Disney World’s Animal Kingdom opened on April, 22, 1998…
… 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!
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.”
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.”
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!
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.
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.
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!
Your Adventure Guide will help you find extra happenings around the park to help you “choose your own adventure”!
Activities include interactive experiences at Rafiki’s Planet Watch, and a special limited-time badge for Wilderness Explorers.
You can also learn more about Disney’s Conservation Fund.
AND it will help you find the extra eats and treats are on hand over the next couple of weeks!
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.
The 20th Anniversary Cupcake is vanilla cake topped with a buttercream Tree of Life and a chocolate Anniversary logo.
Did I mention it’s, like, OODLES upon OODLES of buttercream?!? YUM!
The Earth Day Cupcake features a chocolate base topped with buttercream, white-chocolate crispy pearls, and the chocolate anniversary logo.
In addition to the buttercream, a white chocolate mousse earth is placed on top of the whole thing!
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!
“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!
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!
This decadent Pop is made up of layers of chocolate cake alternating with blue and green buttercream.
It’s fun to see Disney World getting in on some of the Pixar-themed food, too!
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.
According to the Impossible website, the burger is “made from simple, all-natural ingredients such as wheat, coconut oil, and potatoes.”
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.
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.” 🙂
Many thanks to Andy Jackson for the pics!
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.
This special menu is available from 11:30 am – 3:30 pm, and features African, Asian, and South American cuisine.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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! 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!