Avatar island attached to show building. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Disney Animal Kingdom Construction: August 2015

Construction continues at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Let’s start the biggest of all projects–Avatar’s Pandora. Now that the exterior of the simulator show building has been built, the front facade is being layered on. This will consist of a series of mountains and even hanging islands:

Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
Long shot of Avatar. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

You can see the structural outline of the mountain being attached to the front of that simulator building below:

Avatar island attached to show building. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
Avatar island attached to show building. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

This closeup reveals the rock work mesh that is being attached to the front of the building. When completed, guests should not be able to see the simulator show building itself.

Rock work close up.  Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
Rock work close up. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

This island below is in front of the show building and stands independent of the show building itself. How they will trick your eye into thinking that it is  suspended in air remains yet to be seen. One can see the base of it below.

Hanging island.  Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
Hanging island. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

The show building in the foreground below is actually fairly close to the back side of The Rainforest Cafe. Perhaps models and depictions at D23 will help to define the purpose of this building, but my guess is that it’s an indoor show building for the boat experience.

Show building. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
Show building. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Numbers show that attendance at the park is greater than ever. That toll is especially being taken on Kilimanjaro Safaris. For some time, the entrance to the FastPass return was down toward the Eastern Star railway entrance. Now it’s been moved back to where FastPasses used to be distributed prior to the introduction of MyMagic+.

FastPass+ return entrance. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
FastPass+ return entrance. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Not only has the the new entrance lengthened the queue for FastPass+ return, but they have taken the old stroller parking area (a new one is further on up ahead) and has made this as an additional area for queueing those holding a FastPass+. Thus, what was a 5-12 minute wait to get onboard, is now more of a 15-22 minute wait. Perhaps it will thin out when the hours are lengthened for the evening version of Kilimanjaro Safaris, but by then there may be an additional million visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom with the arrival of Avatar and all of the other offerings.

New FastPass+ Queue. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
New FastPass+ Queue. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Over at Expedition Everest, the removal of a FastPass distribution area provides a new food and beverage location, which is currently under construction.

New F&B area for Asia. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
New F&B area for Asia. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Rivers of Light is much further along the road to opening. Below we see the shoreline from hear the entrance to Expedition Everest. We are looking at the east shore in the foreground with the south shore in the background.

Rivers of Light shoreline. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
Rivers of Light shoreline. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Looking back from the bridge toward that same old Expedition Everest Fast Pass distribution area (in the center toward the rear) we see a tiered viewing area, with rock work lining the shore.

River front from the bridge. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
River front from the bridge. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Looking the other way from the bridge, we see additional ramps and viewing areas lining the shores below the Finding Nemo theater show.

South side viewing area. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
South side viewing area. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

A rock work island just off the same southern shore below the Dinoland area is probably a staging area for the Rivers of Light show. In the foreground is one of several small buildings that can be found around the river.

Rock island staging area. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
Rock island staging area. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

From the shores of Flame Tree Barbecue we see the entire lake, with a construction barge in the foreground.

Construction barge and lake. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
Construction barge and lake. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

From the same shore we see another rock cropping along the north shore, it’s hole probably designed to hold a projector for the show.

New rock cropping. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
New rock cropping. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

All of these new shows and attractions ultimately leads guests to Discovery Island shops on the way to the exit. And that’s where we end this photo blog. Here we see continuing construction to enlarge one of those shops.

New retail construction on Discovery Island. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
New retail construction on Discovery Island. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

 

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