Animal Kingdom 20th Anniversary and Party for the Planet Live Coverage!

Disney World’s Animal Kingdom opened on April, 22, 1998…

Animal Kingdom's Tree of Life

Animal Kingdom’s Tree of Life

… and we’ve all been having a WILD time ever since!

We spent the day LIVE at the Anniversary, so you can see what’s in store for the Party for the Planet over the next two weeks… and more new additions to Animal Kingdom!

Pandora -- The World of AVATAR

Pandora — The World of AVATAR

Timon at Animal Kingdom

Timon at Animal Kingdom

View of Everest in Animal Kingdom's Asia

View of Everest in Animal Kingdom’s Asia

Entrance to Village of Harambe

Entrance to Village of Harambe

Rivers of Light Spectacular

Rivers of Light Spectacular

To celebrate this milestone 20th Anniversary, today kicks off an extended version of Animal Kingdom’s annual celebration! So, even though today is the official Anniversary with commemorative events of its own, if you visit Animal Kingdom over the next two weeks (through May 5th), you should know there is a PARTY FOR THE PLANET going on!

20th Anniversary Celebration

In honor of Animal Kingdom’s 20th Anniversary, Joe Rohde — Vice President and Executive Designer, Creative and lead designer of Animal Kingdom — shared that “Twenty years of Animal Kingdom is not just twenty years existence of a park. It’s twenty years of LIFE.”

Monkeys in Animal Kingdom

Monkeys in Animal Kingdom

He spoke about what Animal Kingdom “has to say” about the value of nature, adventure, and a personal call to action. And how the magic of the animals is one that cannot be created; the “the magic of the animals is one we can only serve.”

Animal Kingdom 20th Anniversary

Animal Kingdom 20th Anniversary

The 20th Anniversary also saw the debut of TWO new additions to Animal Kingdom. From today on, guests visiting Pandora can catch the Pandora Utility Suit!

Pandora Utility Suit

Pandora Utility Suit

A human pilot guides the 10-foot high walking suit, which has a structure that allows the guide to collect plant samples and study flora while navigating the wild terrain of Pandora.

Pandora Utility Suit

Pandora Utility Suit

Check your Times Guide or My Disney Experience app to see the Pandora Conservation Initiative Utility Suit during your visit!

And the new show, Up! A Great Bird Adventure, made its official debut in the Asia section of the park.

Up! A Great Bird Adventure!

Up! A Great Bird Adventure!

Up! A Great Bird Adventure

Up! A Great Bird Adventure

This anniversary is the start of the two-week Party for the Planet, so let’s see what’s in store if you visit Animal Kingdom from now through May 5th!

Specialty Food and Activities for Party for the Planet

The Party for the Planet is an annual Earth Day event in celebration of nature and wildlife. And this year, the Animal Kingdom celebration spans for two full weeks!

Party for the Planet Adventure Guide

Party for the Planet Adventure Guide

Your Adventure Guide will help you find extra happenings around the park to help you “choose your own adventure”!

Party for the Planet Adventure Guide

Party for the Planet Adventure Guide

Activities include interactive experiences at Rafiki’s Planet Watch, and a special limited-time badge for Wilderness Explorers.

Party for the Planet Adventure Guide

Party for the Planet Adventure Guide

You can also learn more about Disney’s Conservation Fund.

Party for the Planet Adventure Guide

Party for the Planet Adventure Guide

20th Anniversary Disney Conservation Fund Button

20th Anniversary Disney Conservation Fund Button

AND it will help you find the extra eats and treats are on hand over the next couple of weeks!

Party for the Planet Adventure Guide

Party for the Planet Adventure Guide

Let’s have a look!

Tree of Life Cupcake and Earth Day Cupcake

There are TWO specialty cupcakes up for grabs, available in different Counter Service locations. Find the 20th Anniversary Cupcake, featuring the Tree of Life, at Creature Comforts and Flame Tree Barbecue.

Animal Kingdom 20th Anniversary Cupcake

Animal Kingdom 20th Anniversary Cupcake

The 20th Anniversary Cupcake is vanilla cake topped with a buttercream Tree of Life and a chocolate Anniversary logo.

20th Anniversary Tree of Life Cupcake

20th Anniversary Tree of Life Cupcake

20th Anniversary Tree of Life Cupcake

20th Anniversary Tree of Life Cupcake

Did I mention it’s, like, OODLES upon OODLES of buttercream?!? YUM!

20th Anniversary Tree of Life Cupcake

20th Anniversary Tree of Life Cupcake

And look for the Earth Day Cupcake at Pizzafari and Restaurantosaurus.

Earth Day Cupcake

Earth Day Cupcake

The Earth Day Cupcake features a chocolate base topped with buttercream, white-chocolate crispy pearls, and the chocolate anniversary logo.

Earth Day Cupcake

Earth Day Cupcake

Earth Day Cupcake

Earth Day Cupcake

In addition to the buttercream, a white chocolate mousse earth is placed on top of the whole thing!

Inside the Earth Day Cupcake

Inside the Earth Day Cupcake

Zuri’s Sweets Shop — the confectionery in Africa’s Harambe Village — is getting in on the cupcake fun, too, with themed chocolate and vanilla cupcakes of their own!

20th Anniversary Cupcake at Zuri's

20th Anniversary Cupcake at Zuri’s

Party for the Planet Cupcake at Zuri's

Party for the Planet Cupcake at Zuri’s

“Up” Cake Push Pop

Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for additional offerings not mentioned in the Adventure Guide. As mentioned earlier, today marks the official debut of the new show, Up! A Great Bird Adventure!

Up! A Great Bird Adventure

Up! A Great Bird Adventure

We found a Cake Push Pop at Warung Outpost — just nearby the show’s amphitheater — decorated with the iconic “Up” balloons made of crispy white chocolate in honor of the debut!

Cake Push Pop

Cake Push Pop

This decadent Pop is made up of layers of chocolate cake alternating with blue and green buttercream.

"Up" Cake Push Pop

“Up” Cake Push Pop

"Up" Cake Push Pop

“Up” Cake Push Pop

It’s fun to see Disney World getting in on some of the Pixar-themed food, too!

"Up" Cake Push Pop

“Up” Cake Push Pop

These beauties will only be around for a limited time (and a Cast Member informed us that they only make so many a day), so grab one while you can!

Earth Day Impossible Burgers

What’s an “Impossible Burger”? Why, it’s a burger… that’s plant-based! Disney teamed up with Impossible to create two variations of it for the Party for the Planet. The Earth Day Impossible Burger is currently being served at Restaurantosaurus with avocado and tomato on a brioche bun.

Earth Day Impossible Burger

Earth Day Impossible Burger

According to the Impossible website, the burger is “made from simple, all-natural ingredients such as wheat, coconut oil, and potatoes.”

Earth Day Impossible Burger

Earth Day Impossible Burger

Earth Day Impossible Burger

Earth Day Impossible Burger

And according to a DFB team member, the texture is spot on, and that it tastes actually charred and grilled (more so than a typical Quick Service burger)! The plant-base flavor came through more in the aftertaste.

Earth Day Impossible Burger

Earth Day Impossible Burger

And at Nomad Lounge, you’ll see Earth Day Impossible Burger Sliders on the menu, where the sliders are topped with tomato chutney and smoked onion and served with yucca fries. Notice the message on the menu: “Made entirely from plants for people who love meat.” :)

Nomad Lounge Party for the Planet Menu

Nomad Lounge Party for the Planet Menu

Many thanks to Andy Jackson for the pics!

Earth Day Impossible Burger Sliders

Earth Day Impossible Burger Sliders

Earth Day Impossible Burger Sliders

Earth Day Impossible Burger Sliders

Tiffins Tasting Menu and Tiffins Talks

Tiffins is featuring a 3 -course 20th Anniversary Chef’s Lunch Tasting Menu for the duration of the Party for the Planet.

Tiffins Chef's Lunch Tasting Menu

Tiffins Chef’s Lunch Tasting Menu

This special menu is available from 11:30 am – 3:30 pm, and features African, Asian, and South American cuisine.

Tiffins 20th Anniversary Chef's Lunch Tasting Menu

Tiffins Chef’s Lunch Tasting Menu

And as an added experience for the Party for the Planet, Tiffins Talks are taking place at the park’s signature restaurant on select dates throughout the duration of the Party. 

Tiffins sign

Tiffins sign

Guests at these ticketed Talks will listen to animal and conservation experts (including Imagineer Joe Rohde on April 25th) while enjoying a four-course meal comprised of specialty food and beverages that will complement the evening’s topics.

Tiffins Talks information

Tiffins Talks information

You can find information on Tiffins Talks — including topics, special guests, pricing and how to book — here!

20th Anniversary Merchandise

Stop by merchandise locations throughout the park — and in particular, Island Merchantile — to check out 20th Anniversary merchandise.

20th Anniversary Tee

20th Anniversary Tee

20th Anniversary Tee

20th Anniversary Tee

20th Anniversary Mug

20th Anniversary Mug

Though there is no guarantee, merchandise may be available outside of the Party’s run, so keep an eye out no matter when you get to visit Animal Kingdom this year!

And, remember, if you stop by Windtraders in Pandora, a limited edition Banshee is available for purchase!

Limited Edition Banshee sign

Limited Edition Banshee sign

Limited Edition Banshee

Limited Edition Banshee

And, of course, even if your visit falls well outside the Anniversary celebration, there are always ways to celebrate during your time in Animal Kingdom. For instance, DinoLand, U.S.A. is currently paving the way for Donald’s Dino-Bash!, a new character party including Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto, and Launchpad McQuack. You’ll also see Chip ‘n Dale in new dinosaur-inspired costumes!

Donald's Dino-Bash! Coming Soon

Donald’s Dino-Bash! Coming Soon

Donald’s Dino-Bash! will hit the scene on May 25, 2018.

And since it’s never a celebration without FOOD, be sure to check out this tribute to some of our very favorite eats in Animal Kingdom!

Check out our @DisneyFoodBlog instagram account to see updates and live coverage of the 20th Anniversary Party for the Planet at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

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