Disney’s Animal Kingdom celebrates the 50th Anniversary with two versions of KiteTails. Check out all the details of this show here.
Disney World Turns 50
On October 1, 1971 Disney World opened up its gates for the first time. Check out everything you need to know about Disney World’s amazing 50th anniversary celebrations HERE.
Every Disney World Theme Park is joining in the festivities. One of our favorite touches is the EARidescent Mickey and Minnie new outfits for this golden anniversary. Check these out HERE.
Animal Kingdom’s 50th Celebrations
In June, we shared that Animal Kingdom would receive a new daytime show for the 50th anniversary. Disney announced this show would begin on Friday, October 1, 2021. Check out the fun elephant kite above. There was a “parade” of elephant kites marching by us.
In addition, we reported that icons in each park will transform into Beacons of Magic, and will come to life with a magical glow! Disney’s Animal Kingdom Tree of Life received a magnificent transformation into a Beacon of Light.
Glittering fireflies light up the tree along with beautiful colors and projections. With Animal Kingdom closing earlier than other Disney World theme parks, it can be trickier to catch. Plan to stay later one night and catch both Pandora and the Tree of Life lit up.
On September 29, our very own Kenny the Pirate noticed that there was quite a bit of activity around the Discovery River Theater. After checking it out, he realized Disney was previewing KiteTails that afternoon.
He watched the soft opening with the Lion King theme! This was the first time the show had ever taken place for guests. What a special treat for park goers that day!
What is KiteTails?
Guests can catch KiteTails at the Animal Kingdom lagoon. 3-dimensional kites and colorful windcatchers dance in the air the classic Disney songs. This 10-minute show consists of two sections. View the showtimes for KiteTails here.
The kites are very oversized and catch your attention as they pass guests from every direction. The smaller kites along with the wind catchers were very fun. My favorite small kites were the monkeys. The kite movement mimicked their playful movements so well.
Note: Disney gives guests 2 unique Kite Tails shows.
First, the show Kenny watched was inspired by The Lion King featuring Simba, Zazu, and Mufasa. Favorite songs from the lion King played during the show. At the time we watched it, I (Susan) did not realize there were two separate shows. With it’s rocky start, I just thought some of the kites were still out of commission.
Second is the show a fellow writer, Maggie, and I (Susan) caught on October 3 inspired by The Jungle Book featuring King Louie, Baloo, and monkey and elephant wind catchers. Our favorite songs from the Jungle Book played during the show. I forgot how fun the Jungle Book music is, but even after the show I kept humming the songs.
Since officially opening on October 1, the show has already had mishaps. On October 2, the first shows opened with only a few kites. Then, the later shows were cancelled.
Reports stated that a jet ski flipped during this show. Check out how close the jet skis are in the photo above. KiteTails is an ambitious show, and I (Susan) hope they get the kinks worked out soon.
This didn’t surprise me (Susan) since there are jet skis seemingly going in every direction with kites throughout the show. It makes me wonder if the lagoon is large enough to perform the feats required for the show.
Finding our Seat
We arrived at the Discovery River Theater about 5 minutes before showtime. Although seating was widely available, Cast Members directed everyone in the direction to sit. However, we spotted shade to the left of us in a nearly empty section.
Since there are no bad seats to view KiteTails, we were free to move to the shaded spot. Seating is bench style but doesn’t get uncomfortable since the show itself is short. It’s just enough time to take a break and then go check out what other things Animal Kingdom has in store for guests.
To get guests excited about KiteTails, the Disney drummers race up on their float. Love the way they play songs and cheer at guests.
This is the same float that follows the Animal Kingdom cavalcade floats.
The Show Begins
KiteTails begins with beautifully colored windcathers and kites soaring above guests as Cast Members seemingly make them come to life at the moving around at the front of the seating areas.
These kits are loosely based on Finding Nemo. Then, the show transitions into Jungle Book animal and tropical plant kites.
We just loved the adorable monkey and elephant kites everywhere. This part of the show was a mix of performers at the base of the theater and jet skis carrying colorful kites.
The Wow Factor
Afterwards, the show transitions into the larger kites making their way to cheering guests. All of this is set to lively Jungle Book music that I’m still humming! The first large float was Baloo.
Next, one of Baloo’s favorite foods is represented, the prickly pear. Thanks crew for help on identifying this one!
Finally, King Louie made the rounds delighting guests throughout the lagoon. Although the show was brief, it was a wonderful afternoon break. Since we sat in the shade, it helped us cool off and get refreshed for our next adventure. Each oversized kite goes into the sky using a jet ski across from spectators. They take off from the dock shown below. Then, once a kite is finished, it “deflates” by landing in the empty stands to the right of where we sat
Ending the Show
We loved how all the jet skis came by to wave at guests on their way out. It was a fun touch to the interactive show.
Have you seen KiteTails yet? What do you think from looking at the pictures? Please share your thoughts in the comments below or on our Facebook Page.