"Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things...and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."
---Walter Elias Disney

Monday, September 5, 2016

55 Days: Extended Star Wars Fireworks and Animal Kingdom Hours

Yeah, I'm still catching up on the countdown.....

Kenny the Pirate announced yesterday that October's WDW park hours had been adjusted, allowing for extending the Star Wars fireworks at Hollywood Studios and the after dark experiences at Animal Kingdom. If you aren't familiar with Kenny the Pirate, you should be. He is huge into character meet and greets and is the absolute king of helping you find exactly the character you want to meet. But beyond that, he is great for keeping abreast of park hours, show times and pretty much anything that affects your planning for a Walt Disney World trip. I'd recommend signing up for his email alerts via his website here as well as following him on Facebook and Twitter. 

Lately Disney planning has been more challenging than in the past due to the frequency with which they change shows and times and hours and such. I'm not complaining, mind you, this is the result of new experiences being added for the most part, so hooray that. But it is tricky making plans as far out as Disney encourages and then keeping an ear to the ground to see if the changes require moving ADRs or FastPass+ reservations or even shifting plans for which park to visit on which day. You've got to plan but remain flexible and sometimes that's a hard balance to keep.

In this case, we were ready to forgo Fantasmic (for which we'd secured FastPass+es) to be able to catch the Star Wars fireworks, but as it turns out they will not be offered on the night we are at Hollywood Studios. Kind of a bummer, but it means we can stick with our plans there that day. But Animal Kingdom's longer hours are another story. The park will be open until 8:30 pm rather than the previously announced 6:30 pm on October 31. We won't be there until November 2, and new hours haven't been released for November yet, but I have every idea those days will be extended as well. If this is the case, we'll cancel our Morimoto Asia ADRs and plan to stay in Animal Kingdom to enjoy the new nighttime experiences. There is even a rumor that Rivers of Light may be up and running by the end of October, which would mean trying to find an ADR at an Animal Kingdom restaurant that offers viewing and dinner combos.

Oh darn, looks like I'll have to keep hanging out on all the Disney websites..... Poor me :-)

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