By acreage, Animal Kingdom is the largest single Disney theme park in the world. It covers over 500 acres and serves as the home to approximately 1,500 specimens of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. As both a theme park and an accredited zoo, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is uniquely positioned to promote conservation efforts and encourage change. Here are just a few of the ways that Animal Kingdom may leave you seeing things in a new light.
1. Recycling throughout the parks
Animal Kingdom isn’t alone in providing ample opportunities for guests to recycle their trash. However, this park doesn’t just take your garbage off for recycling. It also features products that highlight just how these recycled items can be used. The benches are made from recycled plastic, so any time you break for a little rest, you can thank recycling efforts for the cozy spot you’ve found.
Animal Kingdom also features several souvenirs that are recycled. While these offerings change frequently, you may want to keep an eye open for paper made from elephant droppings, bracelets made from plastic bags, and animal figures made from recycled cans. Other purchases in Animal Kingdom may go to support Fair Trade or other initiatives.
2. Drinking a little different
You may notice that your drinks at Animal Kingdom look distinctly different. There are no plastic lids or straws anywhere in the park to protect the wildlife. If you must use a straw, you’ll discover a novel new option for sipping your beverage. The straws at Animal Kingdom are made from paper. While this does make them safer and more environmentally friendly, it can give your drink a bit of a cardboard flavor, so you may want to skip sipping altogether.
3. The Conservation Fund
The Disney World Conservation Fund has done incredible work for conservation worldwide. Guests at Animal Kingdom have the opportunity to donate to this fund with every purchase they make. In 2014 alone, the Conservation Fund awarded funds for dozens of projects including:
- Conserving Papua New Guineas Grasslands
- Coastwatch Grizzly Bear Monitoring Initiative
- Peninsular Bighorn Sheep Volunteer Count
- Restoring Habitat for Gopher Tortoises
- Guatemalan Endangered Reptile Awareness Program
- Conserving Venezuela’s Critically Endangered Bat
- Filipinos for Flying Foxes
- Enhancing Recovery of Threatened Corals
- Future Farmers of Africa
- Building Communities that Conserve Wetlands