New 'Up' show to replace Flights of Wonder at Disney World

December 11, 2017, 11:28 AM · The Walt Disney World Resort announced this morning that a new live show themed to the Disney-Pixar animated movie Up will replace the Flights of Wonder bird show at Disney's Animal Kingdom next year.

Flights of Wonder will plays its final performances on December 31, as Disney prepares the Caravan Theater in the Anandapur village section of the park's Asia land for the new show. The as-yet-untitled Up production also will be a bird show, but will be framed within the theme of "Senior Wilderness Explorer" Russell and his dog Dug learning about various bird species from around the world. (Will Kevin make an appearance? Who knows?)

The switch represents the latest example of Disney introducing or expanding its fictional IP into attractions and lands in its theme parks that previously offered non-fiction themes. (See also: The Three Caballeros in Epcot's Mexico, Finding Nemo in The Living Seas, Frozen in Norway, The Muppets in Magic Kingdom's Liberty Square, and the upcoming Ratatouille in Epcot's France and Guardians of the Galaxy in the former Universe of Energy pavilion.) The name change also should alleviate any guest confusion resulting from the opening of the wildly popular, similarly-named but very different Flight of Passage ride in the new Pandora: The World of Avatar land on the other side of the park.

The new production will debut next spring. No more specific opening date has been announced.

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Replies (9)

December 11, 2017 at 11:45 AM · Think it’s a real shame as flights of wonder did a great job of explaining how delicate our planet is with animals like birds and how we all can make a difference in there life’s and now it’s going to be replaced with a cartoon style setup, should have kept it human touch and updated the show or replaced with a new human presented show, now it may loose the important message it sent to everyone.
December 11, 2017 at 11:46 AM · ......and AK's evolution continues! The reality is that any attraction not directly associated with a Disney IP, in any of their parks, soon will be.
December 11, 2017 at 12:00 PM · Sigh.....:-( And am I the only one who finds the Russell costume absolutely creepy??
December 11, 2017 at 12:39 PM · Replace Russell with the current shows tour guide character and nothing really changes. Russell is already a meet and greet character in the park. The Wilderness Explorer would also work well with the show.
December 11, 2017 at 1:44 PM · They won't have the fictional Dodo bird, which is the key part of the Up story.
December 11, 2017 at 1:58 PM · "They won't have the fictional Dodo bird, which is the key part of the Up story."

They could, it just wouldn't be a real bird (animatronic or human in costume).

This conversion seems like a logical extension, and makes sense since Russell and the Wilderness Explorers are already prominently featured in DAK. I hope the new show focuses more on the actual birds and their abilities instead of some silly story (Red the baby elephant anyone???).

I'm with you Melanie - I'm guessing the costumed characters will not actually interact with the animals, and simply serve as a conduit to make the show more entertaining and accessible to kids.

December 11, 2017 at 10:18 PM · Russell will be much more kid friendly and a whole lot less annoying than the 'tour guide' in the audience.
December 13, 2017 at 8:20 AM · I agree about that our guide character. I didn't mind him the first time, but after a while, you get the same tired gags about how he's scared of birds for some reason. That said, I hope the show will maintain the same focus: the birds, not the I.P.
December 13, 2017 at 4:48 PM · I am looking forward to seeing it. It was time for a change.

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