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Wildlife Wednesdays: Party for the Planet – Including Chimpanzees – in Celebration of Earth Day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on April 4th, 2012 by Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks


Disney’s Animal Kingdom is hosting a Party for the Planet in celebration of Earth Day. Guests can find out what they can do to make their backyards wildlife-friendly and discover other ways to conserve wildlife and protect nature, including chimpanzees, in celebration of the release of “Chimpanzee,” Disneynature’s newest True Life Adventure.

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Full-park festivities will take place on the first and last days of the celebration, April 13 and 22 (Earth Day). As guests enter the park, they can get the party started at two table displays in the main entrance area: one featuring wildlife-friendly backyard habitats and the other “Chimpanzee.”

Activities in the park include:

  • Asia (Maharajah Jungle Trek)—Families can play a supermarket game and learn how their purchases can make a big difference for wildlife and wild places.
  • Africa (Pangani Forest Exploration Trail)—Children can observe and identify chimpanzee tracks and clues left behind along trails as they move through the forest.
  • Rafiki’s Planet Watch, courtyard—Outside Conservation Station, guests will discover fun ways to spend time in nature with their families and find “Chimpanzee”-related merchandise, as well as face painters and caricature artists.
  • Rafiki’s Planet Watch, inside Conservation Station—Families can visit the Chimpanzee Research Station and participate in a variety of activities based on real conservation work. Guests also can talk with cast members who work on conservation projects around the world and learn about the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund.

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Although the full-park festivities take place April 13 and 22, there will be lots for guests visiting April 13 through April 22 to see and do:

  • Outside the theme park’s main entrance, a sand sculpture and display will celebrate the “Chimpanzee’ film.
  • Families can visit the Chimpanzee Research Station inside Conservation Station.
  • Guests can visit with special artisans in Discovery Island.

Fun Facts:

  • Although we don’t have chimpanzees at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, we do have many other fascinating primates, including gorillas, siamangs, white-cheeked gibbons, colobus monkeys, cotton-top tamarins and lemurs.
  • Disneynature joined forces with the Jane Goodall Institute for a special “See ‘Chimpanzee,’ Save Chimpanzees” program. For every moviegoer who sees “Chimpanzee” during the film’s opening week (April 20-26, 2012), Disneynature will make a donation to the Jane Goodall Institute through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund in order to protect chimpanzees and their habitats.
  • Walt Disney was a pioneer in wildlife documentary filmmaking, producing 13 True Life Adventure motion pictures between 1948 and 1960, including “Seal Island” (1948), “Beaver Valley” (1950), “The Living Desert” (1953) and “Jungle Cat” (1958). The films earned eight Academy Awards®.

Upcoming 2012 wildlife conservation events at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (as always, dates subject to change):

  • May 12: International Migratory Bird Day
  • May 23: World Turtle Day
  • June 6: Pollinator Day
  • August: Cotton-Top Tamarin Month
  • Sept. 5: International Vulture Awareness Day
  • Sept. 26: Elephant Awareness Day
  • Oct. 31: Bat Day
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Filed: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

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