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Wildlife Wednesdays: Colorful Macaws Take Flight in New Experience Coming This Summer to Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Dr. Mark Penning

by , Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks

I am thrilled to share first with Disney Parks Blog fans news about a new animal experience coming soon to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Stars of the show are flocks of macaws in a kaleidoscope of colors flying over and around the heart of the park — Discovery Island. Brought to you by the fantastic team that inspires and delights guests at our Flights of Wonder show in collaboration with Disney Creative Entertainment, “Winged Encounters — The Kingdom Takes Flight,” will debut this summer.


The macaws, with wingspans up to 60 inches, are now making short flights in the early morning hours at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in preparation for the debut of the new experience, which features six types of macaw: hyacinth, green-winged, blue and gold, scarlet, blue-throated and military.

In addition to seeing these colorful birds in flight, during up-close encounters, avian experts will share conservation stories about the macaws, the majority of which are endangered in their native Central and South America.

Be sure to watch Disney Parks Blog for more information about this new experience in the coming weeks.


  • I know this post was back in May, but I have been searching for information on this as we just returned from our trip a few weeks ago. We had the perfect, right place at the right time scenario as we were standing waiting for a family member when a blue macaw flew right over and landed on the perch that we were standing 5 feet away from!
    This was by far, the highlight of the trip for me as I have never experienced anything as cool and simply amazing as seeing all of those beautiful birds AND having them fly so close by!
    They said it was the first time guests were actually seeing it and they planned to do it more often! Just curious if there is any information on scheduling or the times they plan to do it regularly in the park.

  • So happy to hear that Flights of Wonder will continue – it’s a Must Do for us every year! And this sounds like a wonderful addition to Animal Kingdom – really looking forward to seeing the Macaws in flight!

  • Thank you all for your interest and comments—seeing these macaws in flight will be amazing! Right now, the preparation is primarily taking place before park opening but sometimes Guests can catch a glimpse of the birds as they “rehearse” for the new experience. And we’re pleased to share that the Flights of Wonder show is continuing.

  • Please tell me that this is in addition to keeping Flights of Wonder. I know you refer to seeing them over Discovery Island but I hope it is not replacing FoW.

  • This sounds amazing. I can’t wait to see it this summer!

  • This sounds like it will be a wonderful experience to witness. My husband is a bit of a birder, so I’m looking forward to hearing more about “Winged Encounters.” We have an early summer trip planned, so I’m hoping the experience will have taken flight (pun intended) so I can surprise him with it.

  • Desperately hoping this will be open when we visit in August. So excited by this- my husband and I are big bird lovers! This would be amazing! 😀

  • We saw them this morning at AK during EMH!!!! They were flying back & forth between 2 very high “cherry pickers”! So many beautiful birds!!!!

  • We were hot and tired one day at the AK and just wanted to sit down so we ducked into the Flights of Wonder and LOVED it! I enjoyed more than I ever thought I would. So looking forward to the Macaws – it certainly will be colorful and entertaining.

  • This is going to be a beautiful addition to the park – I love seeing more animals, and I love the kinetic element these colorful and gorgeous birds are going to bring to the park!

  • During a visit to Animal Kingdom last summer, we were passing by the Flights of Wonder area. Handlers were out with two birds (possibly macaws), and they were letting the birds fly to another area of the park and back. It was really cool to see these colorful birds take off through the park and watch people’s reaction as they flew by. Sounds like it’s blossomed into something even bigger!

  • You mention “The macaws …are now making short flights in the early morning hours”. Is this before park opening or could guests actually see this “preparation” phase if we arrived at rope drop?

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