CONFIRMED: Rafiki’s Planet Watch at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Closing on October 20, 2018

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Disney has confirmed the news we brought you last week that Rafiki’s Planet Watch at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will close permanently on October 20th.

The entirety of Rafiki’s Planet Watch, including the Wildlife Express Train, will close forever at the end of the operating day on October 20th, 2018. The meet and greets at Rafiki’s Planet Watch will actually close earlier, on September 29th, 2018.

The animal-care Cast Members working there will remain, as the veterinary facilities will remain in service for the foreseeable future.

Disney has not announced anything new to be built in this area, so at the moment it is unclear if the closure is a budgetary decision or making way for future expansion of the park.

About the author

Jason Diffendal

Jason has been a lifelong fan of the Disney parks since his first visit at age 2. His biennial pilgrimages during his childhood accelerated into semi-annual visits by the year 2000, when he also Joined the Disney Vacation Club. Luckily, Jason’s bride-to-be was also a Disney fan, which allowed his infatuation with the Disney parks to continue, and ultimately culminated in their wedding at Disney's Wedding Pavilion in September 2003. Early in 2007, Jason began his involvement with the planning for what became Celebration 25, the unofficial fan gathering to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Epcot®. Soon thereafter, Jason met Tom Corless at a pin trading meet in New Jersey, and became part of the WDW News Today podcast starting with Episode 17. Jason has been involved with the WDWNT Network ever since, and can't seem to escape no matter how hard he tries.
Contact Jason at [email protected]

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Evan
Guest
Evan

Thats a shame. I must say my 4-year-old really enjoyed riding the train back there to see the animals and the doctors working. It was interesting and educational.

Matthew
Guest
Matthew

My 4 year old loves trains as well. It was one thing he could do at Animal Kingdom. Besides the safari, lion king, and Nemo their isn’t much to be done at AK for the little ones beside walking the animal trails.

Indy Jonze
Guest
Indy Jonze

possibly the worst decision disney’s made since i’ve been visiting. a real shame

Steve A
Guest
Steve A

They need to add something that will pull crowds away from Pandora. The more big attractions in other parts the less long waits for “Flights” and “River”.

Chad
Guest
Chad

Such a shame! We arrive at WDW on 10/21! Would have loved to visit one last time.

C
Guest
C

I want them to repurpose the train as a way for AKL guests to get to AK.

Tourist
Guest
Tourist

Will the train still run?

Tom Corless
Admin
Tom Corless

No

Steve A
Guest
Steve A

It will probably be repurposed for Zootopia.