Last week Cast Members at Rafiki’s Planet Watch at Disney’s Animal Kingdom were told the area would be closing on October 21, 2018. This also included the Wildlife Express Train and Conservation Station. In addition, Rafiki and Doc McStuffins meet and greets which took place at this location were scheduled to end on September 29, 2018.
Now, Disney is reporting Rafiki’s Planet Watch will return in spring 2019. It’s still unclear what the reason of the closure is, and if any changes to the area will take place.
A new fall-inspired treat has arrived at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The Apple Cider Donut Holes can be found at Isle of Java and are freshly-fried donut holes with diced apple pieces, rolled in cinnamon sugar and topped with an apple cider glaze. And they’re served on a skewer for easy on-the-go snacking.
Cost is $4.99 or a snack credit on the Disney Dining Plan.
Isle of Java is located on Discovery Island at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and serves fresh-brewed espresso, cappuccino, cold drinks and various sweet treats. For more information on Isle of Java or to view their menu, click here.
This morning Cast Members at Rafiki’s Planet Watch at Disney’s Animal Kingdom were told the area would be closing permanently on October 21, 2018. This includes the Wildlife Express Train and Conservation Station. Cast Members are also reporting some of the experiences from the area will find new homes in the park at a later date.
Rafiki and Doc McStuffins, who currently meet guests here, will have their last day on September 29, 2018.
It’s still unclear whether the closure is due to budget cuts or perhaps a reimagining of that area in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Disney has yet to make an official announcement regarding the closure.
Beginning November 1, guests will be able to partake in an all-new backstage animal experience called ‘Up Close with Rhinos’ at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
This 60-minute guided tour will give guests a behind-the-scenes look at how Disney’s dedicated animal team cares for the white rhinos on Kilimanjaro Safaris and how Disney is helping save endangered rhinos in the wild. As part of this intimate experience, guests may even get a chance to touch a rhino.
Disney’s keeper, Caitlin Miller explains, “I love talking to guests about how unique each individual rhino’s personality is. I know once guests come and meet the rhinos, they are going to see just how amazing they are and will want to help us secure a future for them.”
According to Disney, rhinos in the wild are found in bush country and open grassy flatlands in Africa and Southeast Asia. They are among the most endangered animals in the world due largely in part to poaching. Disney is proud to support rhino conservation efforts around the world, including those of Sumatran rhinos, which are found only in Indonesia and are critically endangered. To date, the Disney Conservation Fund has provided more than $2 million to support rhino conservation efforts around the world.
One tour of “Up Close with Rhinos” will be offered each day. The booking window for the one-hour experience opens Sept. 22, which is World Rhino Day. Guests must be at least 4 years old to participate, and the cost is $40 (plus tax). Discounts are available to select passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members. To make a reservation, call 407-WDW-PLAY.