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Disney News Round-Up: Animals Return to the Tree of Life, Membership Extras at Epcot Festival, and More

Happy Thursday! We're back with another Disney news round-up today. In today's news we're talking about animals returning to the Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom, a few "membership extras" for Disney Vacation Club members, and more.

Summer Officially Starts this Weekend at the Walt Disney World Resort

This weekend is the official start of summer and at the Walt Disney World Resort that means it is time to "Awaken Summer." Each of the four theme parks, and one of the water parks, is celebrating summer with new experiences.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Becomes a Nighttime Destination Starting May 27

Disney's Animal Kingdom is set to become a nighttime destination for the first time ever starting Friday, May 27. That's when guests will finally have a chance to experience the park's attractions at night in addition to brand-new nighttime events.

Reservations Open for Tiffins and The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic Dining Packages

Tiffins, the signature dining restaurant at Disney's Animal Kingdom, is scheduled to open Friday, May 27, and as of today reservations are now available! Also available as of today are reservations for the new dining package for The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic show.

New Experiences Debut this Summer at the Walt Disney World Resort

Summer officially begins on Memorial Day Weekend at the Walt Disney World Resort with the debut of several new experiences at Disney's Animal Kingdom. But the magic continues throughout the summer as new experiences and attractions open at all four theme parks.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Transforming into a Nighttime Destination

This month is a big month for Disney's Animal Kingdom! The new Rivers of Light nighttime show is set to debut, turning this once daytime-only destination into an exciting park to visit after dark! Read on to find out more about changes coming to the park.

Disney Vacation Club Members Can Try Two New Experiences this Summer at Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Vacation Club members and their guests have the chance to try out two new and unique experiences at the Walt Disney World Resort this summer before the experiences are opened to the general public. Guests can choose from a "culinary adventure" experience or guided tour through the wilderness.

New Bird Show Debuting at Disney’s Animal Kingdom this Summer

More changes are headed to Disney's Animal Kingdom this summer as a new live bird show is set to debut.

The show is called Winged Encounters-The Kingdom Takes Flight and it will feature six types of birds including macaws.

'Winged Encounters' will showcase macaws in flight and will also feature bird experts who will share conservation stories with the audience. The show is scheduled to be performed on Discovery Island.

‘Rivers of Light’ Nighttime Show Coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom

The news from Disney's Animal Kingdom just keeps coming!

The park is about to undergo the largest expansion in the Animal Kingdom's history, which of course includes the construction of the Avatar-inspired land.

The expansion will also include new experiences and entertainment options for guests. One of these new experiences is the 'Rivers of Light,' an all-new nighttime spectacular recently announced by Disney.

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Top Five Snacks at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Plus a Few of Our Favorite Drinks

Disney's Animal Kingdom is one of our favorite parks for food, second only perhaps to Epcot. While you can eat and drink your way around the World (Showcase) at Epcot, the flavors you'll encounter at the Animal Kingdom range from simple to exotic, but always delicious.

And, with the opening of Pandora - The World of Avatar on May 27, we can add "out of this world" to the list of flavor profiles.

5 Spectacular Garden Settings At Walt Disney World Year Round

With the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival starting in just a couple of week, I've got Disney gardens on my mind. But the most lovely thing about the gardens of Walt Disney World is that you don't have to wait for the festival to experience them. 365 days a year s Disney's horticulture team works hard to maintain some of the most impressive environments its guests can dream of.

Start Your Day of Adventure At Creature Comforts In Disney's Animal Kingdom

I'm one of those girls that needs her morning coffee, and when I'm headed out for a day at a Disney Park, the first thing I do is figure out where the Starbucks is. At Disney's Animal Kingdom, you can be sure that I'll be making my way to Creature Comforts... because that's exactly what I need.

Wonderful Watermelon Cocktails on the Nomad Lounge Deck

It's Friday - so say good-bye to the workweek and join me for a look at another fantastic Disney cocktail. 2016 saw increased growth at Disney's Animal Kingdom, including a new lounge where weary travelers can choose to take a rest. The Nomad Lounge is tucked back next to the river on Discovery Island, just behind Tiffins Signature Restaurant.

The Top 5 Things to Love about Disney’s Animal Kingdom

It took me a few years and several visits to really fall in love with Disney's Animal Kingdom. After my initial assessment that it was "too hot" and "too much walking" I took some time on my last couple of visits to really look closely at this amazing theme park. And I'm hooked.

Disney History: Disney's Animal Kingdom Then & Now

The creation of Disney's Animal Kingdom was a hugely ambitious venture. Nature and conservation were two of the many things that Walt Disney was passionate about, so it was not a stretch for the Eisner administration to add a fourth gate to Walt Disney World that centered around animals. One of the greatest hurdles to the creation of Animal Kingdom was convincing critics that the concept was viable as a theme park and that it would be substantially different from a zoo. In a tongue-in-cheek way, the park was affectionately known as "Nahtazu".

Where to Get Your Coffee Fix at the Walt Disney World Resort

Coffee at the Walt Disney World Resort used to mean a not-so-great cup of something resembling coffee but it wasn't exactly good. It was unlikely that many folks were overheard exclaiming "Wow! What a great cup of java!" unless of course you were lucky enough to score a French Press pot of coffee at certain restaurants. But lately, a good cup of coffee has become the norm at Disney.

More Details Revealed on Rivers of Light at Disney's Animal Kingdom

As recent guests have experienced while playing at Disney's Animal Kingdom there's a lot of construction going on. One of the most obvious projects is the groundwork that have been being laid on the wide Discovery River Lake, between Discovery Island and Expedition Everest. This will be the new home of a spectacular evening extravaganza called "Rivers of Light."

Best Spots to Enjoy Breakfast at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And nowhere is this truer than at Disney's Animal Kingdom. For several reasons, including the unrelenting Animal Kingdom heat and the park's terrain, I always eat a good breakfast before touring this park. And there are a few good places to fuel up when you're at the Animal Kingdom.

Meeting the Characters at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

You can see an array of wild animals at Disney's Animal Kingdom from the wild animals of Africa on Kilimanjaro Safaris to the tigers and giant bats on the Maharajah Jungle Trek. But the Animal Kingdom is also home to a cast of Disney characters including Mickey, Minnie, Baloo, Donald Duck, and more.