There’s one holiday that Disney’s Animal Kingdom celebrates better than ANY of the other Disney parks.
In fact, Animal Kingdom even officially OPENED on this holiday back in 1998. Did you already guess what it is? If you said Earth Day, you’re correct! This holiday is coming on April 22nd (this Friday). Let’s check out the BIG way that you can celebrate this special day in the parks this week!
We’ve already taken a look at some of the ways you can celebrate Earth Day (including new activities and limited-time treats), but today we saw even MORE additions to Animal Kingdom in honor of this holiday.
Rare Character Meet-and-Greets
A few animal friends made an appearance in Animal Kingdom to help celebrate Earth Day! We spotted some RARE characters around the park, including the beautiful Gypsy (the moth from A Bugs Life).
Gypsy was hanging out in the Tree of Life garden, so it’s easy to miss her if you don’t know she’s there.
At a different time of day, we saw two Brother Bear characters in the same spot. Say hello to Kenai and Koda!
Another fun character sighting for Earth Week is DiVine! This gorgeous character, normally dressed in a way that blends into the surroundings, is not so camouflaged during this celebration — she’s covered in beautiful, bright flowers!
And the best part? With the recent character meet-and-greet changes, you can HUG these friends (well, most of them anyway!). A couple more furry friends were spotted in a flotilla on Discovery River — the hyenas from The Lion King!
They were sailing away when we spotted them, but Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed were out greeting guests from the river.
New Wilderness Explorer Badge
Caw! Caw! Roar! Have you ever done the Wilderness Explorer challenges in Animal Kingdom? You can stop by any of the several Wilderness Explorer kiosks to grab a pamphlet with different tasks. You’ll travel around the park and complete these tasks, earning badges (stickers) along the way. For the upcoming holiday, there’s a new Earth Day badge!
To get this badge, you’ll learn about national parks around the US. The activity involves drawing or tracing some nature (like pinecones, leaves, or rocks) in your Field Guide.
Look for a kiosk like this one to get your Field Guide and start your adventures.
The Wilderness Must Be Explored!
New PhotoPass Options
If you’re looking for a way to capture your Earth Day memories in Animal Kingdom, Disney’s PhotoPass Service has got you covered. There are a few new Magic Shots available in this park! There’s one where you can say hello to WALL-E and EVE. Find a photographer near the front of the park to get this one.
And there’s a new Tiny World Magic Shot as well. We’ve seen these before in Disney World, but the Earth Day one in Animal Kingdom adds some extra “feathered friends” to the shot in honor of the holiday. You can find this shot by the exit of It’s Tough to be a Bug! on the Tree of Life Trails.
If you’re curious about how this photo works, here’s a picture of the PhotoPass Photographer in action! They’ll use 360-degree camera to create these pictures.
There’s also a new PhotoPass Lens, which you can access on the My Disney Experience app. Head to the main menu and click “Disney PhotoPass Lenses” to find these.
The new lens will make you look like a Wilderness Explorer. It’s free from April 18th through April 24th. After the 24th, it will only be available to those who purchase Genie+.
Free Virtual Backgrounds
Whether you’re in the parks or staying home, you can access free virtual meeting backgrounds, mobile wallpapers, and desktop wallpapers from your My Disney Experience account.
These Earth Day-themed backgrounds feature animals that you can find in Animal Kingdom, like elephants, miniature goats, and gorillas.
You can download these for free from your My Disney Experience account for 45 days.
LOTS of Treats
And of course, we can’t forget about all the TREATS you can find for the special occasion in Animal Kingdom! We’ve already taken a look at these treats in another post, but we just had to remind you about them here.
You can find a couple of limited-time cocktails, some animal-themed cupcakes, frozen drinks, and more around this park.
Be sure to try these out before they’re gone!
That’s it for the special celebrations in Animal Kingdom this week. We’ll continue to update this post as we see more changes in the park throughout this week leading up to April 22nd! Keep following DFB for all the latest updates.
Are you visiting Animal Kingdom for Earth Day this week? Let us know in the comments.