To quote a favorite Frozen song, “For the first time in forever” Disney’s Animal Kingdom is getting a holiday makeover! Every single land — including otherworldly Pandora — is getting in on the holiday action this year with new decor and overlays.
Disney has been releasing photos and videos during the summer and fall with some sneak peeks at the new decor. This made us anxious to stop by and check out what’s new, and we were certainly in the holiday spirit by the time we left!
New Christmas and Holiday Decor in Animal Kingdom’s Discovery Island
As promised, Discovery Island is dressed up with luminaries in the form of animals, lanterns, and garland. The luminaries and lanterns are in pastel shades and light up beautifully at night.
These aren’t simple paper luminaries like you may find in your own neighborhood. They’re intricate, with delicate swirling designs, subtle textures and patterns, and an ethereal tone.
The Tree of Life does not appear any different during the day, but at night Disney promises a stunning holiday Tree of Life Awakenings program. In addition to a new light show, there is also a new holiday soundtrack for Awakenings.
We were also recently treated to a preview of the puppets that will be around Discovery Island, but seeing these in person is so much fun! They are not the size of your average puppet; these puppets are accompanied by cast members, and they interact with guests.
New Christmas and Holiday Decor in Animal Kingdom’s Pandora
Pandora has not been decorated for the holidays in the past. We were promised decor as unique as the land, and that’s what we found!
Pongu Pongu is loaded with interesting garlands comprised of… well, a TON of different materials.
The decorations are made to look like they used ACE lighting and added ornaments and figurines to the lighting with rope. The combination of natural and man-made materials is perfectly suited to the land.
Take some time to look at all of the details, we spotted some nutcrackers at Pongu Pongu.
We think we found Santa in Pandora!
New Christmas and Holiday Decor in Animal Kingdom’s Africa
Africa is full of creative and colorful holiday decor — starting with the Christmas tree made of up-cycled bikes, tubing, toys, and more!
This tree is even more incredible at night! Check it out!
The garlands in Africa are stunning. We snapped shots of several because we couldn’t help ourselves!
Some garlands are lit up for night as well.
Some garlands even span the full width of Harambe. Colorful batik fabric scraps are tied around telephone wires, bringing color and texture to the space. We love the spirit of repurposing materials in this land.
There are also some beautiful wreaths that keep with the tone of the land! The bottle cap designs are our favorite, but we love ’em all!
Night brings these pieces a different kind of life.
New Christmas and Holiday Decor in Animal Kingdom’s Asia
You can hear the decor in Asia before you see it — a key element of the decor is bells, along with lanterns and traditional floral garlands. The holidays here center on Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights that occurred in late-October.
We love seeing all of the color in this land thanks to the decorations — and the decor is so detailed. Take a moment when you visit to appreciate this decor!
New Christmas and Holiday Decor in Animal Kingdom’s DinoLand U.S.A.
Disney told us to expect DinoLand U.S.A. decor that looked like the characters did it themselves — and that’s what we found! Look at all of these lights!
And how about a wreath decorated with… mittens? Yes, mittens!
The dinos are dressed up for the season with Santa costumes and ugly sweaters!
Donald’s Dino Bash has returned for 2019, and it’s flashier than ever!
We found Scrooge McDuck in DinoLand meeting guests — and he even has presents for his nephews.
Be sure to check out this reference to Disney’s version of A Christmas Carol!
The fossils have gotten in on the action, too. Merry Christmas, our bony friend!
While you’re in the park be on the lookout for gifts to and from Disney characters — we think Pluto will love this gift from Donald!
Speaking of Donald, he made these stockings for his friends!
New Christmas and Holiday Treats in Animal Kingdom
You’ll also find some special holiday-themed treats around the park — like this now green and red lion paw cookie!
DIno-Bites is offering a monster-sized Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream Sandwich!
We loved this holiday visit to Animal Kingdom. The decor is detailed, authentic, and festive. This may have been a skippable park during the holidays before — but not anymore!
Do you plan on visiting the Animal Kingdom during the holidays? Let us know in the comments!
Want to learn more about this year's holiday season in Disney? We can help!
- 2019 Christmas Wish from the Magic Kingdom
- Disney Pic of the Week: Christmas Wish from the Magic Kingdom
- 2019 Walt Disney World Holiday Photo Opportunities
- Disney Pic of the Week: Christmas Gertie
- Disney Pic of the Week: Christmas Mickey Topiary
- Here’s Where You Can Celebrate 12 Winter Holiday Traditions at Once at Walt Disney World
- Is The Nightmare Before Christmas a Halloween Movie or Christmas Movie?
- Picture This! is at Walt Disney World
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