Via Napoli Restaurant, Italy Pavilion at Epcot

Wildlife Wednesdays: Elephants Eat Their Fruits and Veggies, and a Whole Lot More! Find out on Elephant Appreciation Day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on September 25th, 2013 by Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks


We know that lots of fruits and veggies are part of a healthy diet. Apparently, elephants know that too. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, an adult male elephant will eat 28 pounds of produce in one day–and that’s not all! He’ll also eat 7 bales of hay, 5 bundles of grass, 2-to-3 bundles of browse, and 15 pounds of grain. And as we try to drink 8 or more glasses of water each day, elephants will guzzle 25-50 gallons of water. It all adds up to about 400-600 pounds of food in a day, which is as much as an average person eats in an entire year.
Elephants Eat Their Fruits and Veggies, and a Whole Lot More!

Guests who visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom tomorrow (September 26) will learn lots of fun and informative facts about elephants during our Elephant Appreciation Day celebration, taking place at Rafiki’s Planet Watch.

In addition to learning what—and how much—an elephant eats, guests who stop by Rafiki’s Planet Watch can:

  • Test their skills at “eating like an elephant” using a replica of an elephant trunk.
  • Color an elephant mask that they can take home.
  • Learn about the elephants that make their home at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and talk with members of our elephant care team.
  • Discover how bee sounds are being used to help keep elephants away from crops.
  • Find out about elephant conservation efforts supported through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund

Elephants Eat Their Fruits and Veggies, and a Whole Lot More!

Did you know?

  • Every day, guests experiencing the Kilimanjaro Safaris and Wild Africa Trek can see members of the Disney’s Animal Kingdom elephant herd.
  • Jabali, who is two years old, is the youngest member of the herd. Disney’s Animal Kingdom is part of a breeding program coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums that is focused on sustaining the elephant population in North America.
  • Disney scientists study elephant communication—using audio-recording collars. Elephants make powerful, low-frequency “rumbles” that humans often cannot hear and can communicate over distances of several miles using these rumbles. Learn more at the Wildlife Tracking Center at Rafiki’s Planet Watch.

Disney scientists conduct hormone analyses, using specialized tests called immunoassays, to monitor the reproductive status of the female elephants before and during pregnancy. Guests can watch scientists perform these and other analyses in the Wildlife Tracking Center.

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Wildlife Wednesdays: Vultures and Manatees Demystified at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot

posted on September 4th, 2013 by Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks


Vultures and manatees are two creatures that often are misunderstood. That’s one reason why it’s so much fun for us to showcase them with special activities — there’s so much to learn about! For example, take a look at the following:
“Vultures

  • Myth or fact: Vultures can help prevent the spread of rabies. This is a fact — by eating the carcasses of dead animals, vultures help prevent the spread of life-threatening diseases, such as rabies, among animals and humans.

“Manatees

  • Myth or fact: Manatees are closely related to cows (or walruses, or seals). This is a myth — although they are sometimes called sea cows, elephants are one of the manatee’s closest relatives.

Guests can find out all about vultures during special activities in celebration of International Vulture Awareness Day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom on September 5 and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge on September 7. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, activities will take place near the Tree of Life and at Rafiki’s Planet Watch. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, activities will take place in the Jambo House lobby. Year-round, guests can see lappet-faced vultures at the Tree of Life, black vultures at Rafiki’s Planet Watch and Ruppell’s griffon vultures at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

At The Seas with Nemo & Friends on September 7, special activities are designed to help guests learn about manatees and how to protect them in celebration of International Manatee Day. For example, guests will find out that manatees belong to a group of aquatic, plant-eating mammals called sirenians. They also will learn that actions all of us can take to keep waterways clean, such as recycling plastic bottles and used fishing line, can protect these majestic mammals. Rescued manatees Lou and Vail make their home at The Seas. The marine mammal team said that Lou and Vail will be celebrating International Manatee Day too, by eating fruits and vegetables from local farmers markets.

Among the 2013 projects supported by the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund are projects helping protect vultures and manatees. To find out more, visit www.disney.com/conservation.

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Disney Parks Blog Fans Choose ‘Mosi’ As Name For First Masai Giraffe Born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on July 31st, 2013 by Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks


The votes are in! Disney Parks Blog fans chose “Mosi” (which means “first”) as the name for the first Masai giraffe calf born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Our animal care team is thrilled that so many people voted to help choose his name. Other choices that received a lot of votes were “Baraka” (which means “blessing”) and “Shingo” (which means “long neck”), but ultimately “Mosi” was the winner. Thank you so much for caring as much about the baby giraffe as we do!

Mosi, the First Masai Giraffe Born at Disney's Animal Kingdom Mosi, the First Masai Giraffe Born at Disney's Animal Kingdom

I have some more great news – yesterday, Mosi ventured out with his mom on the Kilimanjaro Safaris savanna for the first time. We are very pleased to share a photo and some video of Mosi’s first day on the savanna. Enjoy!

 
The next time you visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom, be on the lookout for Mosi and the rest of the giraffe herd on Kilimanjaro Safaris and Wild Africa Trek.


Read on for more updates from Disney’s Animal Kingdom:

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Wildlife Wednesdays: Vote To Name the First Masai Giraffe Born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on July 24th, 2013 by Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks


Vote To Name the First Masai Giraffe Born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Our very first Masai giraffe calf, a male, was born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom recently and will go out on the Kilimanjaro Safaris savanna within the next few weeks. We are excited to have you pick the baby’s name from a list prepared by our animal care team. It’s easy to cast your vote. Check the list below, make your choice and keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog to find out what name gets the most votes—I’ll post the results next Wednesday (July 31).

Did you know?

  • There are two subspecies of giraffe—Masai and reticulated—roaming the Kilimanjaro Safaris savanna. Most are now Masai giraffe, with reticulated giraffe making their home on the savannas of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Having two kinds of giraffe enables cast members to share even more great stories about these amazing animals.
  • The Masai giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) can be found in southern Kenya and throughout Tanzania. Reticulated giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata) are widely found in northern Kenya and in Somalia.
  • The Masai giraffe’s coat features jagged-edged patches. The patches are dark brown on a cream background, making the Masai the darkest-colored subspecies. The reticulated giraffe’s coat features a pattern of very defined patches that usually are orangish brown. The patches are separated by bright white lines, and the lower part of the legs are a lighter color.
  • It is estimated that there are fewer than 40,000 Masai giraffe in the wild. The reticulated giraffe is more threatened in the wild, with numbers fewer than 5,000. Giraffes are threatened by habitat loss and habitat fragmentation, poaching, and human-wildlife conflicts.
  • The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) helps to support conservation programs for wildlife like giraffes. For example, through a recent project, the DWCF helped Tusk Trust USA and the Ruko Community Wildlife Conservancy reintroduce Rothschild’s giraffes in Kenya. This program also enhances community awareness of wildlife conservation through anti-poaching, wildlife monitoring, and educational programs in local schools. Since its inception in 1995, the DWCF has provided more than $4.5 million to support habitat conservation for giraffes and other African wildlife. Through a collaboration with Disneynature and the “See ‘African Cats,’ Save the Savanna” campaign, the DWCF also helped the African Wildlife Foundation to protect more than 65,000 acres of land in Kenya’s Amboseli Wildlife Corridor to enable indigenous animals including giraffes, cheetahs, and lions to roam freely between protected habitats.

What name did you vote for? Tell us about your favorite in the “Comments” section below or join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #DisneyGiraffe.

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Wildlife Wednesdays: Bounce Like Tigger Over to Disney’s Animal Kingdom for Special Tiger Day

posted on July 17th, 2013 by Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks


Look closely at this tiger photo taken at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and you’ll discover some of the special characteristics of this magnificent animal — the largest of all cats.

Tiger at Disney's Animal Kingdom - this Magnificent Animal is the Largest of all Cats

For one thing, you may notice that the tiger’s ears can turn independently of each other, allowing them to pick up sounds from different directions. The ears also have distinctive white circular spots—think eyes in back of their heads to scare off potential predators, according to one theory.

Guests visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom on July 25 will discover even more about tigers and learn about efforts to conserve them as the park celebrates Tiger Day with special activities at Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Families can test their skills at identifying tiger calls, find out where in the world tigers live and how they travel through the forest, and see if they can leap as far as a tiger, among other activities.

Tiger at Disney's Animal Kingdom - this Magnificent Animal is the Largest of all Cats

Of course, every day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, guests love seeing our tigers on the Maharajah Jungle Trek, where the tigers can enjoy a dip in the water, nap on the grass, and play with a variety of tiger toys. Unlike some other cats, tigers seem to enjoy water and can swim well. They use rivers and lakes to seek relief from the heat and to catch fish.

The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) is helping to conserve tigers. So far, the fund has contributed $1.4 million to projects working to protect tigers and other big cats like lions and leopards. Last year, for example the DWCF provided funding to the Wildlife Conservation Society to help the government of Thailand train and equip park rangers to reduce the threat of poaching and wildlife trade for tigers and other forest wildlife in that country.

More tiger fun facts:

  • Did you know that a tiger’s stripes help it hunt? The stripes break up their outline, helping tigers to remain undetected as they close in on their prey in their forest homes. And not only is a tiger’s fur striped, but its skin underneath is too.
  • During the day tigers can see about as well as humans, but their night vision is six times more powerful.
  • Tigers use their whiskers as “feelers,” helping these large cats to navigate their way through dark and heavily wooded areas.
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Wildlife Wednesdays: Nemo and the Gang Celebrate World Oceans Day at Epcot

posted on June 5th, 2013 by Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks


Join Nemo, Dory, Crush and the rest of the gang in celebrating the wonders of the oceans on World Oceans Day at The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot on June 8. There’s a host of special activities:

  • From endangered Florida manatees to bottlenose dolphins, discover the important role marine mammals play in the ocean ecosystem. Find out how the actions you take, such as recycling plastics and used fishing line, can protect these majestic mammals.
  • Baby sea turtles face great obstacles in order to reach adulthood, which is why all species of sea turtles are either endangered or threatened. Experience an interactive model of a turtle excluder device, used on fishing boats to assist in preventing sea turtles from getting caught in nets. Find out how you can do your part to protect sea turtles, and how you can adopt the nest of one of the sea turtles that lays her eggs this year near Disney’s Vero Beach Resort.
  • Coral reefs often are described as the rainforests of the oceans due to the abundance and diversity of life they help to sustain. Just like the rainforests, coral reefs face many challenges. These include overfishing and damage caused by pollution. Talk with Disney scientists, who are helping to restore coral reefs in The Bahamas.
  • Sharks and stingrays play a vital role in marine ecosystems and, without them, many fish species would be in trouble. Find out what a shark’s tooth feels like and learn about the role sharks and stingrays play in the oceans’ food web. Learn about the impact of marine debris and how disposing of trash properly and recycling can keep the oceans clean.
  • Everyone can make a difference by becoming wildlife-friendly shoppers. Participate in a “green shopping spree” and discover how environmentally friendly products help to save the environment, including our oceans, and wildlife.

Wildlife Wednesdays: Nemo and the Gang Celebrate World Oceans Day at Epcot

Surrounded by the Pacific in Hawaii, Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, is joining the World Oceans Day celebration with special ocean-themed activities for guests. And, in addition to supporting conservation year-round, the resort is contributing a portion of the proceeds on June 8 from the Rainbow Reef snorkeling experience to the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, which helps to protect wildlife on land and in the oceans around the world.

On World Oceans Day, and every day, it’s important to remember that no matter where we live we are all connected to the oceans—any action we take that reduces waste (including recycling everything possible), saves water or keeps it clean, protects ocean wildlife or reduces emissions helps our oceans.

Upcoming 2013 events for connecting families with nature (as always, dates subject to change):

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom -

  • 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 -

  • September 7: International Manatee Day
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Wildlife Wednesdays: Disney’s Animal Kingdom is All Abuzz on Pollinator Day

posted on May 29th, 2013 by Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks


Bees, butterflies and other pollinators are the focus during the Pollinator Day celebration June 5 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is All Abuzz on Pollinator Day, June 5 at Walt Disney World Resort

At Rafiki’s Planet Watch on Pollinator Day, guests can view live bees (very safely, of course!) and learn about the important role they play in pollination. Afraid of bees? Elephants are too! Guests can find out how this fear is being put to use to protect both elephants and people. Guests also can try on a pair of insect wings, follow the paths different pollinators take in a fun game, and learn how to create a pollinator garden.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is All Abuzz on Pollinator Day, June 5 at Walt Disney World Resort

Fun facts about pollinators:

  • About 1,000 plants grown for food, beverages, fibers, spices and medicines depend on pollinators to grow. In fact, an estimated one-third of all foods and beverages is dependent on pollinators.
  • Most pollinators (about 200,000 species) are beneficial insects such as butterflies, bees, beetles and wasps. About 1,000 pollinators are vertebrates, such as birds, bats and small mammals.
  • You can help pollinators by reducing pesticide use and by creating a pollinator-friendly garden with native flowering plants that supply pollinators with nectar, pollen and homes.
  • The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) helps pollinators through a variety of projects around the world. Through support from the DWCF, a new species of butterfly was discovered in Myanmar, a country in southeast Asia.

Upcoming 2013 events for connecting families with nature (as always, dates subject to change):

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom -

  • 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 -

  • June 8: World Ocean Day
  • September 7: International Manatee Day
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Wildlife Wednesdays: Does Crush Have Ears? Test Your Turtle Knowledge at Epcot and Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on May 8th, 2013 by Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks


Turtles are fascinating creatures, and really cool dudes, too – just ask Crush! Although they don’t have visible ears, turtles, including sea turtles like Crush, do have eardrums covered by skin. They hear best at low frequencies, and their sense of smell is excellent. Sea turtles don’t have teeth, but their jaws have modified “beaks” suited to their particular diet. Their vision underwater is good, but they are nearsighted out of water. Their streamlined bodies and large flippers make them remarkably adapted to life at sea. However, sea turtles maintain close ties to land. Females must come ashore to lay their eggs in the sand, so all sea turtles begin their lives as tiny hatchlings on land.

Learn About Turtles and Test Your Knowledge on Endangered Species Day at The Seas at Epcot and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Learn About Turtles and Test Your Knowledge on Endangered Species Day at The Seas at Epcot and Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Guests can find out even more about turtles and participate in a variety of activities for the whole family this month during two special events at Epcot and one at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. On May 18, The Seas with Nemo & Friends will observe Endangered Species Day with a special focus on sea turtles, manatees and coral reefs. And on May 23, both The Seas and Disney’s Animal Kingdom will celebrate World Turtle Day.

Test Your Turtle Knowledge on Endangered Species Day at The Seas at Epcot and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Climb Through a Full-Size Model of a Turtle Excluder Device on Endangered Species Day at The Seas at Epcot and Disney’s Animal Kingdom

On Endangered Species Day at The Seas, guests can discover how all of us can help keep waterways safe for manatees, and talk with Disney’s Animal Programs scientists who are helping restore coral reefs in the Bahamas. On both Endangered Species Day and World Turtle Day, children can climb through a full-size model of a turtle excluder device, used on fishing boats to prevent sea turtles from getting caught in nets, among other activities. And, of course, every day, kids can ask Crush all about sea turtles at Turtle Talk with Crush.

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, guests may see a turtle getting a veterinary exam, find out if they are smarter than a turtle, and get an up-close look at some of the turtles and tortoises that make their home at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and learn about how we care for them.

The Animal Care Team at Disney's Animal Kingdom and The Seas with Nemo & Friends Have Nursed More Than 320 Endangered Sea Turtles Back to Health Over the Years

Of course, the teams at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and The Seas with Nemo & Friends celebrate and conserve turtles and tortoises every day. Over the years, our animal care team has nursed more than 320 endangered sea turtles back to health and released them back to the wild.

Guests at The Seas with Nemo & Friends, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Vero Beach Resort (which also participates each year in the Sea Turtle Conservancy’s Tour de Turtles) can help turtles by adopting a sea turtle nest. The adoption fee helps sea turtle conservation efforts in Florida through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF). Guests receive an adoption certificate complete with the date of adoption, the date the nest was laid, the species of sea turtle, and the nest number; a Squirt keychain; and a Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund hero button. Since its inception in 1995, the DWCF has contributed more than $1.1 million to sea turtle research around the world, including here in Florida.

All of us can help turtles and tortoises by taking action to reduce, reuse and recycle, by making sure that we dispose of trash properly, by becoming wildlife-friendly shoppers, and by observing turtles and other wildlife from a safe distance, taking care not to disturb them or their habitats.

Upcoming 2013 events for connecting families with nature (as always, dates subject to change):
At Disney’s Animal Kingdom:

  • 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:

  • June 8: World Ocean Day
  • September 7: International Manatee Day
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Wildlife Wednesdays: Purple Martins, Migratory Songbirds, Are Walt Disney World Resort Guests Each Year

posted on May 1st, 2013 by Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks


Guests love visiting the Walt Disney World Resort, and a variety of wildlife does too! For several years now, a fascinating species of songbird, the purple martin, has been spending a few months a year here.
“Purple

The largest member of the swallow family, purple martins eat only flying insects — including pesky flies, flying ants and Japanese beetles, but not, as often rumored, mosquitoes. Purple martins are highly social and prefer to nest in large colonies. Thanks to a conservation program led by Disney’s Animal Programs zoological manager James Mejeur, the birds have been nesting in large birdhouses with multiple “rooms” in both on-stage and backstage areas at the Walt Disney World Resort, including Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Epcot and our golf courses.

This year, James has been working with the Purple Martin Conservation Association to find out more about where the birds that nest at the Walt Disney World Resort spend the rest of the year by placing tiny geolocators on some of the purple martins. The geolocators will gather daily information on the location of the birds as they migrate. Next spring, when the birds return to the Walt Disney World Resort, we’ll remove the geolocators and uncover many of the secrets of their migration patterns. Take a look at the video to find out more.
“Purple

The purple martin program is one of many that are part of the Disney’s Animal Programs native wildlife program. Our team monitors animals as varied as gopher tortoises and butterflies, as well as dozens of bird species at the Walt Disney World Resort, where nearly one-third of the property has been set aside as a dedicated wildlife conservation area.

Guests can find out more about purple martins — and many other migratory birds — during their visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom on May 8, when we’ll be celebrating International Migratory Bird Day with a special event. We’re inviting our guests to be “honorary birds” for the day. Here are some highlights:

  • Main Entrance (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.): Guests receive their bird band and a bookmark with the locations of the other “banding” sta­tions in the park.
  • Oasis (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.): What is your feather color?: Guests can have their plumage (clothing) recorded.
  • Tree of Life (9 a.m. – 3 p.m.): How far did you migrate? Guests will measure their migration distance and see how they compare to other migratory birds.
  • Asia (9 a.m. – 3 p.m.): What is your wing span?: Guests will have their arm length measured and recorded.
  • Africa (9 a.m. – 3 p.m.): What is your height?: Guests will have their height measured and recorded.
  • Rafiki’s Planet Watch (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.): Guests can participate in a variety of special activities, including learning more about Operation Migration, which has been helping rare whooping cranes migrate for more than 10 years. The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund has supported Operation Migration since its inception.

James fell in love with purple martins during childhood visits to his grandmother’s house. Do you have special memories of purple martins or other songbirds? Let us know in the comments.

Upcoming 2013 events for connecting families with nature (as always, dates subject to change):

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom:

  • 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
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Wildlife Wednesdays: Party for the Planet to Celebrate 15th Anniversary of Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Earth Day on April 22

posted on April 17th, 2013 by Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks


Wildlife Wednesdays: Party for the Planet to Celebrate 15th Anniversary of Disney's Animal Kingdom and Earth Day on April 22
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.

Wildlife Wednesdays: Party for the Planet to Celebrate 15th Anniversary of Disney's Animal Kingdom and Earth Day on April 22

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
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