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Rafiki’s Planet Watch Reopens this Summer at Disney’s Animal  Kingdom

Scott Terrell

by , DVM, DACVP, Director of Animal & Science Operations, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts

Like many of you, I have a soft spot in my heart for Rafiki’s Planet Watch at Disney’s Animal  Kingdom. So, I’m delighted to announce that Rafiki’s Planet Watch, the Affection Section and the Wildlife Express will fully reopen this summer. The area will include a few new enhancements and join the celebration of all things “The Lion King.”

Rafiki’s Planet Watch will still include the animal encounters our guests love, as well as new experiences that draw from Disney’s rich heritage of wildlife animation, featuring a celebration of “The Lion King.” We cherish this special place where our guests and cast members can connect to the magic of nature and see the importance Disney places on animal care and conservation in our parks and around the world.

In the spirit of taking a page from “The Lion King,” Hakuna Matata! We’ll share more updates soon.


  • WOOO

    I just found an article saying it was closed, and then found this one to say it was Open. I like open better. Thank you Mickey.

  • Can you provide an update with a more specific target opening date? Summer 2019 is rather vague for planning purposes.

    Thank You!

  • PLEASE tell me you’re keeping the 3D-audio “Song of the Rainforest”!
    (My favorite best-kept-secret when taking park-skeptics to Animal Kingdom.)

  • Hoping for May! We visit mid-May and it’s a family favorite!

  • On what date will it reopen?

  • This is certainly good news! I always enjoyed Planet Watch and the cast members that work there.
    I’m looking forward to visiting again on our next trip. One experience I particularly enjoyed was a cast member bringing out a small animal to see up close and they provided information on them. Hope they will continue to provide this experience.

  • I have always loved visiting the Planet Watch for many reasons. First – as a Biology and Environmental Science teacher, the experience of seeing the vet hospital, and food prep area, seeing all of the aquariums of animals, and getting to talk to the people who work with the animals really excited me. I liked a feature that they used to have there where you could walk up to touch screens and get information and projects about wildlife that you could do at your home to bring nature closer to you. I might even still have a few of the printouts from then. I am looking forward to this reopening and visiting once again on my next vacation.

  • Is the Lion King Celebration the one that is currently in the park but will move or is it something additional?

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