Date set for reopening of Rafiki's Planet Watch along with new Animation Experience

Jun 10, 2019 in "Rafiki's Planet Watch"

Disney has today announced that Rafiki's Planet Watch at Disney's Animal Kingdom will reopen to guests July 11 2019.

New at Planet Watch will be The Animation Experience at Conservation Station, offering guests the opportunity to learn how live animals have inspired some of the most iconic characters.

Inside you'll have the chance to create a personalized piece of Disney art through an instructor-led animation class. Each session will be different, and will include characters such as Simba, Zazu, Pumbaa and Timon. Disney FastPass+ Service will be offered for the experience, and you can make those selections starting later today.  

Rafiki’s Planet Watch, the Affection Section and the Wildlife Express will all return to operation, along with other enhancements in celebration of The Lion King.

Planet Watch closed October 2018 during a series of operational cutbacks.

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Article Posted: Jun 10, 2019 / 9:18am ET
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The Empress LillyOct 14, 2019

I like the animation academy and I actually enjoy C9nservation Station. But the combination feels a bit forced. I guess they managed to save the train and Rafilki's by adding in some animated characters, somehow... The train spiel got on my nerves though. Animal Kingdom as the product of Walt's love for drawing animals? Pff....what a stretch. As with EPCOT Forever, it's rewriting the park history to make it appear the modern toon park is a natural progression. At any rate, it was nice to go back there again.

wdwmagicOct 14, 2019

Hyena

joelkflaOct 14, 2019

Who's "Ed" from the Lion King?

joshwillOct 13, 2019

cause nothing says conservation like disney villans and animation

Kman101Oct 11, 2019

I agree ... but I also think they knew it would get guests to go there, they probably hoped for a boost in attendance to Rafiki's. I also didn't mind tying in animation to the real animals they base their animation off of, it's a fun tie-in ... I don't mind learning to draw animal characters in Animal Kingdom, but ... shouldn't this attraction really be offered again in Hollywood Studios? They honestly didn't need Launch Bay ... and HS could use all the attractions they can get ... instead we're getting a Mickey Shorts Film Festival. Which I don't mind because there's a lot of theaters that can be repurposed ...

MrHappyOct 11, 2019

The old one at HS seems a lot better. Rows of office chairs and clipboards for your lap, c'mon. But considering how much I enjoyed the HS version, I'll give this a shot!

MisterPenguinOct 11, 2019

It was mostly empty space anyway before. Though, the middle island where they would bring animals for display is now cut off, but they still bring out animals. When I was there they had a boa and a goat (not in the same space). And it cuts off the sound booths, though it didn't need to. The goat petting and all the other displays are still there. Though... the way the have the set up the chairs makes my feng shui teeth itch. They should have put the monitors up on the middle island and then put the chairs in a semi-circle to face the center rather than rigid rows of chairs on top of each other that wind up facing the wrong way. It took a lot of personal fortitude to not start rearranging the chairs.

UNCgolfOct 11, 2019

That train doesn't have anywhere near enough capacity to transport the number of people that would want to go to and from Wakanda. Plus all the vet services are up there, and it's next to the savannah. Also Wakanda should never ever be in Animal Kingdom, but that's a separate discussion.

ThatMouseOct 11, 2019

I'm sure it's a fun activity, but it really stands out as "we don't know what to do with this space!"

MisterPenguinOct 11, 2019

Here's my Simba from a few days ago...

FlynnwriterOct 11, 2019

The train should take you to Wakanda. Travel through a portal into the city. The destination has become the land Disney forgot.

Bryner84Jul 18, 2019

Did the tamarin homes along the walk from the train station to the building survive the reopening or have they been relocated/removed?

Goofyque'Jul 14, 2019

There are no drawing tables in California Adventure, either. As far as looking temporary, my guess instead would be flexible. A space like that could be configured for many uses.