Harambe Nights Special Hard Ticket Event – UPDATED 5/2/14

Harambe Nights

UPDATED 5/2/14

New details have been released regarding the Harambe Nights special event that will be starting on June 7th. Tickets may be purchased online here. There will be a welcome reception from 7 – 7:30pm. After that, from 7:30 – 8:25pm in honor of the 20th Anniversary is the new The Lion King: Concert in the Wild with a celebrity narrator and live orchestra. Celebrity narrators include:

June 7 – Viola Davis

June 15 – To Be Determined

June 22 – Montego Glover

June 29 – David Alan Grier

July 5 – Michael Beach

July 12 – Harry Lennix

July 19 – Joe Morton

July 26 – Alfre Woodard

August 2 – Brian Stokes Mitchell

August 9 – Patina Miller

From 8:25 – 10:30pm guests can enjoy the Harambe Street Party with a live band, dancing, food and drinks. Characters will be available for meet and greets, special artist signings will take place for exclusive artwork and merchandise. Some of the merchandise that will only be able to be purchased during the party include limited edition iPhone 4 and 5 cases featuring artwork from artist Randy Noble of the Lion King, a 20th Anniversary puzzle of the Lion King, and artwork, collectibles and clothing specific to the event.

All food and drinks are included in the ticket admission price. Guests are able to use their ticket to show for complimentary parking as early as 4pm, with park admission as early as 6pm for the party beginning at 7pm. It is recommended that you arrive at Disney’s Animal Kingdom at least 45 minutes prior to the start of the party in order to secure parking and go through security and to get to Harambe.


Starting June 7th at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, a special hard ticket event called Harambe Nights will take place Saturdays through the summer until August 9th. This separately purchased ticketed event takes place in the evening from 7pm until around 10:30pm, primarily in the Africa section of the park. Guests will be able to enjoy African themed tapas, beers and wines included in the ticket price. Also included will be a new telling of the Lion King show in the new Harambe Theater, including a celebrity host.

The evening will start off with a reception with food and beverages, then guests will be ushered into the theater where they will be served a snack before the new Lion King show lasting about 55 minutes. After the show concludes, an African Street Party with more snacks and drinks, music and dancing as well as character interactions will take place in Harambe Village. Around 10pm the party will move to just near the Tree of Life for a dessert party and farewell ceremony.

Celebrity hosts are subject to change, but include Viola Davis for the opening weekend. Ticket prices are $119 for adults and $79 for children plus tax for general admission and for premium floor seats for the show tickets are $134 and $94 plus tax. Parking for guests with tickets to Harambe Nights is complimentary. Tickets can be purchased starting today, May 1st, by calling 407-934-7639. A limited number of tickets are being sold for this event, so book early if you are interesting in purchasing tickets. As always, information is subject to change. Here is a link to the video some annual passholders received yesterday teasing the event. Tickets may be purchased online as well as over the phone. Either way, tickets may be linked to the guest’s My Disney Experience account for admission to this special event.

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Pleasure Island … A Fond Rememberance

Pleasure IslandIf you are anything like me and were fortunate enough to experience Downtown Disney’s Pleasure Island in its heyday, it is bittersweet to recognize today as the 25th Anniversary of its opening. There are a ton of changes coming for Downtown Disney with the new Disney Springs project. For now though, I’d like to take a look back at some of my favorite memories of Pleasure Island as I knew and loved it.

I first became an Annual Passholder to Walt Disney World shortly after moving to Florida in 1998. Living about an hour and a half away, I would often come to Orlando for a couple of days and stay just off property near Downtown Disney in the Crossroads area. My friends and I would usually take a cab for the short ride since we were going to the clubs. Being a premium annual passholder, admission to Pleasure Island was included for guests 18 and up, so I would find myself heading to Downtown Disney most weekends I visited.DSCF7985

There were eight clubs, some changed over time, but some were mainstays. I loved the ten years I got to experience Pleasure Island from 1998 – 2008 and often miss it dearly.

Opening day clubs that I never got to experience included XZFR Rockin Rollerdome, which was later replaced by the Rock ‘n’ Roll Beach Club, the Neon Armadillo, later became the BET Soundstage and Videopolis East, which later turned into 8Trax. I also never made it to the Fireworks Factory that was replaced Wildhorse Saloon in 1998 and later Motion. I never made it to the Comedy Warehouse, but I’m okay with this as standup isn’t really my thing.

Where Raglan Road is now, Pleasure Island Jazz Company use to sit. It was a fantastic club that was cool to hang out in while listening to live bands play traditional jazz, fusion, afro-cuban, even a capella groups performed there. This was one of my favorite places to go and just sit and enjoy a great band while enjoying a cocktail.

Another club where I spent a good amount of time was at Mannequins with the large rotating dance floor. This was one of my favorites and it played primarily current club and dance music. I loved this place especially when Sandstorm came on!


8Trax was a club that played 70s and 80s music, depending on the night. It was a lot of fun hearing some classic songs to dance long into the night.


These are the two clubs where I spent the most time aside from my all time favorite, the dearly missed Adventurer’s Club. This club was different from any other I’ve been to. It was part comedy, part improv, but all fun. Set in 1937, the club featured a group of adventurers always willing to induct a few more into their club. I cannot tell you how many hours I spent in the library or the mask room.



I have so many great memories of nights spent at Pleasure Island with friends and family. The countdown to New Year’s Eve and nightly fireworks were always fun with the live band on the West Side stage. The DJ and video screens played great songs outside between the clubs and shops.

I look forward to seeing how this area will evolve over the next few years, but in the meantime I sure could use a good old Kungaloosh! I guess I’ll just have to wait til I’m back at Trader Sams in Disneyland in November.

Did you get to experience Pleasure Island before the clubs closed in September of 2008? What’s your favorite part of the current Pleasure Island?

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Happy 25th Anniversary Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

Disney's Hollywood Studios

To celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, I thought it would be fun to share some of our favorite facts, fun times, and pictures from a park we love!

The World you have entered was created by The Walt Disney Company and is dedicated to Hollywood—not a place on a map, but a state of mind that exists wherever people dream and wonder and imagine, a place where illusion and reality are fused by technological magic. We welcome you to a Hollywood that never was and always will be.” – Michael Eisner May 1, 1989

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Disney’s Hollywood Studios Fun Facts!

I found these great facts on some sites that I love! Make sure you visit Studios Central and The Dis for even more facts!

1. The Disney’s Hollywood Studios entrance plaza outside the ticket booths forms a big Hidden Pluto. You can see his face with eyes, nose, and mouth. This is clearly visible on the park map.

2. The opening date for Disney’s Hollywood Studios is on the gas pump (if you get up close and look at the numbers) right when you first enter the park. 

3. All the pictures in the Brown Derby that are in BLACK frames are copies of the originals.  All The pics in the GOLD frames are the originals from the original Brown Derby…which no longer exists.

4. What is the significance behind the license plate number “021-429” on the car depicted in the gangster shoot-out sequence of “The Great Movie Ride?”  It is the date of the Valentine’s Day Massacre—February 14, 1929. 

5. Gertie the Dinosaur, on Echo Lake, pays homage to pioneering animator Winsor McCay and his revolutionary 1914 animated cartoon, Gertie the Dinosaur.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

6. The Earffel Tower is 130 feet tall with a diameter of 8 ½ feet and translates to a hat size of 342 3/8.

7. In Walt Disney:  One Man’s Dream, if you look closely at Walt Disney’s grade-school desk, you can see the initials “W.D.” carved into it. 

8. The belt buckle worn by John Wayne in the Western Scene is an actual buckle worn by the Duke in one of his movies.

9. At 40 feet tall, the larger-than-life stratocaster guitar that adorns the entrance of the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster has a 32-foot-long neck which is nearly 15 times the size of the neck on an average stratocaster guitar.

10. The golden idol is an exact replica of the one from “Raiders of the Lost Ark”.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

11. You’ll see a long brick wall to your right as you approach the ride from Star Tours. Along the top of the wall are planters with flowers and such in them. If you follow them along to the very end, the last one has an ice cream sundae in it instead of the flowers.

12. It has been estimated that each day at Toy Story Midway Mania! guests may break over one million virtual plates using the spring-action shooters.

13. Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the third theme park opened its doors in April 1989 and cost more than $500 million. It covers 231 acres, 77 acres of which is for parking. 

14. Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ first full length film to be produced at the studio was Mulan. 

15. When the Tower of Terror was being built, it was struck by lightning.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

16. The Sorcerer’s Hat in the center of the park weighs a wopping 150 tons and stands 122-foot-tall.

17. When you’re in line for Indiana Jones, you go past a well, I think to the right of the entrance.  If you pull on the rope, you’ll hear someone down in the well. 

18. Look for the key under the doormat at Muppets 3D.  Just after you go through the turnstile, go to your right and you’ll find a welcome mat.  Take a peek underneath it. 

19. A replica of the Colony Theater, New York, is at the Studios. The Colony Theater is where Steamboat Willie, Mickey’s first starting roll, debuted

20. It would take 5,026 toy soldiers lined up end-to-end to make up the total track length of Toy Story Midway Mania!

Disney's Hollywood Studios

21. In the preshow Muppet 3D room at Hollywood there is a net full of green Jell-O hanging from the ceiling.  It signifies Annette Funicello. 

22.Imagineers used the blue-prints of the original 1927 Meyer and Holler building for reference, when building the replica of Grauman’s Chinese Theater. The facade is built to full scale. The 22 ft central roof section was constructed seperately and hoisted into place by crane.

23. Imagineers had mahjongg players set up the game in the lobby of the Tower of Terror so guests who know how to play the game can see that it is authentic. 

24. In 1995, the Earful Tower had blue goggles in honor of Orlando Magic player Horace Grant. The Magic went on to play in the NBA championships, but they lost the series.

25. The names on the windows on the Streets of America are those of the Walt Disney Imagineering people who designed the park

Disney's Hollywood Studios

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