SNEAK PEEK: KiteTails Preview Ahead of Oct. 1

by | Sep 29, 2021 | Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World News, WDW Blog

We got a behind-the-scenes KiteTails preview this morning, ahead of the new Animal Kingdom show’s debut on Oct. 1.

As we gear up for the Most Magical Celebration on Earth, WDW Magazine is on the swampy ground of Orlando getting behind-the-scenes looks into all the big 50th happenings, including food, fireworks, and new rides. Today, co-owners Stephanie (CEO) and Danny (creative director) Shuster got an exclusive KiteTails preview reserved for members of the media.

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Here’s what they had to say.

KiteTails Preview: What to Know

According to Stephanie, there will be two versions of the KiteTails show—one that focuses on The Jungle Book and one that takes on The Lion King. Today, the media preview showed off the Jungle Book version.

Jungle Book Songs Included

Some fan-favorite songs made their way into the show. The audience of the KiteTails preview got to rock out to:

  • “I Wanna Be Like You”
  • “Colonel Hathi’s March”
  • “Bare Necessities”

These were actually covers of the songs. Stephanie described them as “peppy Calypso island music.” (Calypso is an Afro-Caribbean style of music that originated in Tobago and Trinidad.)

Jungle Book Kites

During the KiteTails preview of the Jungle Book version, Stephanie and Danny were amazed by the beautiful kites. There were two massive kites: one of King Louie and one of Baloo. There was also a “prickly pear” version of Baloo. “The characters are recognizable,” Stephanie explained, “but they also have that Discovery Island aesthetic. They’re rainbowy and swirly and fluorescent.”

Accompanying the larger kites were more normal tiered kites, but in large packs.

Danny’s favorite part: All the flying kites are pulled by jet skis. “They’re super cool,” he told me.

king-louie-jungle-book_kitetails-review_shuster

Photo by Danny Shuster

In addition to the flying kites, you should keep your eyes out for the handheld kites. Stephanie described them as more like puppets; she saw trees, elephants, and monkeys.

KiteTails Preview Pre-Show

Ahead of the media preview, Flounder and Sebastian kites from The Little Mermaid entertained the crowd, dancing to “Kiss the Girl” and “Under the Sea.”

The crowd then got very hyped when Crush and Squirt (plus another rando turtle) kites from Finding Nemo came out to interact.

crush-finding-nemo_kitetails-preview_shsuter

Photo by Danny Shuster

WATCH: KiteTails Sneak Peek

KiteTails Review: “Really Colorful, Absolutely Beautiful”

Stephanie was absolutely ecstatic to have been among the first to experience KiteTails. The amphitheater itself was full of Disney character kites that were “really colorful and cool.” She found the handiwork on the kites to be intricate and beautiful, and the island renditions of the classic Disney songs gave this show a unique feeling and “sound absolutely great.”

The show was so wonderful for Stephanie and Danny that they’re going to trek back to Animal Kingdom in a few days to catch the Lion King version, despite having full schedules of other 50th activities. Both versions are a must-see.


Follow along our 50th Anniversary adventures on Facebook and Instagram, and subscribe to our newsletter to keep up with all our Disney coverage.

Thanks to Disney for hosting us on a 2-night Media Preview of the Most Magical Celebration on Earth where we got to tour and experience many of the exciting updates made for Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary. #disneyworld50

Posts by Timothy Moore

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Timothy Moore is the editorial director of WDW Magazine, DLR Magazine, and DCL Magazine. He has 15 years of experience in storytelling across roles in content marketing, market research, SEO, and journalism. In addition to running an award-winning Disney magazine, Timothy writes travel and finance content for sites like Business Insider, USA Today, and Forbes.
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Authored by
Timothy Moore

Timothy Moore is the editorial director of WDW Magazine, DLR Magazine, and DCL Magazine. He has 15 years of experience in storytelling across roles in content marketing, market research, SEO, and journalism. In addition to running an award-winning Disney magazine, Timothy writes travel and finance content for sites like Business Insider, USA Today, and Forbes.
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