Earth Day and Animal Kingdom’s 15th Anniversary
Conservation, nature, animals and the environment were all part of the Disney company and Walt himself long before they became widespread in the public consciousness. Walt’s affection for animals and nature could readily be seen in the way he featured them in the attractions at the first Disneyland park, as well as his films and the popular True-Life Adventure series that ran from 1948 to 1960.
It was fitting, then that Animal Kingdom opened it’s doors on Earth Day 1998. Earth Day had begun in 1970 when backlash against environmental abuses like the 1969 Santa Barbara, CA caused Senators and citizens alike to begin calling for accountability against those whose practices were harmful to the environment.
Accountability and stewardship of the environment are continuing themes of The Animal Kingdom Park today, where families have the opportunity to observe and learn about some of the most interesting animals on our planet in their own environment, and even without visible cages.
A popular story about Animal Kingdom‘s grand opening is how one special guest of honor, famous primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall upon observing the Tree of Life for the first time pointed out what she saw as a glaring omission: “There are no Chimpanzees!”. Imagineers soon made the correction.
Each year on Earth Day, the Animal Kingdom celebrates it’s anniversary with special activities ranging from ceremonies and speeches from special guests, to special and sometimes whimsical food choices. Here are some of the festivities lined up for this year’s week long anniversary celebration as reported on their website:
Disney Character Dance Party
The party kicks off with a week-long character reunion, where some rarely seen Disney Characters will be making cameo appearances in Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park.
Stop by for a chance to see Lilo & Stitch, Flik & Princess Atta, Koda & Kenai, and Thumper & Miss Bunny as they march along, and then join them for a dance party hosted by DJ Dino-Mite in Dinoland, USA!
Once the celebration’s started, make your way to Creature Comforts where you can buy celebratory clothing, commemorative pins, limited edition Vinylmation figures and other once-in-a-lifetime merchandise you won’t find anywhere else.
Can’t make it to Florida for the occasion? Take advantage of a special opportunity to order an exclusive 15th Anniversary T-shirt online… but get yours fast—the T-shirt will only be available from April 22 to April 24, 2013!
“Dig Up” Something Delicious
The Earth Week celebration continues all across Walt Disney World Resort, where for a limited time, you can “dig in” to a duo of playful desserts.
Head into Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Kona Café at Disney’s Polynesian Resort and try out the “Worm and Dirt Cupcake.” Or, travel to Magic Kingdom park or Epcot for a delightfully delicious “Worm and Dirt Tart.”
Remember, the Earth Week experience is only taking place for a limited time—don’t miss your chance to celebrate the planet in the most magical of ways!
WDW also announced this collectible commemorative vinylmation for the celebration:
Til next time, See ya real soon!
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Celebrates 15th Anniversary [VIDEO] & Earth Day With Weeklong Party – Schedule Of Festivities, Tips For Visitors (latinospost.com)
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom: 15 years of the imagination of Disney, gone wild (sunshinecityguide.wordpress.com)
- Just in Time for the 15th Anniversary! Your GO-TO Source for Animal Kingdom Information! (disneyways.com)