backed off the initial confirmation of Rafiki's Planet Watch's closing, now saying that the land will close only temporarily and will reopen next spring.*Updated [Sept. 28] A Disney spokesperson has
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One of the lands at Disney's Animal Kingdom is closing permanently next month, as the transformation of Disney World's four theme parks continues.
Disney confirmed to Orlando media today that it will close Rafiki's Planet Watch, with the land's final day on October 20. Named for the sage of the Pride Lands in The Lion King, this area is the home to the park's animal care facilities, which will become backstage-only with the closing of the land.
Visitors access the land on the Wildlife Express Train from Harambe in the park's Africa section. Once inside the land, they can visit the Conversation Station, the Affection Section petting zoo and the Habitat Habit nature trail. All will close along with the land.
The attractions in Rafiki's Planet Watch have lingered near the bottom of our Theme Park Insider reader ratings for Disney's Animal Kingdom and never have pulled significant numbers of visitors in what is becoming a more and more popular park, following the opening of Pandora: The World of Avatar last year. Disney's Animal Kingdom attracted 12.5 million visitors last year, according to the TEA/AECOM Theme Index attendance report, making it the second-most-visited Disney World theme park, behind the world-leading Magic Kingdom. Animal Kingdom was the fourth Walt Disney World Resort theme park to open, debuting on Earth Day, April 22, 1998.
Disney has not yet announced what the replacement for Rafiki's Planet Watch, if any, will be. Disney last month announced the temporary closure of two Magic Kingdom attractions to accommodate the construction of its TRON roller coaster. Other new attractions under construction at the resort include a Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster and Ratatouille dark ride at Epcot, and the Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway ride and Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge land at Disney's Hollywood Studios.Tweet
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