The Disney Parks Blog announced this morning that the long running Flights of Wonder avian show in Disney’s Animal Kingdom will have it’s last performance at the end of this year on December 31st, 2017. Replacing it will be a new show starring Russel and Dug from the PIXAR film UP!
Here’s the excerpt from their release; “Beginning just in time for the 20th anniversary of Disney’s Animal Kingdom next year, this new experience will offer guests the chance to see Senior Wilderness Explorer Russell and his furry friend Dug as they discover species of birds from around the world in their newest adventure at the Caravan Theater in Anandapur village. There will be “UP” close encounters each day with amazing winged creatures! “
On the official Walt Disney World page you’ll be able to find the daily showtimes (weather permitting) for Flights of Wonder. The current show touches points on conservation and the education about these majestic winged creatures, showcasing over 20 unique species of exotic birds.
The show has been a staple at Animal Kingdom Park since it opening day, April 22, 1998, with the same idea of the show holding it’s ground but having updates and minor changes over the years. Most recently in 2016 the Caravan Stage reopened after a brief refurbishment with a new covering over the audience seating areas, something that had been lacking from the start. With the addition of Dug and Russel, their presence at Animal Kingdom only increases beyond the meet and greet experience and the wildly popular Wilderness Explorers Experience which has been allowing guests to complete challenges in order to earn badge stickers for their Wilderness Explorer Handbooks. That experience first came on the scene in 2013 and has since expanded to include stops in Pandora: World of Avatar.
Share your thoughts; do you think this new direction of incorporating animated characters to help tell the tales of conservation is a smart move? Personally I feel it is - because it’ll help develop a emotional bridge between you and the characters you’ve grown to love, and the causes (and concerns) they’re passionate about.