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News Rafiki's Planet Watch is closing Oct. 21st will reopen in Summer 2019

cjkeating

Well-Known Member
I note this hasn't got official confirmation like the other closures yet... but I've been watching the times for this on the WDW website and they have started adjusting them to remove any times already posted in October.
 

Spash007

Well-Known Member
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I know there is little chance of this, but I hope when it's not open, they're making upgrades/improvements to the area to make it more worthwhile/easier for people to get to. Honestly it wouldn't take too much - add more things along the train route and the path up to the Planet Watch. The problem with the train I've always found is that in a park filled with real animals, animatronics would look out of place. The path though shouldn't be that difficult by adding some animals up there - the treks in Asia and Africa are fairly popular. Even add an attraction up there that would fit in and not be too noisy to disturb the animals, like a Pocahontas boat ride.

Again, I know that almost is definitely not happening. Hopefully they'll at least consider bringing some the caring for animals aspects up to the main part of the park.
 

MaximumEd

Well-Known Member
I agree completely with what some of the above posters said. I wasn’t a fan of the area, but I hate to see anything cut when the parks are still bursting at the seams, the last few weeks aside. I can’t wrap my brain around how a company and a place that makes money off of offering experiences thinks cutting those experiences while steady raising prices is a good idea. You’d think that if attendance was down, then double down on attractions to draw people in. Don’t freaking cut them. Seems awfully counterproductive to me. Build stuff, extend hours, fully staff the rides. Give people a great experience and they will come in droves. I mean, they only have 50 years of data to prove this in locations all over the globe.
 

CJR

Well-Known Member
I note this hasn't got official confirmation like the other closures yet... but I've been watching the times for this on the WDW website and they have started adjusting them to remove any times already posted in October.
It looks like they have it open for its normal 10-5 thru October 6th, No Times Available from Oct 7th and onward. Maybe it got pushed back a week?
 

cjkeating

Well-Known Member
The calendars are not updated yet.
If you follow this link... if it works... (I'm from the UK so I don't know if it will redirect to the US and break things for most people).

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/en_GB/entertainment/animal-kingdom/#/character-experiences/

And select a date from 30th onwards you'll see Rafiki and Doc McStuffins no longer have times listed. Ignore Dino-Bash! not having times loaded as for some reason they haven't set up individual M&G items for Dino-Bash! and just list it as one entity.
 

Tom P.

Well-Known Member
@wdwmagic @marni1971

Is there any confirmation from the inside sources as to exactly what "seasonal" means? Is it only planned to be open during the summer months now? The closure beginning on September 30th does suggest it won't be open for the Halloween season, but what about Christmas/New Year's? Or other times outside of summer?
 

wdwmagic

Administrator
Moderator
@wdwmagic @marni1971

Is there any confirmation from the inside sources as to exactly what "seasonal" means? Is it only planned to be open during the summer months now? The closure beginning on September 30th does suggest it won't be open for the Halloween season, but what about Christmas/New Year's? Or other times outside of summer?
At the minute it isnt clear what the plans are. The seasonal operation tag is typically applied to something when they want to close it, but leave it in a state where it can be brought back online quickly during peak periods or a change in situation.

This could be the first phase of a permanent closure, or not.

I'll be sure to post if I get anymore info.
 

ptlohmysoul

New Member
Any idea when/if they will republish the Wilderness Explorers' books to remove the badges from Rafiki's Planet Watch? How do you keep seasonal badges in a book?
 

Rteetz

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
@wdwmagic @marni1971

Is there any confirmation from the inside sources as to exactly what "seasonal" means? Is it only planned to be open during the summer months now? The closure beginning on September 30th does suggest it won't be open for the Halloween season, but what about Christmas/New Year's? Or other times outside of summer?
Yeah as far as I know there is no immediate plans for the area. CMs have been given new assignments. The animal hospital areas will still be used when needed and offices will obviously stay as is.
 

412

Member
This is too bad. As Tavernacle12 said, it was the Tom Sawyer's Island of AK. If I'm trying to stay at the park all day, I really appreciate having an area that's a bit slower paced, where I can relax and get away from the crowds for an hour or two in the middle of the day. As an added bonus, Conservation Station is a great respite from the heat at a park that has relatively few indoor areas.

I really enjoy Pandora and Everest, but sometimes I like to balance that out by looking at lizards and petting a few goats. It's all part of a well-rounded day!
 

BisonLion

New Member
Still strange that a theme park that had 12,500,000 visitors last year need to budget cuts. Is this FOX related? Also both these forums and the universal one people say that attendance is severely down this year. Maybe because of Irma last year, and of course people are waiting with there trip for next years Galaxy's Edge.
I'll be honest, that is what is affecting our trip in the spring. We are going on a Disney Cruise instead, and then will go to WDW in Spring/Early summer of 2020 hopefully when the crowds for SWL have died down a little. Didn't feel it was worth spending the money this spring, when I know for sure we would go the following year (we usually go about every other year, but this will be a three year stretch). I would assume there are many others that feel the same.
 

Mander

Well-Known Member
This is too bad. As Tavernacle12 said, it was the Tom Sawyer's Island of AK. If I'm trying to stay at the park all day, I really appreciate having an area that's a bit slower paced, where I can relax and get away from the crowds for an hour or two in the middle of the day. As an added bonus, Conservation Station is a great respite from the heat at a park that has relatively few indoor areas.

I really enjoy Pandora and Everest, but sometimes I like to balance that out by looking at lizards and petting a few goats. It's all part of a well-rounded day!
This is it exactly. We always loved a mid-day visit to RPW! It never felt as crowded as the rest of the park. We loved those rainforest listening booths too. I've always said AK is a full day park but this loss might change that for me.
 

Jedi Stitch

Well-Known Member
Seasonal, like during This soft season? I think most people attending can understand if an attraction is down for refurbishment or mechanical reasons, but closing down to pinch a penny in not a valid excuse. So, to me cutting cost by closing down portions of the park that would normally be accessible with an addition ticket, and not reducing the price for admission, Sound a lot like fraud, but that to me is the simple way of putting it.
 
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