“Flights of Wonder” is a live show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom that uses free-flighted birds from all over the world. Arthur and I attended a performance on a recent visit to the zoo / theme park.
While waiting in line outside the outdoor theater, a cast member came out to talk with the crowd along with an avian ambassador, a Great Horned Owl. I spent an inordinate amount of time looking at the handler’s rather thin glove and one of the owl’s talons resting precariously on the cuff of said glove. Eek.
Great Horned Owl with small-gloved handler
The show takes place in the Asia-themed part of the park, and the stage was made to look like an Indian ruin.
Flights of Wonder stage set
The performance began with birds like macaws, hornbills, toucans and others flying across or walking on the stage to a short narration about birds of the world. The birds flew from the sides of the stage and from holes in the stage itself. This first part starred birds alone; it was a few minutes before the human host came out.
A free-flighted Grey Crowned Crane wowed the crowd
Throughout the rest of the program, different bird species were introduced, and we got to see more amazing free-flying (or free-running) birds, as well as some (somewhat) natural behaviors. For example, a Seriema came out and smashed a plastic figure on the ground several times. In the wild, these birds will beat prey like lizards on rocks before consuming them.
A couple of audience participation bits were cute but an added cast member for comedic relief really fell flat with me; the beautiful birds were enough “entertainment” for me. The audience seemed to like it, so if they get the show’s message of conservation, it’s all fine with me.
Free-flighted Scarlet Macaws and handler with Spectacled Owl
The final bird of the show was a Bald Eagle (who stayed on the glove). Handlers also came out with a Bateleur and a Spectacled Owl, who remained on stage for the audience to have a closer look.
Handler with Bateleur (a species of eagle)
“Flights of Wonder” is a sleek show with a great variety of beautiful birds and a clear message of conservation. If you don’t mind some cheesy entertainment with your birds, you’ll probably enjoy this show, as I did.