A couple of weeks ago, Dan from At Disney Again and I took our first steps into New Harambe. And it’s sort of the most amazing place ever. I know I’m one to gush about Disney, but … I mean it this time!
A quick overview for those of you not in-the-know: New Harambe extends behind Dawa Bar and Tusker House, and it is home to an enormous new theatre that houses The Festival of the Lion King as well as some nifty new bathrooms and a buttload of stroller parking. It also happens to be a nice, quiet hideaway for weary theme park goers.
Here are five things you need to know about the new spaces:
1. It completes Harambe.
DAK is the most immersive of all of the Disney Parks in Florida. Think about it: Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios are cartoons. You’re not really on Main Street, and you know it. EPCOT’s Pavilions, for all of their careful details, only maintain the illusion on three sides. But in DAK, at least in Africa and Asia, you’re there. Fully and completely.
I’ve always felt that way, but experiencing New Harambe has really cemented it for me. The new spaces complete the City of Harambe in ways I didn’t even realize it was incomplete. Not only does it not feel like an extension, but it feels like it’s always been there. It really makes the Park feel more whole.
2. It’s enormous.
Holy moley! It’s so damn big. Look at all of this open space:
Of course, right before a show, it’s packed with people and strollers. And after a show, it’s pure pandemonium. But in those in-between times, it’s delightfully open, calm and quiet. It’s away from the main hustle but close enough to Tusker House and Dawa Bar that it feels alive.
3. It’s a port.
Harambe has always been a port city, but now it actually is a port city! And it’s so cool! The increased waterfront really adds kinetic life to the place. And it also gave the Imagineers another opportunity to create some cool signage:
4. It’s a city.
In the past, Harambe has always sort of felt like a square, not a real city. Think about it: all of the buildings radiate from the stage. But this addition pushed the city way back, and added some real dimension. And with all of that extra space came lots of extra opportunities for the Imagineers to offer little hints about the city life:
5. It’s still a theme park.
Yea, it is. And that’s one of the things I like about it—it’s perfectly safe and well planned. It’s designed for fun and relaxation. And because of that, there are some GREAT “Do Not Enter” signs that fit right in while maintaining the lovely theme park order that I love so much:
And for those of you with a stoller … make sure you keep your eyes open for these. They blend in well, but please obey them:
For even more cool signage and images from the expanded port city, don’t forget to visit At Disney Again’s post!
Have you been to see New Harambe yet? Let us know what you thought (or what you’re looking forward to) in the comments below!