Kilimanjaro Safaris; Animal Kingdom; AA
  • On Aug 6, 2010
    Jennifer from SC Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    I've heard of opening ceremonies at MK. Do other parks do this as well? Is it before EMH or before regular park opening hour?Also, is Illuminations every night? I don't see it listed on Oct.1st. Thanks a bunch.


    Thanks for the question!

    Yes, all of the parks have "Opening Ceremonies," and you don't have to go on a day that has Early Magic Hours to catch it!  To get a good view, you'll want to be at the gate at least 30 minutes before park opening so you can get through bag check and the ticket turnstile as soon as you're able.

    For Magic Kingdom, the "show" performs at the front train station. Mickey and the gang, along with unexpected favorites like Mary Poppins, welcome everyone to the park. Our family likes to stand in the middle of the promenade below the train station to see all the characters.

    On our last trip to Epcot, characters came out on either side of Future World to walk guests to Soarin' or Test Track. The entrance wasn't as grand as Magic Kingdom, and if you weren't near the front, difficult to see, but nonetheless thrilling to begin the day seeing Minnie and others.

    The opening at Disney's Hollywood Studios can be just as difficult to see as Epcot, even though the film director orchestrating everything sometimes sits atop a camera boom, so get there early. Like Epcot, you'll move through the park gates and down the main boulevard to see the show.

    At Animal Kingdom, most of the opening fanfare will take place well within the park near Discovery Island. Donald Duck and Mickey, dressed in safari wear, welcome guests atop their jeep. Thankfully, there is a rather steep hill approaching their arrival, so you can see just as well from a perch 50 yards away as a few feet.

    As for Illuminations. to my knowledge the show lights up every night. Its absence from the October calendar may simply be a glitch as the Food & Wine half-marathon is not until the next evening, so I don't know of anything that would be interfering with it.

    Wishing you a magical vacation!
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Meet the Panelist: Whitney, Mississippi

My family of 6 appreciates Disney's value! Although Ft. Wilderness is our second home, we've enjoyed the resorts for business, reunions and romantic getaways. For me, Disney also means dining: last count, I'd eaten at 55 restaurants around the World! Learn More About Whitney

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