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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Disney may replace one of Animal Kingdom's opening day attractions

Posted By on Wed, Nov 1, 2017 at 10:43 AM

  • Image via OrangeNerd | Instagram
With Disney still reeling from the supposedly lower than expected attendance at Animal Kingdom following the opening of Pandora, there’s been plenty of speculation on how they plan on bumping those attendance numbers up.
2018 will be the 20th Anniversary of the animal-focused theme park, and rumors now point to one of the few opening day attractions being redone in time for the anniversary. The Flights of Wonder show has seen plenty of updates since 1998, but at its core, the show is still very much the same. Now, according to reports some cast members are saying that we may see an entirely new show replace Flights of Wonder in time for the 20th Anniversary of the park in April.
While some have speculated that this may mean the home of the show, the Caravan Stage theater, may be demolished for a new attraction, but the theater just saw a major overhaul last year when a new roof was added. With this recent update, it’s not likely Disney plans to demolish the whole thing, but a new show could be enough to have at least a small and positive impact on overall attendance at the park.

There are plenty of rumors of new attractions coming to the park, but there has been no indication of any major updates coming to the park prior to WDW’s 50th Anniversary celebration in 2021. By then, many industry insiders expect a new nighttime show at Animal Kingdom to replace the poorly reviewed Rivers of Light. A small update to include the characters from Zootopia may also open by 2021. The same level of small updates using pre-existing infrastructure seems to be the plan for the rumored new bird show as well.

Disney partners with a local business, Natural Encounters, that specializes in bird shows for Wonders of Flight. The same company has been doing other smaller bird shows around Animal Kingdom including one where macaws fly untethered across the park in large numbers. These pop-up shows have proven popular, plus with it being a third-party contractor many of the responsibilities surrounding the shows are removed from Disney. This unique partnership has allowed Disney to try new types of bird interactions without significant costs or animal acquisitions.
  • Image via adgart | Instagram

Any updates of Flights of Wonder though would need to involve both Natural Encounters and entertainment in any updates to the show.

No word on if the rumored new show will include the popular African Crowned Crane or the owl that swoops over the crowd during the current show.

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