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Disney’s Animal Kingdom Comes to Life in Family’s Yard

Tony Shepherd

by , Producer, Broadcast Marketing

If you enjoyed watching Disney Parks dreams come true in the Bradburn family’s backyard on HGTV’s “My Yard Goes Disney” – then great news, that was just the beginning!

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Comes to Life in the Parker Family’s Yard

Tonight’s episode features the Parker family, and we think you’ll love how the show’s creators worked to bring the magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom roaring to life behind their home. The centerpiece of their yard is a very large, very old tree – and it brought our own Tree of Life at the park to mind immediately. But it isn’t the only connection to this special place.

HGTV Designers and the Parker Family

You see, this extraordinary family has adopted six – yes, you read that right – six children from different regions of Africa. The HGTV Designers, taking inspiration from our own Imagineers, bring Disney magic from the park into their yard and at the same time, work in fantastic touches that pay tribute to the children’s home country!

The day we filmed with the family at the park was so much fun. Our team loved hanging out with this energetic bunch. You’ll see footage of them playing in Dino Land – and that was the hardest part of the entire shoot: trying to wrap it up. The kids didn’t want to stop playing!! But as you’ll soon see, they now have a pretty cool Animal Kingdom of their own to jump around in.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Comes to Life in the Parker Family’s Yard Parkers Seeing 
Their Backyard Plan Revealed for the First Time

I love getting to share some “backstage magic” with you, so here are a couple of “behind-the-scenes” photos from filming. I especially love the shot from one of Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s best-kept-secret locations – Lower Bradley Falls – where the Parkers saw their backyard plan revealed for the first time.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Comes to Life in the Parker Family’s Yard

Finally… your response to the first episode of HGTV’s “My Yard Goes Disney” has truly been overwhelming. We LOVE your ideas for Disney-inspired backyards. Who knows? Maybe yours will be next, so we want to hear more.


  • I just wish you would come to Canada.(sigh) We were married at the Yacht Club gazebo in 1994 and would love a yard that brings back the charm of the Yacht and Beach Club Resort grounds with their lovely gardens, the gazebo, and winding pool. We don’t have room for a pool, but a water feature and pond would work nicely. Keep the backstage magic photos coming. Maybe I can get some ideas.

  • We would love our yard to be Disneyfied,been a fan since the ’60s,try to go to Disney World often.Magic Kingdom feel with the “Mountains” and my wife loves the Villains(Maleficent,Evil Queen,Cruella and Ursula).

  • being grandma to 2 princess and one on the way whom i watch everyday, i would love to have a princess play yard for them to stretch their imaginations in. the oldest princess wants Rapunzels tower with a sliding pole, snow whites mine ride, cinderella carriage swing, and the little mermaids sea horse rockers! and by the way hgtv, i was named for one of the original mouseketeers!!!i cant wait to bring the 2 newest princess to disney world for their 3rd birthdays even though one isnt born yet, her disney trip is allready in the works!!

  • I am young at heart but since I have no kids Disney isn’t looking for adults who are Disney obsessed. If I could Disneyfy my back yard I would like to have a Haunted Mansion theme. It would be extreme and only a Haunted Mansion fan would want it but having a cool graveyard with Gracey and the gang, weeping willows and a rose garden with weathered stone and a cool crypt/tool shed would be amazing. Disney if you ever decide to design for the young at heart I’m here 🙂 I guess my mother would prefer a Flower and Garden Festival homage but they would have to be some tough plants and topiary, shes a great woman but not much of a green thumb. I really love the new show!

  • Just thought of another Trader Sams at Disneyland Hotel or an Adventurers Club inspired backyard would be AMAZING I would love this, please.

  • This was a great episode. I think this family is amazing and I’m sure that one day we will hear more of their story. (The backyard design was very nice too, btw.) One question — Where is Lower Bradley Falls?

  • I just loved the Animal Kingdom backyard episode and I also fell in love with the Parker family. Now I can’t wait to see next weeks episode with the Mickey pool.

    I first time I heard the commercial about entering the sweepstakes and it being for only Florida residents I felt discriminated. Now I feel really jealous and envious; but we will see how far this goes and maybe they will expand the borders in the future 🙂

  • Our family has really enjoyed the first two shows! You guys are doing a great job. Being able to see the kind of creativity and work on each one has been great. I hope this series continues. Of course, my daughter wants you to come to our house immediately! Keep up the great work!

  • I cannot tell you how much I am enjoying this series. The first two epiosdes were great. I guess we can all dream that Disney would come to our backyard and remodel your yards. If you are a Disney fan you must watch this show

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