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Wildlife Wednesdays: Animals Enjoy Holiday Fun Too at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on January 8th, 2014 by Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks

Our guests and cast members are not the only ones who experienced special delights during the holidays at Walt Disney World Resort. Our animals did too! This holiday season, the Disney’s Animal Programs Science Operations Team hosted a competition for the animal care teams at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. The goal: craft creative holiday experiences for the animals in their care.

The competition encouraged teams to design holiday “gifts” for their animals to highlight the animals’ natural behaviors, introduce the holiday spirit and provide unique viewing opportunities for our guests. We thought it would be fun to share a few of the many great ideas the animal care staff came up with — so here it goes!


Bat holiday wreath — One of our Malayan flying foxes enjoys a holiday wreath made of natural grasses and nutritious vegetables on the Maharajah Jungle Trek.


Springbok holiday tree — A pair of springbok investigate a tree ornamented with fresh produce on the savanna of the Kilimanjaro Safaris.


Holiday-themed snack for giraffe — One of our Masai giraffe explores this festive feeding device filled with nutritious treats in view of guests.


Tiger meets snowman — A tiger makes “friends” with a holiday snowman crafted by the animal care team of holiday-scented paper mache.

Did you know?

A progressive and integrated enrichment program plays a key role in delivering uncompromising excellence in animal care and welfare. Enrichment encourages animals to exhibit their natural behaviors, which is mentally and physically healthy for them, and also enables guests to see the cool adaptations that help the animals survive. You can enrich the lives of wildlife and encourage natural behaviors in your own backyard by adding a bird bath, native plants, log piles and bird houses. Then, sit back and enjoy the fun of watching the wildlife up close! To learn more about Disney conservation efforts, please visit

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Filed: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort



Eric from MA on January 9th, 2014 at 1:12 am

I like the look of the tiger, who between India and Florida has probably never seen snow before in its life, and is probably thinking “Do you want to eat a snowman?…”


Lisa on January 10th, 2014 at 10:51 am

I love, love, love this!!!


Dustin on January 10th, 2014 at 8:21 pm

Well done Disney! “cool adaptations” are, well, cool :-)