New Attractions Coming to Animal Kingdom in 2016

Last week I let you guys know about some of the changes coming to Hollywood Studios. This week I’ve got to tell you that I’m more than just a little excited about the new attractions coming to Animal Kingdom in 2016. They are building an entire new section based on Pandora, the world of Avatar. Here is a short video from Disney on some of the upcoming changes.

Rivers of Light

The hours at Animal Kingdom will be changing as well which will allow the part to have a night time show called Rivers of Light.

New Rivers of Light Nighttime Show Artist Rendering
Disney Artist Rendering

Rivers of Light will not be a fireworks show like wishes. It will be a combination of a live performance and water screens, similar to Fantasmic over at Hollywood Studios.

Here’s what Imagineer Joe Rohde had to say about it:

This is going to be a ceremonial event that will happen on our lake. It takes the idea of the special nature of the animals that are in this park and turns it into a celebration of the beauty of these animals. It starts simply and humbly, continues to unfold and grow as bigger and more elaborate lanterns appear, and then huge curtains of water and light emerge from the water with animals within them. And ultimately it takes off into the sky.

Sunset Kilimanjaro Safaris

There will also be a new way to experience the Kilimanjaro Safaris: after dark. Hyenas and wild African dogs will be added to the attraction that will only be visible at night. I actually got word that the hyenas arrived a few weeks ago. I’m hoping to catch a glimpse of them while we’re down there in a few weeks.

This may change how you plan to enjoy this attraction. I have always been an advocate of doing Kilimanjaro Safaris first thing in the morning because it is when the animals are most active. It also gives you your best chance at seeing a lion.

A Lion at Disney's Animal Kingdom Kilimanjaro Safaris

Now that they will be open at night, you may have a good chance to see a lion then as well. I’ll have to take a hard look at our planning guide as some of these new attractions become available.


According to Disney, the new Tiffins restaurant at Animal Kingdom will draw inspiration from the places that inspired the creation of the park. It will be located on the water and have indoor and outdoor seating. I’m also guessing that it will be a good place to view Rivers of Light from.

New Tiffins Restaurant at Animal Kingdom Artist Rendering
Disney Artist Rendering

I read that this may wind up being a Disney Signature restaurant but I’ve not found a Disney source to confirm that. Whether it is or not, it will be a welcome addition to the dining options at Animal kingdom.

Which of the new attractions coming to Animal Kingdom in 2016 are you most excited about? Let me know in the comments below.

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