NEWS: Disney Confirms Animal Kingdom Show Closing Soon

Another entertainment offering tied to the 50th-anniversary celebration is ending much earlier than anticipated. The daytime show at the Discovery River Theater at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is closing soon. Learn more below.


According to the Walt Disney World website, Disney KiteTails will end its run on September 30, 2022. The show debuted on October 1, 2021, as part of the 50th-anniversary celebration. At first, the show ran about ten minutes long in the Discovery River Theater.  Then, in May 2022, the show was reduced to short performances that guests could catch as they walked by. We’re sad to see this cute show go and hope something else comes to the theater for guests to enjoy!

RELATED ARTICLE: 6 Ways to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Disney World at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

“The World’s Most Magical Celebration” is an 18-month event bringing new attractions, nighttime spectaculars, and other magical experiences. Thankfully, the fun isn’t just at Magic Kingdom. Over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the park is celebrating, and you can join in on the fun! Learn about the six ways to celebrate the 50th anniversary at Disney’s Animal Kingdom below.


1 – Disney’s KiteTails

Editor’s Note: KiteTails will have its last performance on September 30, 2022.

New daytime entertainment is at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, as “Disney KiteTails” comes alive several times daily at the Discovery River Theater. Performers fly windcatchers and kites of all shapes and sizes while out on the water elaborate three-dimensional kites – some stretching to 30 feet long – depict Disney animal friends, including Simba, Zazu, Baloo, and King Louie. These colorful creations dance through the sky to the beat of favorite Disney songs in an uplifting, vibrant experience for the whole family. Guests can now check out the kites all along the Discover River throughout the day. Check the My Disney Experience app for showtimes.

2 – Tree of Life – Beacons of Magic

During the 50th anniversary celebration, icons at Walt Disney World theme parks transform at night into magnificent Beacons of Magic, coming to life with their own EARidescent glow. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, a warm light emanates from the Tree of Life as fireflies gather to usher in the magic of nature.

Credit: Disney/Todd Anderson

3 – Disney Fab 50 Character Statues

New “Disney Fab 50 Character Collection” golden sculptures are spread across the four Walt Disney World theme parks in honor of the 50th anniversary. Fifty characters are featured in total and there are four statues at Disney’s Animal Kingdom that are all located near the Tree of Life.


4 – 50th Celebration Food & Drink

The 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort is a time to celebrate Walt Disney’s legacy and vision. Walt knew food could be much more than just something you eat, but rather an entertaining, experiential and essential element of immersive storytelling. New food and drink selections for “The World’s Most Magical Celebration,” honoring the 50th anniversary, bring Walt’s vision to life in new ways, offering nods to the resort’s past while pushing culinary adventures to exciting new places during the 18-month event.

Here are some of the items available at Disney’s Animal Kingdom:

  • 50th Anniversary Celebration Cupcake (Flame Tree Barbecue and Creature Comforts) – Lemon cake, lemon chiffon filling, and vanilla frosting with celebration sprinkles, splatter-coated chocolate Mickey, and a gold-dusted 50th-anniversary medallion.
  • Hand-dipped 50th Celebration Mickey Premium Bar (Drinkwallah) – The famous Nestlé Mickey’s Premium Ice Cream Bar receives a special 50th-anniversary touch with a blue raspberry “hat” and a bit of pixie dust.
  • Cheese Fries with Walt’s Chili and Walt’s Favorite Chili on Foot-long Hot Dog (Restaurantosaurus) – Two of the restaurant’s nostalgic fan favorites, hot dogs and fries, topped with Walt’s favorite chili.
  • 50th Celebration Chocolate Gâteau (Tiffins) – Paying homage to Walt’s favorite chocolate desserts, this decadent delight features a cinnamon-chocolate gâteau, almond praline, ganache and chocolate cream liqueur sauce.


5 – 50th Decorations, Music, and New Cavalcade

In addition to the Disney Fab 50 statues, you’ll also see 50th banners and glittering decor in the park. Keep your ears open for “The Magic Is Calling,” an inspiring new song written especially for the 50th anniversary. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, catch the song by the Discovery Island Drummers.

6 – 50th Merchandise at Island Mercantile

Finally, new 50th-anniversary merchandise is available all throughout Walt Disney World. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you can find a limited selection of 50th merchandise at Island Mercantile.

For a no obligation, FREE Quote on a Disney vacation package, please contact our travel partner Magical Vacation Planner at 407-442-0227 (407-442-0215 for Spanish). You can also request a FREE quote online by Clicking HERE.


Chad & Cindy Nykamp

After years of multiple Walt Disney World vacations, Cindy and Chad's dream of living in Orlando came true in 2010. After friends and family made them their go-to-people for Walt Disney World advice, Cindy and Chad launched DisneyLists.com in August 2015 to share their knowledge and love of Disney. Chad and Cindy have been Disney World Annual Passholders for years, DVC members, together have raced more than 70 runDisney races, and particularly love cruising on the Disney Cruise Line. Chad and Cindy also regularly represent DisneyLists.com at Walt Disney World media events. While attending these events, they get an insiders view of all the new things that have come to Walt Disney World. These experiences have helped them gain knowledge and expertise they happily pass on to their followers. They still can't believe how lucky they are to have such an amazing opportunity and will continue to share Disney with anyone who will listen!
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