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Updates for Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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Disney's Animal Kingdom's Tree of Life
©Rikki Niblett

There are quite a few new additions that are coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom here within the next week. Here’s what you can expect to see when visiting.

The Riverside Depot, a 4,700 square foot merchandise location connected to Disney Outfitters opened today. The location is themed to animals that live around and in rivers and is your stop to purchase Disney character souvenirs. Because of this new merchandise location opening, after the holiday season, Disney Outfitters will be closing for a refurbishment.

Also, the pathways around the Tree of Life will be closed for refurbishment from now through the first few months of 2016. Because of this, Tarzan will be moving to an area near Island Mercantile.

Over at Kilimarjaro Safaris, a new species has been added to the mix. Guests will have the chance to see a pack of six  painted dogs, who are joining the savanna. Unique to Africa, these rare animals are among the continent’s most endangered species and are easily identifiable by their oversized ears and unique multi-colored coat patterns.

Finally, on December 12, Thirsty River Bar and Trek Snacks is set to join the line-up of dining options when it opens in Asia. The location will offer grab-and-go snacks along with alcoholic, as well as non-alcoholic beverages.

That’s it for the major updates to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Things are rapidly changing to get ready for the transition of this park into a right full day experience.

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Rikki Niblett

I am a co-host of the Be Our Guest Podcast and do lots of other fun Disney stuff all around the interwebs! You can follow me on Twitter or Instagram at @RikkiNibs or on Facebook at

3 thoughts on “Updates for Disney’s Animal Kingdom

  • Nicholas

    The trails are one of the best areas for checking out animal carvings on the tree, so that’s a shame we’ll miss that opportunity on our January trip. It was only up close that we located the moose, though now we’re able to spot it from afar.

    Tarzan is one of the most fascinating character encounters I’ve had – and quite by accident. He was fully in character the entire time – inquisitive, decidedly non-domesticated. And because of his usual location, lower crowds meant he could spend more time with each guest.

  • Emmett Hunt

    Any idea when the Tree of Life will re-open? We are scheduled to spend most of March 1st at that location in Disney World.

  • Melissa

    Nicholas, many of the animals were already removed from those pathways when we were there in November. 🙁

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