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Iconic Centerpiece of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Inspires 20th Anniversary Merchandise Collection

Steven Miller

by , Communications Manager

This month, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will mark its 20th anniversary at Walt Disney World Resort. The park, which opened as “a new species of theme park” on April 22, 1998, continues inspiring and educating guests of all ages today through the magic of nature. For Disney Parks Merchandise, this milestone occasion was the perfect opportunity for creating an unforgettable collection of merchandise inspired by the theme park’s iconic centerpiece.

Disney's Animal Kingdom 20th Anniversary Logo Art

“We mixed earth tone colors with images of animals and icons reminiscent of the beautifully sculpted animal carvings found on the breathtaking Tree of Life,” explained Cody Reynolds, Senior Creative Director with Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media Creative Group.

From a banshee at Pandora – The World of Avatar to a Baobab tree from the Kilimanjaro Safaris attractions, artists drew more than 50 stylized animals, icons and graphics for an artwork style guide. Merchandise developers referenced this guide when creating items to ensure the overall assortment had a consistent look.

Artwork on a t-shirt and matching water bottle captures the park’s tremendous transformation during the past 20 years, and includes nods to attractions from opening day to the more recent other-worldly additions of Na’vi River Journey and Avatar Flight of Passage.

Disney's Animal Kingdom 20th Anniversary Merchandise Display

“Guests love merchandise that commemorates significant moments in time,” said Katie Thompson from Global Merchandise Strategy at Disney Parks Merchandise. “This new merchandise builds on the success of recent theme park anniversary collections, and offers something for everyone looking to celebrate at Animal Kingdom throughout the upcoming year.”

Disney's Animal Kingdom 20th Anniversary Apparel

Designed to complement each other, merchandise offered includes a mix of apparel for adults and kids, home décor, accessories and other collectibles such as trading pins or jewelry by ALEX AND ANI.

Disney's Animal Kingdom 20th Anniversary Products

On select products, the merchandise team added hidden surprises in the artwork. A closer examination of drinkware reveals images of tiny ants strategically placed for guests to discover.

Disney's Animal Kingdom 20th Anniversary Logo Products

Island Mercantile in Disney’s Animal Kingdom serves as the headquarters for the 20th anniversary assortment. Select products may also be found in shops throughout the park or via Shop Disney Parks.

Stay tuned to Disney Parks Blog for details about new limited release items being released at the “Party for the Planet” celebration that kicks off on Earth Day, April 22.

Comments

  • Looking forward to popping over and checking it out after running through DAK early in the morning during the Dark Side Half!
    – Erin LoveDisneyRun

  • I was at Animal Kingdom on April 5 and looked in every shop including Island Mercantile to find a tree of life with animals t-shirt like the one in the top right corner and couldn’t find anything, there was very little selection so why does it say they’re available at Island Mercantile?

    • @Tina – I’m sorry to hear you weren’t able to locate what you were seeking. I’m unsure which shirt you would like. I found Island Mercantile contained the best assortment of all products created for the 20th Anniversary. Many of these items will be carried throughout the upcoming year.

      If you are referencing the second image of four pieces of artwork, there isn’t a shirt that looks exactly like that image. Elements from the artwork featured in the style guide was applied to apparel. You may be able to locate some products on ShopDisney.com – https://www.shopdisney.com/collections/disney-s-animal-kingdom-collection

  • Am trying to get more info on the AK Dooney. I see it on eBay for $350 right now. How do the secure enough to fill their orders yet annual passholders may not get one?
    Thanks,
    Kim

  • I’d love to know more about that artwork featured in the upper right corner of the last photo. It’s gorgeous! Will it be sold as a print? A blanket? It’s hard to tell from the photo.

    • @Derek – That piece is a wood panel image created by the Arts & Collectibles team. The item is approximately 11″ by 17″ and has a retail of $125. I found it in the display case at Island Mercantile, which you can see in the third image (it’s on the right side of the wall display). The team used elements from the artwork seen in the first image of this article. I agree – it’s beautiful!

  • Will the new Dooney and Bourke with Animal Print (previewed in the AP Mickey Monitor) release on April 22nd as well? Can you share styles and pricing?

    • @Shanna – Look for another story this week with details about products being released at the “Party for the Planet” celebration that kicks off on Earth Day, April 22.