For nearly 50 years, we have been celebrating Mother Earth every April 22nd. This was also, of course, a perfect day to open Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 1998 since is it the park all about the earth and some of its more native inhabitants: the animals.The park, just like its sister parks, doesn’t really do much to celebrate the small park birthdays and this being the 18th was almost nonexistent on anything other than focusing on Earth Day.One of the highlights of each Earth Day has always been the small things they do around the park and partnering with Disneynature to help kids and adults alike to understand more of what we are celebrating.This Earth Day was very special due to the fact it coincided with the Disney Conservation Fund’s celebration of its 20th Anniversary and the release of a new coffee table book, The Disney Conservation Fund: Carrying Forward A Conservation Legacy with all proceeds from the book going toward the DCF. So what better way to celebrate a new book release than an autograph signing from Mr. Disney’s Animal Kingdom himself, Walt Disney Imagineer and Portfolio Creative Executive Joe Rohde. The center of all the Earth Day activities is always Conservation Station out at Rafiki’s Planet Watch.On this special day, guests were lucky enough to ride the train with Chip & Dale, Rafiki, and a special appearance by Jiminy Cricket. Once guest arrived at Conservation Station, they had the chance to have photos with the characters, learn about how we can help save some birds getting closer and closer to extinction, and, new this yea,r was The Horns and Heroes Project display. The Horns and Heroes Project is best summed up in their mission statement “The Horns and Heroes Project was created to help ensure the survival of all rhinos. Involving the efforts of the visionary talents of local and international artists, we will aid those involved in securing the future of the species. Fostering a community supported event, we will advocate awareness, raise funds and assist in conservation efforts while motivating others to join the fight.” This amazing project worked with some of the most talented people at Disney Creative and Walt Disney Imagineering to create these one-of-a-kind pieces of art that will be auctioned off in September with 100% of the proceeds going to help ensure future generations will have the chance to see these beautiful creatures. Please follow them on their Facebook page for more information. But no visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom would be complete without a ride on Expedition: Everest! While in the queue, I noticed the Abominable Showman was pointing me out on one of the displays as part of the StoryMarker enhancements to MyDisney+ before getting a great view of the park.Earth Day is always a great day to visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom. In fact, I feel that every day should be Earth Day and in turn a day to visit the park. In the past I have been guilty of calling this a half day park, but, with all the enhancements coming this summer and Pandora: The World of Avatar literally looming over the park, soon Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be the place to be.
Celebrating Earth Day 2016 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
by Jeremiah Good | Apr 26, 2016