UPDATE: Rafiki’s Planet Watch at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Will Reopen Spring 2019

This post may contain affiliate links; please read the disclosure for more information.

Guests will be able to learn more about conservation and Disney’s animal programs after all.

Disney confirmed today that Rafiki’s Planet Watch’s closure will in fact be temporary rather than permanent, and the area and Wildlife Express Train will reopen in Spring 2019. This will allow time for an “extensive refurbishment”, where Disney is expected to rework the area’s offerings to appeal more to today’s guests.

Rafiki’s Planet Watch’s last day of operation is scheduled for Saturday, October 20th, while the meet-and-greets are expected to close tomorrow, September 29th. We will provide updates as the story develops.


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

BREAKING: Rafiki’s Planet Watch at Disney’s Animal Kingdom to Close in October

I don’t know about you, but there are times when planning a Disney vacation can be overwhelming! There are so many options, where to stay, when to go, is this the best price. So, I want to introduce you all to Cindy Minor and the team at Small World Big Fun. They will help you plan your Disney vacation for FREE. Contact them today!

About the author

Matthew Soberman

Matthew has been a writer for WDWNT since June 2018. He probably should have realized he was a Disney Parks fan when he tried to make a model of the Horizons building in middle school shop class. (It didn't go well.) He is also a huge Muppet fan, and can also be found on ToughPigs.com. You can email Matthew at [email protected]


Click here to post a comment
  • So is this the story that gets you to stop using “confirmed” wildly and label things as “rumor” when you don’t know what you’re talking about? You kept saying this was being closed forever. Just like the Speedway being demolished. Get some integrity.

  • My Imagineer source says there’s a plan for a Lion King “land” at DAK. My guess is, it’s going in this location, if this plan comes to fruition.

    • Since 1998 (the date of the park being open/Rafiki’s opening) The way the average consumer/park goer enjoys spending their time has changed. Disney believes that if they do not change this experience, then attendance to it and possibly the whole park can suffer.

      If that statement is true or not is up for debate.


    Why would they bring this back? I’d rather go on the Stitch ride 626 times then do this one once. The train ride totally takes me out of the beautifully themed Animal Kingdom park. With all of its regular storage looking buildings and fences. It’s like going backstage and seeing Mickey Mouse without his head off smoking a doobie.

  • This area has great potential to be a fun and informative piece of the park. I would welcome an expanded behind the scenes area where we could learn more about how the park cares for its animals and how they’re helping wildlife around the world.

Fantasy Strollers
Lost Bros

Latest Videos