More details on the new 'UP' close encounters show coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom

Dec 29, 2017 in "Flights of Wonder"

Posted: Friday December 29, 2017 9:18am EDT by WDWMAGIC Staff

A recent audition notice posted by Disney Parks Live Entertainment has offered a few more details on the upcoming replacement for Flights of Wonder at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

The casting call is for Anika, a young woman who lives in the Anandapur Indian village and spends her time as a caretaker of birds in the Caravan aviary. She is the descendent of a Maharani, a free-spirit, and the storyteller in her proud family. Her movement and language are colorful and expressive. She is personable, playful, and at home in nature.

Beginning just in time for the 20th anniversary of Disney’s Animal Kingdom next year, the new experience will offer guests the chance to see Senior Wilderness Explorer Russell and his furry friend Dug as they discover species of birds from around the world in their newest adventure at the Caravan Theater in Anandapur village. There will be “UP” close encounters each day with amazing winged creatures.

Flights of Wonder has its final performance on December 31 2017.

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WDW GuruAug 22, 2018

According to the website that shall not be named, Disney is now looking at rewriting the script due to poor guest reception. Wasn't a fan of the new show when I watched it a week ago, so hope its true. Any insiders hear anything about it?

EricsBiscuitJul 30, 2018

Just took this a couple mins ago. I've never seen the new facade at night before. It's awesome!

Magic FeatherJul 09, 2018

That RoL desert party had to go somewhere... Actually unsure, simply an educated guess.

Timothy_QJul 09, 2018

Not related to the show, but I didn't want to start a whole thread for this. Anyone knows what's being done here?

JohnDJun 15, 2018

The former, obviously, is worse. I want to be entertained with a good show. The old bird show didn't fit thematically either. It was just a generic bird show with Bob the tour guide. Not a single reference to Asia.

WondersOfLifeJun 15, 2018

To answer your question.... I'd rather have Monsters Inc Laugh Floor Comedy Club, which is a show that's a poor thematic fit but well done, over Stitch's Great Escape, which is a good thematic fit but poorly executed.

mikejs78Jun 14, 2018

It goes to show that it's not the IP itself, but the execution that matters. Although the idea of Doug and Russel can thematically fit in AK and in a show like this, the execution is horrible. Contrast that to most of the reactions to the new temporary Guardians show in Epcot. By all accounts, despite being a complete thematic mismatch, it's a well put together, fun show. So what's worse? A show that's a good thematic fit but poorly executed, or a show that's a poor thematic fit but well done? (Yes, I know, ideal is a good thematic fit executed well, but, you know, we can't have nice things....)

WondersOfLifeJun 13, 2018

It's a bad use of an IP that could have potentially worked.

Kman101Jun 12, 2018

Having seen the show in person, Russell and Dug are totally unnecessary. They didn't have to be though. The Joe character could have stuck around (or a new one) as the Wilderness Explorer leader. Russell teaches him that it's OK not to be afraid of birds, using Annika as she is (I like tying the show more into Asia). It's a take on the old show using Russell and Dug. It's not perfect or ideal but it would have worked. I can't remember the poster at the moment, but there was a poster who had another great idea for the show. It really wasn't that hard. They basically shoved Russell and Dug in like they do other IP and called it a day (well, not totally, but that's what it feels like) This show is a mish-mash of like three ideas. It just doesn't come together. It didn't need IP, but the IP chosen wasn't the worst idea in the world. It's too bad they did what they usually do. It was kind of a waste of an opportunity, actually. I'm more disappointed than anything.

halltdJun 12, 2018

I really enjoyed the old show. I loooooove Up, Dug, and Russell, but I’m embarrassed by the new show. The characters distract from the message of the show and the beauty of the birds. The theater is way nicer. The show? Wow. I can’t stomach that mess again.

JohnDJun 11, 2018

That was 30 minutes of my life I'll never get back. The old show? I could watch it again and again. What's the purpose of Russell and that dog anyway? They just run around chasing chickens and aren't even involved with the show. Plus a rehash of Miles, Frasier Crane, eagle, etc.

Cmdr_CrimsonMay 23, 2018

It's more of a "we ran out of FP's for Everest, Kilmanjaro, Flight of passage, river journey, and Dinosaur." Now you got something to fill that void..

smileMay 23, 2018

turns out it was pumping so much awesome into the air that FP+ booking was made available so everyone could get a whiff - so yeah, why risk missing out? everyone should be burning FP's on this... totally.

Cmdr_CrimsonMay 23, 2018