Disney’s Animal Kingdom is Officially Retiring This Popular Show

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park is home to some of the best live performances at the Walt Disney World Resort.

In addition to live performances around the Park like the Tam Tam Drummers of Harambe and live music by Chakranadi in Asia, the Park is home to some of Disney’s most popular show attractions like Festival of the Lion King, Finding Nemo – The Big Blue…and Beyond, and Feathered Friends in Flight.


Credit: Matthew Cooper –

Along with these must-do attractions, the Park has offered an additional live performance that gained a following from fans since its launch at the start of Walt Disney World’s 50th-anniversary celebration last year. This show is Disney KiteTails, which only began last October and has since changed a handful of times.

When Disney KiteTails launched, it took place as a full show over the Discovery River Lagoon at set times throughout the day. Later, presumably due to the show’s mixed popularity save for some diehard fans, the show was modified to take place in shorter segments that would run at sporadic times throughout the day.


Credit: Disney

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Now, as we approach the one-year mark into Disney World’s 18-month 50th-anniversary celebration, the Resort has officially announced that KiteTails will be retired.

Theme park reporter Scott Gustin shared the news that she show will soon end on Twitter, noting that the final day for Disney KiteTails is coming up very quickly on September 30, 2022.

While the show was a special Disney’s Animal Kingdom event planned for the 50th-anniversary celebration, the “World’s Most Magical Celebration,” does not end until Spring 2023, so fans might be surprised to see KiteTails ending so soon. (Or perhaps they will not be surprised given the show’s infamous reputation thanks to the style of the floats and a handful of thankfully non-serious incidents.)

Disney has not yet announced if there will be an immediate replacement for KiteTails, or if it is possible that Rivers of Light, which previously took place on the Discovery River Lagoon, could make a comeback.

Disney’s official description of KiteTails reads:

Hearts and imaginations will soar as larger-than-life kites and colorful props dance through the air to the beat of beloved Disney songs. Enjoy unique shows, themed to two beloved Disney animated classics:

The Lion King, featuring kites inspired by Simba, Zazu and more
The Jungle Book, featuring kites inspired by King Louie, Baloo and more

See the magic take flight above the Discovery River Lagoon during The World’s Most Magical Celebration—the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary.

As always, we will keep you updated here on Disney Tips as we know more about upcoming entertainment changes at Walt Disney World.

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."