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Although there has been a big focus in 2014 on the improvement plans for Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is also getting some substantial upgrades in the next few years. Though Disney hasn’t said as much, many of these changes and upgrades are coming to prepare for the massive crowds that are expected to flood the park as a result of the new Pandora – The World of Avatar land. Here are 4 ways that Disney’s Animal Kingdom is changing in the next three years to ensure that this park is ready for 2017. 

1. Harambe Marketplace anchors an expanded Africa

Even with its current level of attendance, one of the most crowded areas at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is Africa. Considering this small area houses two of the most popular attractions at the park (Kilimanjaro Safaris and Festival of the Lion King), it’s not surprising that Disney has confirmed plans to double this area’s size by next year.

A massive quick-service restaurant named Harambe Marketplace will anchor this newly expanded area. This new restaurant will be unique, as it will have several different windows from which guests can order varying styles of African-inspired dishes.   Construction is already underway on this growing area, and work is set to be completed sometime next year. 

2. A new walkway helps relieve congestion

Although Africa is expanding and will be able to hold more people, when guests flood the park in 2017 they’ll need better ways to get in and out of the different areas of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Fortunately, Disney has announced that they will be building a new footbridge that will get guests from Africa to Asia quickly without having to crowd the cramped walkway that goes by the Flights of Wonder stage.

Any guest who has been to Disney’s Animal Kingdom during the peak summer season knows that this is definitely a welcome addition, and will help guests trying to get from Kilimanjaro Safaris to Expedition Everest a faster route, and shouls also encourage guests to spread out a little, hopefully easing crowds. 

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