This week, we’re taking a look at some of the projects at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  There are plenty of construction walls being moved around as little projects continue throughout the park.  We will also be looking at the surrounding area near the new Harambe Theater.  As with everything else in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the details are exceptional.  Of course it wouldn’t be an Animal Kingdom update without pics from the amazing surroundings of the dense jungle. . . Let’s go!


Outside the park is really the only place you can see Avatar construction.  That is, if you CRANE your neck just right.
Welcome to the park!

Big walls up near the bridge to Discovery Island.
Also notice there is no more wait times board!

Again, nothing new to see in terms of Avatar from inside the park.  It’s just too far away to photograph.

I love these statues.
Walls near the Africa entrance as well.

I know I’m quite some time behind, but I have yet to cover the new Harambe Theater in Africa, where the Festival of the Lion King now takes place. Lots of photos incoming.

Details everywhere.

Main entrance.

Only at Animal Kingdom do restrooms look like this.

Overall, I think Disney really nailed this one. The area blends right into the Harambe aesthetic, which is where this show probably should have been from Day One. I love all of the detail that goes into Animal Kingdom, and now its top show finally has a proper home. Even if Avatar turns out to be a flop(which I don’t think it will be), we at least got this out of it!

The stage inside looks almost identical to my eyes to the old theater.
More walls, this time from Africa to Asia.
Tarps up near the Tree of Life.

Walls up at the tough to be a bug exit.

Walls also up near Flame Tree BBQ.
Using the walls as a menu.
More walls near the gift shop across from the BBQ.

I’ve always loved the merchandise at Animal Kingdom, very classy.
Time to head out!

That’s it for this week’s column! What are your thoughts on the new Harambe Theater?  Let us know in the comments!!

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  • tofubeast

    The new theater looks awesome from the outside. I appreciated your pictures of the signage. My husband is a graphic designer and one of his favorite reasons for touring AK is to see all the signs. The theme is just so amazing. I read somewhere else on the internet that they are working on the Tree of Life right now. Hoping that means the tarps will go away sometime soon.

  • CADisney

    Thank you for the update. Any indication whether there will be a connection between Africa and the new Avatar land (by the new bathrooms)? I would assume they will want two ways in and out of the land. Are walls up or any indication of a future connection?

    • WDWorldly

      Yes, beyond those bathrooms there’s a pathway that appears to continue in the direction of Avatarland, but its blocked off by a construction wall.

  • TheBig2na

    The thing I love about the washrooms is that they look so authentic you wouldn’t want to go in them. hahahah. The theatre was blended in so well you would barely notice it is there. I love the look of DAK and the feel when you are there. Even the bottlenecks in Africa when it is busy make it seem like you are in an authentic market in a busy little town. Great photos as always.

  • jcruise86

    Excellent update! Thank you!

    You wrote, “Only at Animal Kingdom do restrooms look like this.”
    You mean intentionally. 🙂

    Looking forward to experiencing the new theater. Hopefully the show will have some new thrills to go with it.

    • thebear

      Good point. I think I’ve seen some like that at magic Mountain 🙁

  • KENfromOC

    AK is truly a beautiful park. It may not have a lot of actual “rides”, but you can get lost visually in all that is has to offer. And easily the most unique merchandise of any WDW park. At the Yak & Yeti Bhaktapur market I got my daughter these little miniature dragons (a set that comes in a clear plastic tube). Very interesting shop that reminded me of the way the Adventureland Bazaar at Disneyland use to be.

    • jcruise86

      ^ ^ This was my wife’s favorite WDW park. We enjoyed listening to some drummers, and I really liked seeing tigers on a trail. She got a purse that even I admit was cool and used that for a decade. Can’t wait to return to this park. I like to follow it with dinner at the Animal Kingdom Lodge to keep the theme going.

  • ayalexander

    Great update. Cory Disbrow, I was wondering if there was a way you could load your photos on your columns with a link to a higher resolution photo, I like to see larger pictures and admire the details of the parks.

  • tcsnwhite

    Cory’s photos are so great, it’s kind of a shame that there isn’t the option to click the photo for a higher res version (like on Dateline Disneyland columns). Perhaps a suggestion, if possible…?

  • disdad70

    Now that they have created a permanent theatre I wonder why they didn’t add backs to the bleacher seating?

  • HeyBaloo

    Thanks Cory. I never get enough of AK photos. I’ve been there a few times, but have traveled all through Asia and Northern Africa; going to AK makes me feel like a rucksack adventurer again. They really did a great job with the “theme building” on that park. I live in San Diego and visit Orlando every few years. I can’t wait for AK to become a full day (and night) park. I’m looking forward to more of your photos.