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Wilderness Explorers Coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom This Spring

Jennifer Fickley-Baker

by , Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

Have you seen the Disney•Pixar film “Up”?

If you recall, young Russell from the film is a dedicated Wilderness Explorer who can’t wait to earn badges by having all kinds of adventures while learning about the world.

We’re happy to announce that the Wilderness Explorers adventure organization is coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, with a planned opening this spring. Soon, guests can become Wilderness Explorers and experience the entire park using their field guides, completing challenges and earning badges as they go. With more than 30 badges available, Wilderness Explorers is fun for the whole family and helps guests experience Disney’s Animal Kingdom and its themes in a new and exciting way.

Stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for more information.

For more news from Disney’s Animal Kingdom, check out the posts below:


  • So has this launched yet? Would love more details! Thank you!

  • We were there June 1st and became Wilderness Explorers! My son and I had a fantastic time and were able to earn all the badges in one day. It was a lot of work but what a fun way to see every inch of the park and learn so much in the process! We are proud to have the title of Senior Wilderness Explorers! Have the photo with Russell and Doug too! This is awesome!

  • We go in June and my son will LOVE this.

    • Sounds great!

  • Does this replace the Kids Discovery Club activities?

  • This sounds GREAT! I can’t wait to try it out next January! We were just in WDW, and we met Dug and Russell in Animal Kingdom. It must have been in preparation for this! I love the interactive adventures in the Disney parks, especially when you get to collect something. This sounds like so much fun!

  • From a mom of a child diagnosed with autism, this sounds like a wonderful opportunity for our kids. They LOVE to collect rewards, badges, etc. almost obsessively so therefore I predict this will be a big hit with the disabled community. Sounds like an opportunity for them to share in an emmersive and interactive experience. Hope it is permanent as it may be another year before we get there.

    • Thanks for the input, Kristi. Sounds great.

  • I am so excited for this! I just hope they are not stickers like at California adventure. I would love to see buttons ( like mini versions of the birthday buttons)

  • We can’t wait to do this! What a great addition to an already great park. Will there be an extra fee for this or is this open to all guests?

    • I just checked and there is no cost to participate – it is included in park admission. 🙂

  • SO fun!

    Up is one of my favorite movies of all time – my sisters and I even got balloon tattoos last year to commemorate our love of Disney and adventure!

    • Wow, that’s dedication!

  • And what do these “badges” look like, I wonder? And I also wonder what they consider “spring”. We will be visiting in May so I hope it’s ready by then.

    • We hope to have more details to share soon!

  • This sounds like so much fun. Hope they have it in place by the time we go. This is right up our alley.

  • I agree, bring out the “Assisting the Elderly Badge” where guests can assist Mr. Fredrickson in doing anything, make it part of the meet and greet. Love meeting Dug and Russel but no Mr. Fredrickson makes me sad every time. … Squirrel…

  • I hope this means that Russel and Carl will become a permanent Meet & Greet… We searched every park, every day we were there last year, and no Carl or Russel to be found – my 14 y/o daughter was crushed.

  • This may be just what it takes to get us to go to AK this June. We sometimes skip AK these days since the Yeti is broke and there are only so many things to do there. Exploring AK sounds pretty fun.

  • I’m hoping you can get an Ellie Badge.

    • 🙂

  • Wow, my children would love this! Do you have any idea when this will start? I am coming in April from UK, and am unsure when you have Spring sorry. Thanks

  • Me and my son are very excited about this news. We love the film Up and Doug and Russell were our favourite meet and greet on our last visit. I’m an assistant Cub Scout Leader and my son is a member of the pack here in the UK so we can’t wait to join the Wilderness Explorers! We’re coming in May so fingers crossed it will be running then.

    • Sounds like this is perfect for you both!

  • This sounds like so much fun. I hope there is plenty for big kids like my husband and I 🙂

  • We had so much fun doing the shorter version at California Adventure. Can’t wait to try this one!!

  • Please tell me that this will be ready by March 2. ODT#1 is ready to do this! And I am too!


    • No word on an opening date yet – please stay tuned!

  • This sounds fantastic. I hope it is available to adults too.

  • I wish the parks would receive more attractions rather then interactive experiences.

  • This is my absolute favorite movie. I cannot wait to be a WE myself. See you all in the Spring!

    • What a nice salute to your favorite!

  • Will there be different levels so that grown-up kids can enjoy it as much as youngsters? As a grown-up I too love participating in Disney “adventures”. But I wouldn’t want the kids to miss out!

  • we are going to be there in February, before this starts.
    Oh well, I guess we’ll just have to come back 😉 lol

  • Can’t wait! My family will do this on our next trip. Hope you bring back the Wilderness Explorer mock tees to go with the challenge.

  • I can’t wait! This sounds like fun for all ages! Bring it on, I want all 30 badges! I hope it’s not ie Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom where we can’t get all the cards or the game is not working properly! BTW- Sorcerer’s is amazing technology but can you bring back all the levels…pretty please, with sugar and candy on top!

  • YAY!!!!!!!!!!! I CANNOT WAIT!!! 🙂 My son and I are going to have so much fun with this!!

  • I am excited, hope it is together when we go in April!

  • I am SUPER excited for this in June! I will be traveling alone with my three kids (7,5 and 2). We’ve been many times but since I can’t take my 2 yr old on a lot of the rides, it’ll be fun to do things we have never stopped to do like this, sorcerers of the mk and agent P. Thank you Disney!

    • I hope you all enjoy it!

  • This would be great to add to FontierLand in Disneyland or through the Golden State challenge trail in DCA.

  • Sounds like Epcot’s World Showcase Adventure meets California Adventure’s Redwood Creek Challenge Trail! An excellent interactive addition to Animal Kingdom, if so!

  • Please tell me there is an “Assisting the Elderly” badge. Otherwise I’m excited for this, and I’m 22!

    • Hey, Disney is fun at ANY age!

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