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Celebrate 20th Anniversary of Disney’s Animal Kingdom with ‘I Was There’ Collection on April 22

Steven Miller

by , Senior Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility, Walt Disney World Resort

Since opening in 1998, Disney’s Animal Kingdom has inspired and educated guests through the magic of nature while creating unforgettable memories that last a lifetime. The park will mark its 20th Anniversary from April 22 through May 5 with an expanded “Party for the Planet” celebration. For guests attending this celebration, Disney Parks has created a special “I Was There” merchandise collection releasing on April 22. Cathy Dawson, merchandise product developer for special events, shared how amazing adventures with animals, exciting attractions, and lavish stage shows inspired this limited release collection.

'I Was There' Merchandise for the 20th Anniversary of Disney's Animal Kingdom

“With so much to explore at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, we created a passport stamp graphic that captures the spirit of adventure found throughout the park,” explained Cathy.

Surrounded by silhouettes of an animals, attractions and icons from the park, this graphic was applied to apparel for adults and kids, a baseball hat and a tote bag. A limited release pin also includes the anniversary logo and features Mickey Mouse and friends dressed in safari attire.

Annual Passholder 'I Was There' Merchandise for the 20th Anniversary of Disney's Animal Kingdom

Annual Passholders will discover two shirts created exclusively for them. The “Party for the Planet” shirt includes the event logo, while a tank top gives a nod to the park’s 20th Anniversary. Passholders should present a valid Annual Pass at time of purchase.

New Interactive Banshee for the 20th Anniversary of Disney's Animal Kingdom

In addition to the “I Was There” collection, guests will find other exciting products being released for the anniversary.

With colors inspired by a moss-covered wall from Pandora – The World of Avatar, a new interactive banshee is flying into the Rookery at Windtraders. This limited release banshee will be packaged with a display perch and a Certificate of Authenticity. Similar to its 10 colorful counterparts currently available, the banshee contains authentic sounds and includes three ranges of motion – mouth, head, and wings – that are controlled by hand.

Dooney & Bourke Animal-Print Handbags, ALEX AND ANI Bracelets and Commemorative 20th Anniversary Baseball Hat

Other products being released include animal-print handbags by Dooney & Bourke, anniversary bracelets by ALEX AND ANI and a commemorative 20th Anniversary baseball hat presented in a decorative box.

Guests can also meet Walt Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde who created a special-edition print for the anniversary. He will be available to sign prints on April 22 from 1-4 p.m. at Discovery Trading Company.

The best location to find select limited release products on April 22 is Discovery Trading Company at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The interactive banshee will be released in Windtraders at Pandora – The World of Avatar. Other select items, such as the handbags by Dooney & Bourke, will also be released via Shop Disney Parks. Please note all limited release items will be available while supplies last.


  • My AK Dooney order for a large tote was cancelled also due to item being out of stock. Very bummed! Interested to know if these will be restocked soon – or if a pre-order would be possible. Thanks!

  • Due to the popularity of the AK Dooneys, will they be restocked on ShopParks or ShopDisney apps? I just received an email that my order was canceled due to the tote being out of stock. Very bummed. Or maybe a do a pre-order like they did for the Dog Dooneys?

  • Wow it looks like some of the bags are already sold out online.

  • Just watched the live stream from Pittsburgh. Thank you for sharing with the Disney fans that couldn’t be there! Our family has so many good memories of visiting Animal Kingdom over the years. Looking forward to our next visit! Keep up the good work Disney on your animal conservation. Happy Anniversary Animal Kingdom!!

  • Hope the limited edition banshees are still available when I’m there in 10 days. I would love another 1. My current one doesn’t work very well even though he was rarely played with.

  • Is Joe Rohde only signing on 4/22? There were earlier reports that he will be making daily appearances for 10 days (or so) of the celebration?

    • @Eric – Joe’s appearance on April 22 is the only merchandise signing event. He will be participating in Tiffin Talks on April 25, where he will share tales from his adventures all over Asia, India, Nepal and China. The chefs of Tiffins will follow Joe’s journeys with a menu inspired by his travels. You can find out more information about that dining experience here:

  • Hi Steven, do you have a time when the wristbands for the Joe Rohde signing will be available? Thank you.

    • @Suzette – A wristband will be distributed with the purchase of a print at Discovery Trading Company on April 22. Prints will be available on a first come, first serve basis when Disney’s Animal Kingdom opens for the day.

  • hi Steven, is this collection available to purchase online or only in the stores within the park?

  • Thank you Steven! We will be at AK on Monday. Can’t wait to check out the new Merch!

    • @Liz – I hope you have a wonderful visit!

  • Hi Steven!! Thank you for the posted information above about the AK Dooney’s. Can you elaborate on the Cross-body Satchel silhouette that we have not seen yet?

    • @Tiffany – The best option would be to look at other Crossbody Satchels currently available on From my understanding, the animal print design will be similar to those silhouettes –

  • Will these new Dooney bags be around for awhile? To be available during the yearly anniversary? Will they be a limited release? They are amazing and I am desperate for one!

    • @Shannon – The Dooney & Bourke handbags are being introduced on April 22. With the animal print design, the team thought this was a great opportunity to introduce the handbags. The availability will depend on their popularity with guests. They are not limited edition, and are more like all other Dooney & Bourke handbags introduced at Disney Parks.

  • Will the pin only be available between April 22 and May 5????

    • @Brianna – The limited release pin will be available starting April 22. Its availability beyond that date will depend on its popularity with guests visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

  • Can you share a image of the print and can we use discounts on he print?

    • @Brandan – Normal eligible discounts will apply to the purchase of the print. Unfortunately, I’m unable to share the print, but I can say it’s a gorgeous image of a tiger in the wilderness. I hope to see you there!

  • Thanks for the information, Steven! Do you know what time on the 22nd the Dooney’s will be on the Shop Disney Parks? Thanks!

    • @Emily – The Shop Disney Parks team doesn’t provide a confirmed launch time. Typically new items are added to the online site in the early morning hours.

  • Steven why must you do this to me? I have found shirts I have never worn, most I have bought because of you and your blog posts!!!! I am looking forward to a great day in the park.


    • @Jeremiah – I look forward to seeing you too! Thank you for the kind words.

  • Steven, will all three D&B Handbags be available for everyone to purchase or just to AP this weekend?

    • @Susan – The Dooney & Bourke handbags will be available to all guests. They are not Passholder Exclusive (I believe you may have seen a preview of them in a recent issue of the Mickey Monitor).

  • How much will the Banshee set cost? Also, do you have any more info about the Joe Rohde meet and greet (such as how much the art prints are he signs?). Thanks!

    • @Rachel – The limited release banshee and display perch set will have a retail of $99.99. It comes packaged in a specially designed box and will contain a Certificate of Authenticity.

      Walt Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde will be signing a 20th Anniversary print from 1-4 p.m. at Discovery Trading Company on April 22. Retail of the print is $55.

      Please note – Merchandise available while supplies last. A wristband is required to meet Joe and will be distributed with purchase at Discovery Trading Company on the day of the event. We ask that only two items be signed per guest, per time in line, and that you bring no personal items to be signed. Valid Walt Disney World Resort receipt will be required. Event information subject to change without notice.

  • Love it!!! Brings back so many memories!

  • Thanks for the info, Steven! Will there be a third Dooney & Bourke style released in this print? If so, might you be able to tell us what it is? 🙂

    • @Jennifer and Janet – Here are some details about the three Dooney & Bourke handbags being released this weekend.

      – Foldover Crossbody – $158 (pictured)
      – Tote – $268 (pictured)
      – Crossbody satchel – $248 (not pictured)

  • I love those bags-are those the only two styles being offered and do you know the cost?

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