Walt Disney World (FL)

Kite Tails Soars at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Share This!

I haven’t been this happy experiencing a new attraction at Walt Disney World in years. I mean sure, I’ve been more emotional (Happily Ever After) and more awed (Rise of the Resistance), but it took a quick fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants kite show to get me to feel some good old-fashioned happy.

Kite Tails is a 10-ish minute performance that takes place six times per day (weather permitting) at Disney’s Animal Kingdom lagoon.

The first half of the show is loosely based on Finding Nemo. This section takes place on the lower levels of the amphitheater seating, with puppeteers (kiteteers?) moving colorful kites in swoops and bobs before and sometimes above the audience. The kites are lovely and hoisted joyfully by skilled performers.

My favorite aspect of the Nemo bit is when the performers grab bouquets of baby turtle kites and offer them to kids in the audience – allowing them to briefly become part of the show. Something about the pep of the music and riot of color made most kids comfortable enough to jump up to participate on their own. Very little parental goading was needed.

The second half of the show is guys on jet skis driving in circles holding character-themed kites. These kites have shape and volume. They’re not quite Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade gigantic, but if you picture that you’ll be in the minor league version of that ballpark.

I’ve seen two different versions of the show, one featuring Jungle Book music and characters and one featuring Lion King music and characters. Both employ the same types of props and style of performance and both will have you smiling throughout. It doesn’t much matter which you see, but if you have a particular preference for one set of songs over the other, you can ask cast members at the attraction which will be happening during each performance slot.

The thing about these kites is that there is no air of importance; there is no dark villain interlude; the music is not arranged into a ponderous minor key; and no there serious message about conservation or world peace. This is no after school special – it’s a giant floppy bear being dragged through the air by a dude on a tiny waterbound motorcycle thing. It’s gleeful and goofy (with a lower case g and a capital OOF).

Adding to the energy is the very real chance that something could go amiss. Kite in the water! Kite in a tree! The crowd wants the kites to fly high, but if they happen to smash headfirst into the lake, well that’s kinda cool too. That sense of “maybe we don’t know exactly what will happen” is something sorely missing from Disney entertainment, which is usually practiced and polished with unvarying precision.

Without a hint of irony, I profess my love.

KiteTails is silly and messy and wholesome. And I truly want it to stick around.

Would you like to see this show? Let us know in the comments.

You May Also Like...

Erin Foster

Erin Foster is an original member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel (now PlanDisney), a regular contributor to TouringPlans.com, and co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line. She's been to WDW, DL, DL Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Aulani, DVC Vero Beach, and DVC Hilton Head. She's a Platinum DCL cruiser and veteran of 10 Adventures by Disney trips. Erin lives near New York City, where she can often be found indulging in her other obsession - Broadway theater.

5 thoughts on “Kite Tails Soars at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

  • At first the videos I saw had me thinking, “Lame!” Only the 5 and under set would like it. Then I realized that’s perfectly ok. I’m glad there is something so pure and simple and joyful for them! And for anyone who wants something less structured and polished.

  • Finally someone that gets it! Online it’s being compared to the multi million dollar spectaculars. When we saw it, was a fun upbeat diversion the kids seemed to love. And people don’t seem to realize the big kites are suppose to land in the empty Asia side stands.

  • Yay! You just convinced me to work this into our AK touring this Friday.

  • I know this isn’t a huge, spectacular, groundbreaking production, but the parks need more stuff like this. Entertaining shows and attractions that don’t require long waits that kids and families will enjoy have not been the focus for many years now and the parks are really starting to feel the loss.

    • I’m looking forward to seeing this. I agree that the parks need more stuff like this.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *