In 2013, the amazing folks at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park opened a new interactive experience for guests of all ages, The Wilderness Explorers!
Just like in the Disney•Pixar film, Up, young Wilderness Explorers can complete challenges to earn badge stickers for their Wilderness Explorer Handbook – there’s 30 different challenges in all. Each hands-on activity teaches kids something new about the wild animals and wild places inside the Park, including:
- Veterinary Badge – Help diagnose a sea turtle’s health issue
- Dinosaur Badge – Join in the exploration for dinosaur fossils
- Animal Find Badge – Check off each of the animals you see
- Music Badge – Learn how to play an African drum pattern
- Yeti Badge – Find Yeti artifacts and hear about the folklore
Participation is included in Park admission and timing for the experience depends on how many badge challenges you wish to complete.
I was lucky enough in August of 2013 to be able to experience it for myself. I had a fabulous time!
To get started I grabbed a field guide from headquarters—located on the bridge between the Oasis and Discovery Island—or drop by Wilderness Explorer stops in Africa, Rafiki’s Planet Watch, Asia and Dinoland U.S.A. to pick one up there.
My first task was to learn the Wilderness Explorer call…
Next I headed toward the Expedition Everest challenge. On my way to to attraction I came across a Wilderness Explorer Wildlife Field Station.
Here I was able to earn my Animal Call badge by identifying specific calls.
Then it was on to Everest. My Wilderness Explorer handbook instructed me to set a telescope to a certain elevation and record my findings. If my finding were correct I earned my badge.
I had so much fun wandering around Animal Kingdom looking for WE outposts and earning my badges. Not only saws it fun but it was also educational. In order to get my Yeti badge I had to ask the cast member near the outpost to share stories from his native land about the Yeti. It was fascinating.
It was such a fun day and such a great way to see and experience Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park.
I highly recommend it. By the way, don’t forget to stop by and meet Russell and Dug!