This week at Walt Disney World, we got several updates about projects in the works at Disney's Animal Kingdom, including a new store opening in a few weeks, some FastPass changes and a look at a new restaurant and attraction coming to the park in 2016.
Because there was so much news out of Disney's Animal Kingdom over the past 7 days, we've decided to focus solely on Walt Disney World this week. We'll get back to Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and all the other central Florida parks next week! But for now, let's start with a just-confirmed development...
1. New restaurant finally confirmed for Disney’s Animal Kingdom
We’ve known that Disney has been hard at work converting the back half of Pizzafari into a new table service restaurant for the past few months and now we finally have more details about what we can expect from this new establishment. Named Tiffins, this new signature table service restaurant, will open at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Spring 2016 alongside the Rivers of Light show and nighttime version of Kilimanjaro Safaris. This restaurant will celebrate the art of traveling, and feature a diverse menu featuring items inspired from several places that inspired the creation of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Tiffins will be open for both lunch and dinner, and will feature waterfront views from indoor and outdoor seating areas. Though we don’t know anything about specific dishes or prices, considering Tiffins will be a “signature” dining experience, guests can expect this one to rank somewhere between Be Our Guest and Le Cellier in terms of cost.
2. More details revealed about Rivers of Light
This week Disney also released some new details about Rivers of Light, which has now been confirmed to be opening in Spring 2016 (as previously rumored). This new show will allow guests to commune with mystical hosts who come to the river bearing gifts of light (thus the name). During the show, guests will see the hosts set out from the shore on elaborate lantern vessels for a dramatic dance of water and light in order to summon animal spirits.
You can learn more about this new show in the newly-released video below:
3. Riverside Depot to open soon at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
It looks like work on refurbishing one big part of the shopping area on Discovery Island is just about complete as Disney has confirmed that the Riverside Depot store will officially on Tuesday, December 8, 2015. This new merchandise location will be connected to Disney Outfitters and feature Disney character gifts and souvenirs.
However, work on Discovery Island’s shopping area isn’t complete yet as this new opening sets the stage for Disney Outfitters to close for refurbishment at the beginning of 2016.
4. Holiday meet and greets arrive at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Though you might not immediately associate Disney’s Animal Kingdom with christmas meet and greets, this park is actually one of the best places to meet holiday-themed characters outside of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. From now until the beginning of January guests can meet Mickey and Minnie at Adventurer's Outpost, as well as Chip and Dale at Planet Watch, all dressed in their holiday best. Santa Goofy is even joined by Donald in DinoLand USA in a secluded spot that almost never has a long wait time!
5. Flights of Wonder added to FastPass+ choices
One final note from Disney’s Animal Kingdom this week: bird show Flights of Wonder will be added to the park’s FastPass+ lineup starting later this week on November 25th. This new addition brings the total amount of FastPass+ choices up to 11 for this park.