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PHOTO REPORT: Disney’s Animal Kingdom 3/15/20 (Final Night Before COVID-19 Closure, Tree of Life, Pandora – The World of Avatar, and More)

Good evening from Disney’s Animal Kingdom! It is, sadly, the last night the park will be open for quite some time due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) precautions. With its 8:00pm closing time, the park will be the first of the Florida parks to close – the final four that were open worldwide. It is certainly an unprecedented day, but one that is filled with the life and natural wonder of Earth (and beyond).

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Yes, there are a lot of beautiful things to see in the park, but we do need to start with the entrance. Construction on the new entrance area continues to advance, with overhang structures getting closer to their finished states.

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The signature Animal Kingdom lamps are being hung in these new areas, though they are not yet illuminated (even at night).

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Things are quiet at the ticket booths, as most guests who will be visiting the park this evening are already inside.

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Once inside, where else can we go first but the Tree of Life? To say this is one of the most impressive structures ever built within a Disney park would be an understatement.

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Around the tree, the animals are carrying on as though it’s business as usual.

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Crowd levels are fairly light. While certain parks are seeing more guests flock to them, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is more subdued.

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Within Pandora – The World of Avatar, the Floating Mountains loom over the land.

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By far the most popular attraction in the park, Flight of Passage commands a long wait time. Tonight, however, the wait is relatively low.

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Work is being done on the grounds of Pandora, and as we’ll see later, the glowing pathways are an integral part of the theming.

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The indigenous flora is a sight to behold.

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Within Africa, Festival of the Lion King has already completed its final showing.

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The Harambe Village Acrobats always put on an amazing show, and today was no exception.

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On the reverse side of the Tree of Life, we are able to see more of the animal life carved into the tree. The level of detail and realism is incredibly impressive.

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Like Festival of the Lion King, UP! A Great Bird Adventure has already finished its performances for the day.

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Similarly, our primate friends have already headed home from their islands.

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Kali River Rapids is currently drained while it undergoes its planned refurbishment.

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In Asia, not only has the environment quickly changed to snow-capped mountains, but the wait for Expedition Everest is equally surprising.

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Guests on the attraction are enjoying themselves as much today as any other day, if not more.

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In DinoLand U.S.A., guests are not quite as thrilled due to the closure of Primeval Whirl. The attraction was set to open select dates later this month, but unfortunately that will no longer be the case.

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TriceraTop Spin was consistently at least half empty throughout the evening.

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“Chester & Hester say… see y’all real soon!” We, too, hope this is the case.

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One more look at the Tree of Life as dusk sets in.

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This Lion King gate has an extra glow to it as the sun goes down.

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The sun sets behind Festival of the Lion King.

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As night sets in, DinoLand U.S.A. begins to look more like an abandoned amusement park than a Disney theme park.

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However, back in Pandora – The World of Avatar, night is when the land truly shines.

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Our friends at Joffrey’s are closed, and preparing for the long hiatus.

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Expedition Everest is nearly a walk-on now that darkness has fallen over Asia.

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At Discovery Island, guests are watching the final Tree of Life Awakenings for quite a while.

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After Rivers of Light: We Are One ends, the exodus of guests begins.

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Once most of the crowds have disappeared, and well after the 8:00pm park closing time, a few young ladies are the last pin traders for the month.

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A bit later, the merchandise shops have shut their doors for a prolonged period of time.

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For the final time tonight, we have a view of the Tree of Life amidst an empty park.

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Pathways within the park have been cleared out.

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The Lion King photo op outside of the park is, of course, silent.

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And finally, as we leave the park, the detail and beauty looms over the empty ticket booths.

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As we end our last photo report from Disney’s Animal Kingdom until the park reopens, we leave you with, yet again, the Tree of Life with the last remaining bits of light. As is true for all Disney parks right now, things are a bit dark, but the sun will rise again soon and allow the parks to shine once more.

  1. Thank you for the wonderful pictures, even though I know the parks needed to close, I still feel sad..

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