Walt Disney World has confirmed that the Rafiki’s Planet Watch at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will close next month.

UPDATE (9/28/18):

  • Today, Walt Disney World released a statement regarding the closing of Rafiki’s Planet Watch.
  • “Starting October 21, Rafiki’s Planet Watch and Wildlife Express will not be available to Guests. We anticipate reopening Rafiki’s Planet Watch and Wildlife Express for Guests in Spring 2019, with more details to come. In the meantime, we will be taking a closer look at the offering to determine what would be most meaningful to our Guests as well as what fits best within the overall park experience.”


  • The Orlando Sentinel has reported that Rafiki’s Planet Watch will close to guests after October 20.
  • The area was was home to several exhibits on environmental topics, gave guests a peek into park’s vet facilities, and included Affection Section petting zoo.
  • A Disney spokeswoman told the Sentinel that Disney is retaining its animal-care team.
  • According to Disney, some of the offerings from Planet Watch may reemerge elsewhere in the park.
  • Meanwhile, it’s unclear what if anything will occupy the area going forward.
  • Somewhat ironically, this news comes a day after new offerings meant to celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Lion King would be coming to Animal Kingdom next year.
  • This celebration will include the debut of the Hakuna Matata Time Dance Party on Discovery Island, special photo-op backdrops, and more.