Adventures by Disney South Africa Animal Kingdom 20th Anniversary Safari Day 1 : Welkom!

We have just landed in Cape Town after nearly a full day of travel, so this first day is more of a background on this adventure and less of plane and airport photos.

First, a bit of a background on this once in a lifetime Adventure by Disney (AbD) tour: on April 22nd, 2018, Disney’s Animal Kingdom celebrated its 20th anniversary with lots of special activities. But capping off the night, D23 hosted a VIP dinner inside the Festival of the Lion King arena. The big news of the night was AbD created a special once-in-a-lifetime, adult-exclusive South African adventure to commemorate Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s anniversary. This safari would start with the base South Africa tour that Adventures by Disney has done for years but, because it is adult only event, would tweak the itinerary. Plus, traveling along on this safari would be Disney’s Animal Kingdom Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Dr. Mark Penning; and Portfolio Creative Executive for Walt Disney Imagineering Joe Rohde!

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Portfolio Creative Executive for Walt Disney Imagineering Joe Rohde

Myself, Jeremiah Good, and my traveling partner, Tess May, were among the lucky few able to book this adventure and we invite you to follow along over the new 10 days as we experience the sights, sounds, and fun of South Africa. A bit of background on us: I, Jeremiah, have always been a die-hard Disney fan having traveled to almost every Disney Theme Park across the globe as well as Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina Hawaii. I have always said that Disney is my Laughing Place (not a cheap plug) and worked for the Walt Disney Travel Company when AbD was actually launched back in 2005, so I have a deep love for all things Disney.

Tess was practically born with a Disney Spoon in her mouth with her father helping create entertainment for Disney Parks and Resorts, she was able to travel around the world with the magic of Disney always being present. She was also fortunate enough to be selected to serve in the Peace Corps in Ghana and her love of Africa was born.


As I said, this was going to be a short entry because our first day — literally the past 24+ hours — have been spent flying from Orlando to Detroit then across the Atlantic to Amsterdam before the last leg that brought us into Cape Town. Once we arrived, we were greeted and off we went to start our adventure in.

Once we arrived at The Table Bay Hotel, even at the late hour, we were met by our guides Kira and Craig and given the lay of the land and the amazing information that we would be meeting tomorrow for our first day of fun at 7:10 a.m. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Adventures by Disney tour without some welcome gifts including our Day 1 pin, a great collapsable duffel bag, and our materials hand picked by Joe Rhode himself for the sketching we will be doing with him later in the trip.

Well that does it for Day 1, tomorrow will be our first day in the sun so expect many more pictures.

Laughing Place recommends for all your Disney travel planning
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Jeremiah Good
Our main correspondent for Walt Disney World and the Orlando area and a heck of a paleontologist if he does say so himself.