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Rafiki’s Planet Watch Reopens This Summer With Enhancements

March 22, 2019

There was a little bit of secrecy behind the closing of Rafiki’s Planet Watch last fall, leaving some Guests wondering what was happening to the area.

Was it closing for refurbishment or is this area, dedicated to education and Animal Conservation, being moved to seasonal status?

Well, I’m happy to announce that we now have a couple of answers behind the closing of Rafiki’s Planet Watch.

Rafiki’s Planet Watch Reopens This Summer With Enhancements

Rafiki's Planet Watch

Rafiki’s Planet Watch, along with the Affection Section and the train ride, Wildlife Express, will fully reopen this summer in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Not much has been released about what refurbishments have been done during its down time. But, we have heard that there will be a few new enhancements when it opens. No opening date has been released yet.

In addition to the brand new enhancements, it appears that Rafiki’s Planet Watch will also be joining the rest of Animal Kingdom in their celebration of The Lion King.

Rafiki Meet and Greet at Animal Kingdom
We met Rafiki at Rafiki’s Planet Watch

Celebrate The Lion King Throughout Animal Kingdom

Through September 30, 2019, in honor of The Lion King‘s 25th anniversary, you are able to celebrate The Lion King throughout the Animal Kingdom.

Festival of the Lion King Show in Disney's Animal Kingdom
Festival of the Lion King

Festival of the Lion King

Not special to the anniversary of the movie, but it’s still a wonderful way to celebrate The Lion King.

After all, it wouldn’t be Animal Kingdom without this wonderful show. Festival of the Lion King, which coincidentally also happens to be my favorite, debuted with the Park in 1998 and is still one of the highest-rated shows in Walt Disney World.

Hakuna Matata Dance Party

Over in Discovery Island, a dance party including a DJ, musicians, and games inspired by The Lion King fill the streets.

You may even see some familiar faces stop by to join in. Timon, Rafiki, Baloo, Koda, Meeko, and Terk have been seen busting a move during the Hakuna Matata Dance Party.

Unfortunately, they’re not available for meet and greets during this time, but it’s still a lot of fun to dance with them.

Photo Opportunites

Looking for those Instagram-worthy shots? Be sure to check out all the fun photo spots around the Park and entrance.

These three-dimensional scenes will make you feel as though you stepped right into Pride Rock. Just be sure to watch out for those hyenas.

The Tree Awakens in Disney's Animal Kingdom

Tree of Life Nighttime Awakenings

If you’ve ever seen the Tree of Life Awakens Projection Show at night, you know how amazing it is.

Starting this summer, the Tree of Life will be getting a new Story. Join Simba as the story tells of his journey, set to music inspired by The Lion King. is not authorized or endorsed by, or officially connected with The Walt Disney Company, or any of their affiliates. For official Disney information, visit

Hawaii Destination Specialist

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