Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World is coming up to a milestone birthday as it prepares to celebrate its 20th Anniversary beginning on Earth Day and running through the lead-in to Summer. Animal Kingdom has always been one of our favorite theme parks to visit and know there’s even more reason to squeeze to pop by in April and May. To give a sample of the special activities on offer during this festive time, here is our list of 9 fantastic ways to celebrate this momentous occasion!
1. Special Activities at Rafiki’s Planet Watch – From April 22nd – May 5th, Rafiki’s Planet Watch will take center stage for the birthday celebrations. Highlights include backstage experiences that teach guests about animal nutrition, a visit to the veterinary hospital and opportunities for visitors to find out more about the ways in which Disney promotes global wildlife conservation.
2. Special Wilderness Explorer Badges – Animal Kingdom’s Wilderness Explorers program is the perfect way to make a visit to Animal Kingdom educational. Visitors young and old can stop at specially marked stations throughout the park and learn something new about animals, culture, conservation and so much more. After completing a few tasks, the Cast Members at each station will give guests a badge to add to your collection. During the birthday festivities from April 22nd – May 5th, participants will also have an opportunity to earn a very special commemorative anniversary badge!
3. Special Photo Ops – Celebrations are always a great time for those on Disney’s Memory Maker package as the theme parks will usually include a few fun Photo Ops to remember your special visit. From special Magic Shots like the one above to fun props and backdrops, you never know what magic awaits. So if you’ll be there from April 22nd – May 5th be on the lookout for Disney’s amazing team of PhotoPass photographers.
4. Tiffins Talks -During the anniversary celebration, Tiffins, Animal Kingdom’s Fine/Signature Dining restaurant will play host to six different themed dinners hosted by animal experts. These special dining experiences are perfect for guests who want to learn more about the animal residents that call the park home.
5. Limited Edition Anniversary Merchandise – Visitors in search of that perfect souvenir will want to be on the lookout for special anniversary theme park merchandise that will be available from April 22nd – May 5th. Disney Parks Merchandise hasn’t released any information on what will be on offer as of yet but we expect it to be pretty amazing – Watch this space!
6. Joe Rohde Print Signing – Esteemed Imagineer Joe Rohde was pivotal to the creation of Animal Kingdom, Pandora- The World of Avatar and Animal Kingdom Lodge. He will be on hand on April 22nd to sign a special edition print he created to mark the occasion. The signing will take place from 1-4 pm at Discovery Trading Company. Guests should arrive early as quantities are limited.
7. UP! A Great Bird Adventure – Animal Kingdom’s latest stage show will make its debut on April 22nd. UP! A Great Bird Adventure will feature Russell and Dug from the Disney•Pixar animated film “UP.” The show will give guests the chance to see Russell and Dug set off on an adventure that includes encounters with exotic birds from around the world. The show will take place multiple times daily. Visitors should consult the Times Guide upon arriving at the park for an up-to-date schedule.
8. “Dino-tastic” Celebration – Starting on Memorial Day weekend, Donald Duck and friends will host a dinosaur-themed party celebrating Donald Duck’s discovery that his bird ancestors were actually dinosaurs. As part of the festivities, Dinoland U.S.A will feature colorful new decor and new character greetings with rarely seen pals like Scrooge McDuck, Launchpad McQuack and more. There will also be a DJ mixing tunes from the truck-o-saurus stage.
8. Pandora – The World of Avatar turns a year old – Pandora, Animal Kingdom’s newest land opened to Memorial Day crowds in 2017 meaning that it too has an Anniversary to celebrate. In Pandora – visitors are transported to a mystical world of floating mountains, bioluminescent rainforests and two incredible rides: Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey. Disney has yet to announce what they’ll be doing to commemorate this special occasion but keep following along with Disney Addicts and we’ll let you know as soon as plans are revealed!
These are just some of the many reasons why we here at Disney Addicts think that no trip to Walt Disney World is complete without a visit to Animal Kingdom. Be sure to set aside some time during your next visit to enjoy all that this incredible theme park has to offer!
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Images copyright Disney.
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