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Unpopular Opinion: I really liked “The Jungle Book: Alive With Magic” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

in Disney, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic

Yeah, you read that right: I really had a great time with The Jungle Book: Alive With Magic nighttime show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Is it perfect? Nope. But what Disney theme park production is? Relax.

I’ve seen many opinionated theme park fans railing on this show, claiming it’s a slap dash desperate attempt to fill time while the Disney Imagineers prep the proper technology for Rivers of Light, which was originally scheduled to be open by now. Personally, what I found was a lively spectacle with a solid narrative, and a splendid way to spend twenty minutes of my life.

I admit, I’m not entirely sure what all the scoffing “get off my lawn” types are complaining about. It told the story of the film well, and it was highlighted by over-the-top Bollywood craziness. The choreography was fun, the massive (like MASSIVE) cast was a spectacle in and of itself, and the projections were vibrant and creatively-placed.

The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic

My only gripes with The Jungle Book: Alive With Magic involve there not being any real, loving introduction to our three vocal leads in the center. Why are they there? Why should we be paying attention to them? And no “because they’re the ones singing the songs” isn’t a valid reason, not when there are so many things going on at once on those stages. Another issue I had involves the fact that the show doesn’t kick off with a bang — as in, everybody just kind of *arrives* and then the story starts. I would have liked a big, musical overture, or something maybe a little more “welcome to this huge, magical show” instead of the slow opening of a book as a water projection.

But the talent was there, and it was a really entertaining way to preview the new on-lake experiences that Animal Kingdom’s nighttime festivities have to offer. Also, props to the line queue attendants for getting everybody into the arena and seated with absolutely zero stress. Seriously, pat yourselves on the back.

Overall, it was an enjoyable experience and a pleasant way to close out an evening in Disney’s most original park. Congrats to the cast and crew!

Check out full video of the show below:

So what do you folks think of The Jungle Book: Alive With Magic? I know you folks have opinions, and I want to hear ’em! For all things Disney Parks, stick with Inside the Magic!

10 Comments

  1. Crissy Hensley

    I can’t wait to go see it in a few weeks! Animal Kingdom is my favorite and I’m really excited to see all the changes they’ve made since the last time I was there. Night time at AK? Yes please!

    This is a great write-up and I’m sure I’ll love the show! (Not watching the video because I don’t want to be too spoiled!)

  2. Paulo Cagnoni

    I saw the first show ever on May 17th, and loved it. Of course Fantasmic and Wishes are greater shows. They have a lot of fireworks, and Jungle Book doesn’t. Probably because of the park animals. But what makes Jungle Book unique is that it is really a live show, with singers and musicians performing right there. Not to mention the dancers interacting with the audience. The show is a new nighttime must-see.

    1. Paulo Cagnoni

      Correcting… The show was May 27th, and not 17th.

  3. Erik

    We saw it May 27 and thought it was very good. The dancing and drumming ever where you looked was amazing. My complain was all the guest that decided to leave during the show and ignoring the cast members asking them to wait because they were disrupting the performers in the aisles.

  4. Margaret

    Saw the first show on the 27th. Thought the music and choreography were beautiful. Loved the film and thought it captured the tone and mood of the film especially well. So colorful. Recommended it to my friends.

  5. Tommy

    Saw it on June 13th as part of the dining package at tiffins (one of the best restaurants ive ever eaten at). 9pm performance got rained off but was able to use the tickets for the 10.30 performance absolutely loved it! The choreography the live music it just played to everything i love as a performer myself. Amazing show and one I would welcome on alternate nights to rivers of light. I particularly enjoyed the routine to ‘trust in me’. I wont compare to fantasmic or celebrate the magic or illuminations are they all bring something different to the table and the jungle book alive with magic for me held the essence of what makes animal kingdom a very special park.

  6. Stacy

    Saw it tonight and I was underwhelmed. There was too much going on and very little of it can be considered great. Please don’t give me people moving around and call it dancing. It was truly insulting to the Indian culture, and I’m not Indian. The real Bollywood dancers on the floats in the water were diminished by no rhythm dancers in my face. I’m sorry white people, you can’t be casted for every race and you shouldn’t be allowed to dance Bollywood if you can’t do the moves.

  7. Chad

    We saw this show on July and thought it was fantastic! The pre-show music was really fun and the show itself had very talented performers and was excellently put together. we’ll miss it when it’s replaced. It was a great prelude to what we can expect for night shows at animal kingdom…AK super fan :)

  8. Josh

    I saw it last night and at first I thought the Bollywood aspect was really cool but about ten minutes into it I realized that it was dragging and I hadn’t really seen anything that wowed me. In the end of day it was a boring waste of time, the choreography was boring and it didn’t seem like it took much talent. Not impressive and not up to the Disney standard we’ve come to expect. If it was at universal I’d give them a pass but Disney is better than this.

  9. Darren

    I finally got to see this show. Very talented performers. However this show is not GRAND FINALE like the shows at the other parks. Can’t see this show lasting. when the employees at the gate say they don’t really care for the show. Something is very wrong.

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