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Rafiki’s Planet Watch Reopening in Disney’s Animal Kingdom in July

It’s always hard to figure out what Disney is going to do when it closes an attraction, but sometimes they come back! We reported after being closed since last fall that Rafiki’s Planet Watch was coming back and now Disney has just announced it’s reopening in Disney’s Animal Kingdom after a refurbishment on July 11, and it has some nice upgrades too!

Rafiki’s Planet Watch reopening

Disney announced that it will still include the Animal encounters guests love so much, as well as the Wildlife Express and Affection Section, but it will also include new experiences that draw on Disney’s Animal Animation history too and show how some of our favorite characters from the films were inspired by real animals.

The newly refurbished Rafiki’s Planet Watch will even include a new section on “The Lion King” which remains one of guests’ favorite Disney films and goes along with the new “Live-Action” version coming out later this Summer.

Rafiki's Planet Watch reopening animal kingdom petting zoo

Rafiki’s Planet Watch will still be a special place where Disney cast members can connect to the magic of nature and see the importance Disney places on animal care and conservation in our parks and around the world.

Rafiki's Planet Watch reopening
Rafiki's Planet Watch reopening petting zoo

Another cool addition is that you’ll have the chance to create a personalized piece of Disney art in an instructor-led animation class. Each session will include different characters like Simba, Zazu, Pumbaa and Timon.

This new experience will be available with FastPass+ which you can start reserving today!

I’m happy Rafiki’s Planet Watch is sticking around for a while as keeping in touch with the animals is great for guests and an important part of the park. I’m excited to see what changes are being made.

This also seems to have put a stop on a potential Zootopia Land which was rumored to be coming to that area in the event of a permanent closing of Rafiki’s, or at least on hold for a while. It’s too bad because the one coming to Shanghai Disneyland looks like it will be amazing!!

Read about more Disney World attraction refurbishments here and get the full list.

Again Rafiki’s Planet Watch is reopening July 11, 2019 and stay here at Ziggy Knows Disney for any other updates coming to this refurbishment…

Your Thoughts:

I want to know what you think about Rafiki’s Planet Watch reopening…

  • Are you happy it’s coming back?
  • What other experiences should Disney add to make it better?

Let us know in the comments section below!

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News Source: Disney Parks Blog

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Saturday 15th of June 2019

It stinks, because Zootopia did so well winning so many awards and grossing a billion dollars. Zootopia is a movie with things related to Nick Wilde, Judy Hopps, and Flash that represent merchandise and Zootopia has not been very present at the Disney Parks.


Sunday 16th of June 2019

Hi Griffin, thanks for the comment! So you're saying you'd rather see a Zootopia Land come to the Animal Kingdom instead of Rafiki's? I don't know if it will replace Rafiki's but I think there is a very good chance you could see Zootopia in WDW at some point in the near future since Disney is already developing a Zootopia land overseas. Likely they will bring it to the U.S. too


Monday 10th of June 2019

It’s good that it is staying around it’s a so underestimated part of the Animal Kingdom and conservation project

The ability to watch the vets in action is amazing I have seen various operations the last one was the extraction of a tooth from a kangaroo


Saturday 15th of June 2019

Hi Lee, thanks for the comment. I agree, I love watching those animals, the whole thing is fascinating how they are able to operate and everything. I hope it sticks around for a while