Details for ‘Wild Africa Trek’ Tour at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Revealed; Bookings Now Available

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Navigating a rickety footbridge over a river chasm can be dicey enough for explorers. In an all-new Disney adventure, what lurks below that bridge may quicken their step to get to the other side: Crocodiles!

A ravine of menacing-looking crocs, pools of hippos, bushwalks along untracked terrain and other thrills await guests on Wild Africa Trek, a unique wildlife experience scheduled to launch in early 2011 into the deepest, most-remote reaches of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

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WDW Refurbs Update: Kouzzina Plus Extended Closures at Animal Kingdom, Saratoga Springs

We have four newly listed refurbishments at the Walt Disney World Resort to share with you.

First up is Kouzzina by Cat Cora at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn. The restaurant will be closed for a couple of weeks beginning on November 29 and re-opening on December 15.

Beginning December 3, the Paddock leisure pool at Disney’s Saratoga Springs DVC Resort will close for an extended refurbishment and is currently scheduled to re-open on June 30, 2011.

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Big Changes Afoot at Disney’s Kilimanjaro Safaris; Potential Refurb in January

This post has officially been dumbed down due to massive complaints about the direction of it previously, so here it is short and sweet.

Strong rumors indicate  that early next year, in either January or February, KJS will be closing for an extensive refurbishment and when it re-opens, it may very well contain no remnants of the storyline it once held.

Currently, guests are set to embark on a two week safari through the savanna aboard SIMBA-1, only to have their trip cut short when other touring vehicles come across signs of poachers.

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Vinylmation: Release Dates for Toy Story, Animal Kingdom, ‘Trade City USA’ Auction

One-of-a-kind 9" Vinylmation Steampunk figure by Chris ChapmanDisney Design Group and Disney Trading have announced several items today via the official Vinylmation blog:

In addition to the Annual Passholder exclusive Mr. Toad 3″ Vinylmation figure being released at the Disneyland Resort on August 27, the Toy Story collection will also be making its debut at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World at D-Street in the Downtown Disney district. The Mr. Toad 3″ vinylmation will be available to annual passholders at Walt Disney World on August 29.

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom Cast Members Get Sick from Parking Lot Fumes

WESH Orlando is reporting that 18 cast members at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World have reported feeling ill today with six being transported to the hospital for care. Fumes as a result of repaving the parking lots were determined to be the source of the problem which had only affected the reporting cast members as they had experienced prolonged exposure to the fumes while working at the parking lot.

The report notes that no guests have reported becoming ill as a result nor has park operations been affected at all according to Reedy Creek officials.

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s Expert Finds Species on Border of Extinction

Cotton-top tamarins at Rafiki's Planet Watch in Disney's Animal Kingdom © DisneyA tiny Colombian primate known for its distinctive punk-rock hairstyle is in imminent danger of extinction, according to new research done by an animal expert at Walt Disney World Resort. The findings paint the clearest picture yet of a dwindling population at risk.

The endangered cotton-top tamarin is found in a small area of northwest Colombia. According to the research featured in the journal Nature Communication, there are now just 7,000 of the species left in the wild.

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Entertainment Schedule for Independence Day at Walt Disney World

Donald Duck, Goofy, Mickey Mouse at the American Adventure on July 4 © Stitch Kingdom. All Rights Reserved.Guests celebrating the Fourth of July at Walt Disney World Resort will have a choice of fireworks shows as Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios present special pyrotechnics, and Epcot adds a patriotic “tag” to its famous “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” spectacular. Here’s what’s in store (entertainment and park hours are subject to change without notice):

  • Magic Kingdom – “Celebrate America Fireworks” will fill the sky at 9 p.m. July 4 (guests who’d like to begin the celebratory weekend a day early can enjoy the special fireworks on July 3 at 9 p.m.). After the fireworks, guests can enjoy Disney’s “Main Street Electrical Parade” of lights, music and magic at 10 p.m. and midnight on July 4 (on July 3, the parade will be at 10:30 p.m.). Park hours on July 4 are 8 a.m.-1 a.m.

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WDW Character Updates: Maidens and Fairies and Bears, Oh My!

Disney Bear in a rare appearance at Walt Disney World © Stitch KingdomOkay, just one of each really.

According to the very reliable character resource WDW Character Hunt, we already have a couple of confirmed additions to the meet & greet character line-up at the Walt Disney World Resort. The site reports that Vidia, who has a much stronger role in the upcoming home video release Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue will begin greeting guests in Pixie Hollow at some point in August.

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Giraffe From Disney’s Animal Kingdom Euthanized at Springfield, MO Zoo

Ten year old Asante, a male giraffe, left Disney’s Animal Kingdom earlier this week, headed for Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield, Missouri. Owned by the San Diego Zoo and loaned out to other zoological parks for breeding purposes, Asante reportedly suffered a broken neck most likely in transit. Upon arrival at the Dickerson Park Zoo, the giraffe had difficulty exiting the trailer and maintaining his balance.

KYTV, Channel 3 in Springfield, MO, has more information on the unfortunate incident including a press release from the Zoo detailing the events that took place.

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Disney Favorites from Travel Channel Arrive on Blu-ray and DVD for First Time

It absolutely never fails. Each time Travel Channel decides to run a block of its Disney-themed program, threads pop up on every Disney fan site message forum and quickly fill with dozens of responses ranging from ‘Thanks for letting us know!’ to ‘I’m watching it!’ to ‘Aww, I wish I would have known’ to the perennial favorite, ‘I’ve got my DVR full of them all!’

That’s why when we heard the news that the Disney Parks oriented programs produced by Lightship Entertainment were finally coming home to DVD and Blu-ray, we could barely contain ourselves and couldn’t wait to be the first to deliver the news.

Distributed by Questar, the Disney Parks collection promises to bring all the secrets, stories and magic from the world’s most beloved vacation destinations: the Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts.

“Disney granted us unprecedented access into their theme parks, resorts, and attractions which has allowed us to present over five hours of programming that reveals incredible information and imagery,” said Andy Perrott, President and Executive Producer of Lightship Entertainment. “Working closely with Disney Parks, we proudly present over five hours of the most definitive collection of insiders information and imagery on Disney’s theme parks, resorts, and attractions.”

There are three different editions available in the Disney Parks collection: A DVD pack consisting of six of the programs; a Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy combo pack featuring three of the programs; and a single-disc edition DVD consisting of two of the programs. In addition to those, Questar has announced an additional special Premier Collection in special gold foil-wrap that will be available exclusively through Disney outlets.

“Questar is truly honored to be the exclusive provider of Disney Theme Park content,” said Kevin Silverman, Vice President, Digital Distribution and Programming at Questar Entertainment.  “This is an exciting start to 2010 and proves that in its 25th year, Questar still has ‘Everything in the World Worth Watching.’”

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