As a proud member of the Disney’s Animal Kingdom opening team, I can say with assurance that every day is a Party for the Planet at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, as guests and cast members join together to celebrate the wonders of nature. But on April 22 (Earth Day), in recognition of the park’s 15th anniversary, there will be even more natural magic. Here are some tips for all of you who are able to come:
- Get there by 8:30 a.m.! While the park and its attractions don’t open until 9 a.m., the turnstiles will open at 8:30 a.m., and I am proud to be joining Disney’s Animal Kingdom Vice President Josh D’Amaro who is hosting a special 15th anniversary ceremony that will take place in front of the Tree of Life at 8:40 a.m.
- Commemorative guide map: Be sure to pick one up when you enter the park. And while in the Main Entrance area, also pick up a keepsake postcard that serves as a Party for the Planet guide.
- Special conservation button: Starting April 22 and for a limited time (until quantities run out), those who give to the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will receive a commemorative 15th anniversary DWCF button.
- Party for the Planet activities: In Africa, children will learn how to identify animals by observing tracks and other clues. In Asia, families will find out how choosing “green” products can make a big difference for wildlife and nature. At Rafiki’s Planet Watch, families will discover fun ways to spend time in nature and participate in activities inspired by the Disneynature films “African Cats,” “Chimpanzee,” and “Wings of Life.” Guests also can talk with cast members who work on conservation projects around the world.
- Guest artists and special merchandise: Speak with specialists from Elemental Nursery and Just Plumerias, who will be on hand to feature their beautiful plants and topiaries, along with special guest appearances. There will be face painting with a variety of animal images and the opportunity to pose for a fun portrait, plus special 15th anniversary merchandise (quantities limited). Find out more here:
- Speciality snacks: A party wouldn’t be a party without snacks–enjoy an Earth Day cupcake.
Looking for more Earth Day fun during your visit to the Walt Disney World Resort? On April 22 at Epcot, which is celebrating the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, special Earth Day activities are taking place at The Seas with Nemo & Friends and Vision House in Innoventions, and be on the lookout for Earth Day activities at our resorts and Downtown Disney.
Upcoming 2013 events for connecting families with nature (as always, dates subject to change):
At Disney’s Animal Kingdom:
- May 8: International Migratory Bird Day
- May 23: World Turtle Day
- June 5: Pollinator Day
- July 25: Tiger Day
- August 1: Primate Day
- August: Cotton-Top Tamarin Month
- September 5: International Vulture Awareness Day
- September 26: Elephant Day
- October 31: Bat Day
- November 12: Rhino Day
At The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot:
- May 18: Endangered Species Day
- May 23: World Turtle Day
- June 8: World Ocean Day
- September 7: International Manatee Day
Wildlife Wednesdays: Party for the Planet to Celebrate 15th Anniversary of Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Earth Day on April 22 by Jackie Ogden, Ph.D.: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog
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