Yes, I know it sounds confusing. An animation academy type experience, as seen at Hollywood Studios in the past, is coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom. In late 2018, Conservations Station, the Wildlife Express Train and everything else associated with the area closed with no re-opening date in sight. Disney has previously announced that a new dining experience is coming to the area this summer as part of wider celebrations for the 25th anniversary of The Lion King. Disney has now confirmed an official reopening date for Conservation Station and guests visiting the park can discover how the animation process with wild animals really works. Here's an official statement:
In honor of our celebration of Disney’s “The Lion King,” we’ll be launching The Animation Experience at Conservation Station, offering our guests the opportunity to learn how live animals have inspired some of the most iconic characters from this beloved “tail.” You’ll learn more about some of the animals who call our park home and then have the chance to create a personalized piece of Disney art through an instructor-led animation class. As you’d expect, some of your favorite characters from “The Lion King” will be the stars of The Animation Experience, which will start when Rafiki’s Planet Watch reopens on July 11. Come learn how to draw Simba, Zazu, Pumbaa, Timon and more. Each session will be different so be sure to visit often to complete the collection.
To be clear, all the offerings that was once offered in and around Conservation Station will be returning as well. Experiences like Affection Section and others will continue to allow guests to see animals up-close. The Animation Experience will be an additional activity guests can participate in. The shocking part is that Fastpass+ reservations will be available at this experience. It will be part of Animal Kingdom's tier 2 category. Meaning guests can choose one experience in Pandora - The World of Avatar and two more selections from the tier 2 list, including this new experience. Alternatively, guests can skip the rides in Pandora and book Fastpass+ reservations for any three experiences in the tier 2 category.
The Animation Experience will be offered up to nine times a day; usually at 10am, 10:45am, 11:30am, 12:15pm, 1:45pm, 2:30pm, 3:15pm, 4pm & 4:45pm. However, it is best to double check a times guide or Disney's official website for up to date operating times on the day you visit. Each class will last about 25 minutes. Conservation Station and all the experiences located within the area will reopen to guests on July 11th, 2019 with opening times usually from 9:45am to 5:15pm.