seen in the morning. Our Science Operations Team set out to test that tip by recording animal visibility throughout the day.
Hypothesis (Myth): Animals are more likely to be seen in the morning.
The researchers separated the park into five areas to include Kilimanjaro Safaris Ride, Discovery Island/Tree of Life, Oasis Gardens, Pangani Forest Trail, and Maharajah’s Jungle Trek. In these areas, they collect visibility data at several different times of the day on almost all of the animals including Giant Anteater, White Stork, Giraffe, Ostrich, Tiger, Elephant and Gorilla. The research team has been monitoring animal visibility in this fashion since the park opened in 1998 and they now have an amazing archive of information on how the animal viewing experience in the park has changed over the years.
For this analysis, the team’s observational data were recorded and used to calculate an “average visibility” for each species at each time of day. These statistics were then compared to determine if there was in fact an increased chance of animal visibility at a certain time during the day. Analyses of data from the past several years all reveal the same finding…
Conclusion (and myth busted): Time of day does not significantly change the probability of spotting animals.
Translation — You can sleep in and still have a great, animal-filled day!
**On your next visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, be sure to pick up an Animal Guide to help you discover the animals in each area of the Park. You can even become a Wilderness Explorer by completing challenges and earning adventure badges throughout your day!