New York World's Fair 50th Anniversary

Sign Up for a Chance to Tour the Expedition Everest Attraction with a Walt Disney Imagineer

posted on October 4th, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Next week, we’re continuing our series of special “Limited Time Magic” experiences in the parks at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park with daily tours of the Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain Attraction through the eyes of Walt Disney Imagineering.

Expedition Everest Attraction at Disney's Animal Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort

Each morning, from October 7-11, 2013, a group of lucky guests will venture inside the Tibetan-style stone structure at the foot of the towering Mt. Everest replica, explore a museum dedicated to the study of the Yeti (the mysterious snow monster said to inhabit the Himalayas) and visit other areas of the attraction. And during each walking tour, participants will hear inside stories from the Walt Disney Imagineers who brought the Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain Attraction to life.

There will be only one tour per day – beginning at 8 a.m. – with 10 guests in each group. You may enter here for a chance to attend only one of the five tours being offered from October 7-11, 2013. Also, here are the rules for the drawing for the Expedition Everest Attraction Tour at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park.

Also, please remember the following for each drawing.

  • All participants who sign up for the events must be U.S. residents who have reached the age of majority in their primary state of residence.
  • Each entry is valid for one participant only; winners will not be permitted to bring a guest.
  • Park admission will be provided as part of the event.
  • Selected participants will be assigned a tour date and time. There will be no changes or substitutions allowed.
  • Tour opportunities are non-transferrable and have no cash value.
  • Confirmation will be for the accepted registered winner only.
  • Valid photo I.D. will be required at check-in.
  • Tours are subject to restrictions and change without notice.

Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. Subject to complete Official Rules.

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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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Test Bus Route Goes Direct from Disney’s Animal Kingdom to Downtown Disney

posted on September 17th, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


If you haven’t heard, we’re now testing an experimental bus route between Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Downtown Disney to add convenience to your Walt Disney World Resort visit.

Bus Direct from Disney's Animal Kingdom to Downtown Disney

Direct service from Disney’s Animal Kingdom to Downtown Disney West Side is now happening daily. The buses run from 3 p.m. – 1 a.m.*, each day.

As regular Disney Parks Blog readers know, we’re always trying new things here at Disney Parks. And this latest test was actually started after some guests shared feedback asking for direct bus transportation from Disney Parks to Downtown Disney. Given the typically earlier closing time of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, that park seemed like a natural fit.

The experimental bus route between Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Downtown Disney is currently running until October 31, 2013.

*Operating hours subject to change.

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‘Better for You’ Goodies Continue to Expand in Walt Disney World Resort Theme Parks

posted on September 5th, 2013 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Today’s 9 a.m. opening of Prince Eric’s Village Market in New Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom Park expands the Disney “better for you” goodies in all four theme parks.

‘Better for You’ Goodies Continue to Expand in Walt Disney World Resort Theme Parks

At the new market you’ll find Odwalla lemonade and strawberry-flavored lemonade served with a fruit garnish, along with bottled juices, waters and teas. Snacks include whole and cut fruits, hummus and chips, Greek yogurt and fresh veggies and dip.

We took a stroll through Magic Kingdom Park and found favorite “better for you” healthful treats in every land, with plenty of fresh fruit and veggies and drinks beyond sodas.

Near Prince Eric’s, Gaston’s Tavern offers soy milk, hummus with pretzel chips, light lemonade, mixed fresh fruit, veggies and sliced apples with caramel sauce. In Fantasyland, Cheshire Cafe has bananas and oranges, light lemonade, lowfat milk and Simply Orange juice. Across the way, Liberty Square Market features baked potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, fresh veggies, lots of fruit (grapes, pineapple, apples, bananas, Clementines), Ocean Spray Craisins and teas and fruit juices. Westward Ho in Frontierland has bananas, oranges and Granny Smith apples. In Adventureland, Aloha Isle is serving fresh-cut pineapple spears. And in Tomorrowland, the Speedway Ice Cream Cart has added fresh pineapple and grapes; The Lunching Pad offers oranges, bananas, soy milk and Simply Orange Juice; and Auntie Gravity’s is blending strawberry-banana and tropical fruit smoothies. Even the popcorn wagons all over the park offer oranges and crisp apples, and the ice cream wagons sell no-sugar-added strawberry bars.

‘Better for You’ Goodies Continue to Expand in Walt Disney World Resort Theme Parks

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Discovery Island Gardens Kiosk is the newest addition, with vegan and gluten-free granola bars, cupcakes, cookies and brownies; hummus with veggies and all sorts of fresh fruit (plus dining info for guests with food-related allergies). Harambe Fruit Market in Africa offers whole and cut fruits and juices. In Asia, at Mr. Kamal’s kiosk, we found hummus and veggies, edamame salad and Asian noodle salad.

Epcot favorites include Ocean Spray Craisins and Ocean Spray Trail Mix at the Mission Space cart; mixed fruit (apple, watermelon and cantaloupe) at Space Ice Cream in Future World, and Perry’s Power Pack, a “Phineas and Ferb“-themed lunch box with Smuckers PB&J Uncrustable, carrot sticks, Dannaon Danimals strawberry yogurt and Minute Maid Apple Juice at African Cool Post.

At Disney’s Hollywood Studios we found all sorts of “better for you” goodies, with whole and cut fruits and veggies, granola bars, Ocean Spray Craisins and Ocean Spray Trail Mix at carts all over the park. We gave high marks to the smoothies made with nonfat yogurt at KRNR the Rock Station on Sunset Boulevard.

We’re satisfied to know that we can spend a day in any of the Walt Disney World theme parks and fresh, whole food is never more than a few steps away.

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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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Caption This: A Roaring Good Time in Dinoland, U.S.A., at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on August 19th, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week’s “Caption This” photo was snapped in 1998 in the then newly-opened Dinoland, U.S.A., section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

A Roaring Good Time in Dinoland, U.S.A.

Looks like this little one is having a good time – and he’s sure daring around all of these dinosaur skeletons. What happens next? You tell us. Go ahead and “Caption This” photo in the “Comments” section below!

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Download Our Disney’s Animal Kingdom BINGO Card

posted on August 16th, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Anyone up for some fun at Disney’s Animal Kingdom?
“Disney’s

This park-inspired BINGO card challenges you to visit attractions, Disney characters – and in this case, animals who reside at the park – in specific orders. Would you try something like this on your next trip to the park?

For more Walt Disney World Resort theme park BINGO cards, visit our official page on Pinterest.

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Wildlife Wednesdays: Mom of 22 Among Cotton-Top Tamarins Celebrated This Month at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on August 7th, 2013 by Anne Savage, Ph.D., Conservation Director, Disney’s Animal Programs


I first “met” Tamara, a cotton-top tamarin who lives in the forest in Colombia, South America, when she was still in her mom’s belly. Thirteen years later (a ripe old age for a cotton-top), she continues to amaze me. Cotton-tops usually give birth to twins, and she recently gave birth to her 12th litter and 22nd infant!

Tamara, Mom of 22 Among Cotton-Top Tamarins Celebrated This Month at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Over the years, Tamara has been a fantastic mom and family member. Thanks to her resourcefulness, Tamara’s family has continued to thrive in their forest home. And she has helped us to learn so much about cotton-top tamarins. For example, we had no idea how many infants a female in the wild could produce. Thanks to Tamara, we’ve had the opportunity at the conservation organization dedicated to cotton-tops, Proyecto Titi, to study all of her infants and learn so much about these fascinating animals. Luckily for Tamara, cotton-top moms don’t raise their babies all by themselves. The babies’ dad, brothers and sisters all help to take care of the babies.

Tamara, Mom of 22 Among Cotton-Top Tamarins Celebrated This Month at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

This month at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, we’re celebrating Tamara and rest of the cotton-tops, critically endangered monkeys found only in Colombia, where August 15 has been proclaimed a national holiday — the Day of the Cotton-Top Tamarin. If you visit Rafiki’s Planet Watch, you can find out about cotton-top tamarins’ favorite foods, how scientists locate them in the forest, and even how to do the cotton-top tamarin dance. Other highlights include face painters and caricature artists with designs featuring cotton-top tamarins created just for the celebration. And, take my word for it, the cotton-top tamarin cupcakes are too delicious to pass up.

Every day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, guests can see cotton-top and other tamarins in Habitat Habit!, on the trail to Conservation Station in Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Guests also can see cotton-tops in Discovery Island near the Tree of Life.

Credit: Hoffner; Proyecto Titi has Taught Women to Crochet Using Plastic Bags Which Help Communities in Columbia Protect Forests that the Cotton-Top Tamarins Call Home Credit: Hoffner; Proyecto Titi has Taught Women to Crochet Using Plastic Bags Which Help Communities in Columbia Protect Forests that the Cotton-Top Tamarins Call Home Credit: Hoffner; Proyecto Titi has Taught Women to Crochet Using Plastic Bags Which Help Communities in Columbia Protect Forests that the Cotton-Top Tamarins Call Home

Did you know?

  • Cotton-top tamarins and plastic bags actually have something in common. Proyecto Titi has taught women to crochet using plastic bags like the ones we bring home from the grocery store (what a great way to recycle and keep trash out of the forest!). They make these beautiful, colorful tote bags called eco-mochilas, which are sold at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Purchasing an eco-mochila helps communities in Colombia protect forests that the cotton-top tamarins call home.
  • You can find out even more about cotton-top tamarins at www.proyectotiti.com and how the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund is helping cotton-tops, other tamarins and wildlife around the world at www.disney.com/conservation.
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Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park Debuts Special Kiosk on August 4 for Guests with Dietary Restrictions

posted on August 2nd, 2013 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


Beginning August 4, guests with food allergies and intolerances visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom will have an easy way to learn about meal options in the park that can accommodate dietary restrictions – and pick up some healthful, prepackaged snacks.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park Debuts Special Kiosk on August 4 for Guests with Dietary Restrictions

The kiosk, located on Discovery Island next to Adventurers Outpost, is called the Gardens kiosk. Here guests can stop and chat about food allergies or intolerances such as gluten or wheat, lactose or dairy, peanuts and tree nuts, shellfish, soy, fish, eggs and corn. And while you’ll be directed to the best restaurants to accommodate your needs, it’s important to still speak with a manager or chef at the restaurant – but you’ll already know exactly what the restaurant can accommodate before you begin your meal.

You can also pick up snacks at the Gardens, including popcorn, desserts, chips, hummus with vegetables, granola bars and a gluten-free beer. Vegan sweets from Baby Cakes also will be offered – all-natural, organic goodies that are made without wheat, gluten, dairy, casein and eggs.

The Gardens is open daily from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

While this is the only park with a kiosk, guests with food allergy concerns can always speak with a manager or chef at many Walt Disney World Resort restaurants, who will do their best to accommodate. For more information, visit Disneyworld.com to review special dietary requests, or send an email 14 days prior to your visit with specific needs to special.diets@disneyworld.com.

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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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