It’s WILD holiday season at Walt Disney World! Grab the 8 Best Tips for Celebrating the Holidays at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This post is sponsored by Walt Disney World. All magical opinions are my own. #DisneyHolidays
8 Best Tips for Celebrating the Holidays at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
What do giant animal puppets, bottle caps and a cone of shame have in common? It’s the Holidays at Disney’s Animal Kingdom…and we’re a little WILD about it!
While every Walt Disney World park is known for beautiful holiday displays, I have to admit that Animal Kingdom overall was lacking in their unique WOW factor. 2019 is the first year that Disney’s Animal Kingdom has really stepped up their holiday cheer. More than just rivers of light and photo ops, this theme park has truly expanded their nature theme-ing to express the season in a way that is uniquely Animal Kingdom. Grab the family to see what’s new for the Holidays at Disney’s Animal Kingdom! I’ve gathered up my flock of 8 best tips for making the most of this WILD Disney holiday experience.
Interact with the New Life-Sized Animal Puppets
Penguins, reindeer and polar bears, oh my! Discovery Island has been overtaken by some of the most beautiful life-sized animal puppets I have ever seen. Snowy white (kind of reminds me of the last room of it’s a small world!) and artisan-sculpted, each puppet is unique with coordinating movements such as eye closure, bendable limbs, and more! Be sure to check out each different animal puppet personalities for the full effect. Puppets include:
- Adult and Baby Penguins
- Adult and Baby Polar Bears
Kids are encouraged to touch and pet the puppets. The puppet handlers are super friendly and love posing for photos and video too! Don’t be shy about asking! You can catch all of the different interactive holiday puppets and live musicians wandering throughout Discovery Island during the day.
Capture One-of-a-Kind Photo Ops at the New Holiday Wall
Merry and BRIGHT! This has to be my favorite new mural installment at Animal Kingdom. Nestled on the path between Discovery Island and Pandora, this colorful new art piece features the Tree of Life along with the new iconic animal puppets for a one of a kind holiday photo. (This mural wall would make a great holiday card backdrop!)
Watch the New Holiday Enhanced Tree of Life Awakenings
O Christmas tree! O Christmas tree! It’s no surprise that the iconic Tree of Life would also get an upgrade for the holidays. With wintry scenes and festive holiday-inspired music, the new enhanced Tree of Life Awakenings are not to be missed. Make plans to watch a show when nighttime falls! You can also catch the Tree of Life shimmer and sparkle with between Awakening shows.
Take in Rare Holiday Character Meet and Greets
What’s a Disney visit without the meet and greets? The holiday festivities are definitely turned up for those seasonal photos with your favorite Disney characters. Dinoland U.S.A. has received the biggest holiday face lift of all, from the beautiful holiday themed backdrops to the characters themselves! Be sure to get in line for your holly jolly memories with these special holiday themed character meet and greets:
- Donald Duck
- Daisy Duck
- Chip and Dale
- Launchpad McQuack
- Scrooge McDuck
Dinoland isn’t the only place dressed to impress this Christmas season. Check out the holiday decor upgrades throughout the park, including my favorite Dug and Russell meet and greet. The “Cone of Shame” tree is my absolute favorite!
Stroll Through the Unique Holiday Artwork of Africa
Africa is getting into the holiday spirit too! Art lovers will appreciate the unique blend of cultures as the Africa section of Animal Kingdom shows off their way of celebrating the holidays. From bottle cap and bicycle spoke wreaths to twinkling tree lights, be sure to take a detour through the festivities!
Dance Into the Night and Celebrate Diwali
The holidays are not the same without celebration of diversity and culture throughout the world. I love that this theme park provides a beautiful backdrop for celebrating the holidays at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Asia comes alive at night with glowing lanterns, music and dancing as performers celebrate the Indian festival of lights, Diwali.
Located across from the Up! A Great Bird Adventure at the Anandapur Theater, this Bollywood inspired performance gets audiences moving. Kids and adults can join in and learn new dances, with multiple shows throughout the night. The dancers will pose for pictures after each show too.
Uncover a Unique Holiday Twist at Pandora
The World of Avatar isn’t excluded from the holiday fun! The expats at Pandora have found their own unique way to express the jolly holiday season. Be sure to look up into the eaves of the Pongu Pongu for a nod to both Christmas and Hanukkah celebrations, as well as the not-to-miss “Santa” display!
Experience the Holidays at Disney’s Animal Kingdom with Lights
Give me all of the Christmas lights! The holidays are not complete without the gorgeous light displays throughout Walt Disney World. While certainly not comparable to the grandness of the Osborne lights (anyone else missing that light display A LOT this time of year?), I love that Animal Kingdom has really taken to expanding their existing holiday lights to be truly unique to this park. Here are some of my family’s favorite light displays:
- Tree at the entrance to Disney’s Animal Kingdom
- Dinoland U.S.A. – tons of light displays throughout this area. Our favorite is the 50-foot Brachiosaurus spanning the OldenGate Bridge.
- NEW Discovery Island animal luminaries – located on the rooftops throughout the area
While every Walt Disney World park is special this time of year, I love how the Holidays at Disney’s Animal Kingdom got a WILD upgrade for 2019. From the new interactive animal puppets to impressive light displays to one-of-a-kind photo ops, be sure to plan a trip with your family to make your holiday season merry and bright! Find out more information about the holidays at Disney’s Animal Kingdom HERE. And be sure to follow along all season long at #DisneyHolidays.