It would appear that Rafiki’s Planet Watch in Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be closing permanently on October 21, 2018 according to Disney Cast Members. Could the sudden closure be making way for the long-rumored Zootopia Land, or is it simply due to budget constraints?
While Disney has not yet officially confirmed the closure of Rafiki’s Planet Watch, several blogs are reporting that Cast Members have been told that the area is indeed closing.
According to WDW News Today, some experiences from Planet Watch could find a new home elsewhere in the park, and the veterinary facilities will remain in service for now.
While Rafiki’s Planet Watch and Conservation Station have never been a terribly popular part of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, it did provide a fantastic conservation and educational aspect to the park which aligned with Animal Kingdom’s original mission statement.
Is Zootopia Coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom?
If Rafiki’s Planet Watch is indeed closing permanently, and not temporarily as part of an effort to slash expenses due to a decline in attendance, then what is taking its place?
It’s been rumored since last year that Disney is planning on adding a Zootopia Land to Animal Kingdom in the not-too-distant future. While it’s unclear just what kind of attractions would be included, it’s believed that the Wildlife Express Train that goes into Rafiki’s Planet Watch would be converted into the bullet train Judy Hopps takes into Zootopia at the beginning of the film.
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Again, this is all purely speculative as there has been no official announcement of a replacement for Rafiki’s Planet Watch, or even its closure at this point.
Stay tuned to The Kingdom Insider for the latest information on upcoming changes to the Disney parks as we hear them.