How Will The “Eternal Sunset” of Kilimanjaro Safaris New Nighttime Adventure Be Achieved? We Now Know

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When Joe Rhode further elaborated on the new nighttime version of Kilimanjaro Safaris debuting this spring, we all kind of wondered what exactly this meant:

Starting in spring, guests will get to experience the African savanna at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in a whole new light: amid the orange glow of the setting sun. During the nighttime adventure, guests can extend their travels on the safaris into the evening.

How would Disney achieve a “eternal glow of sunset”, even into later evening hours? Well, last night we accidentally figured this out.

While at a media event for Zootopia, our private chartered bus drove through the backstage area at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Not only did we drive right past the astonishing construction site for Pandora: The World of AVATAR, but we then came upon a bright series of lights in the otherwise pitch-black backstage area. The glow was coming from a series of custom-shaped, very large LED screens that clearly had raised up over the back of the Savannah, providing the backdrop of a bright orange sunset. Now clearly, these screens will give guests the illusion that the sun is still setting, but it will also take additional lights throughout the experience to properly light areas for both guests and animals alike.

Of course, we were not allowed to take any pictures since we were backstage, but we did solve one of the greatest mysteries of this new project. While we still can only confirm that the African Wild Dogs will be out for the nighttime safaris, we still have no idea what other species of animals will be joining them. Hopefully we will hear more on this exciting addition soon.

In the realm of more concrete details revealed last night, we did get to see one of the new entertainment acts for the “Discovery Island Carnivale”, which will entertain guests nightly once the nighttime Kilimajaro Safaris and Rivers of Light debut this spring.

Stay tuned for more info on all of the nighttime offerings for Animal Kingdom as they become available.

About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]