Walt Disney World has earned a reputation not just for having the best-attended and most well-themed parks in the world, but also for hosting a number of top-quality events during the year. From massive events like Epcot International Food and Wine Festival to smaller celebrations like the recent celebration of Minnie Mouse getting her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which brought special snacks and character meetings to Disney Springs and Disney's Hollywood Studios, there seems to always be something special happening at the resort. And in the past few weeks, Disney has announced two interesting limited-time events that you might want to check out in the near future, including the a huge milestone at Walt Disney World's youngest park... 

Disney's Animal Kingdom celebrates its 20th anniversary 

Image: Disney

Every year on Earth Day Disney's Animal Kingdom hosts a special Party for the Planet, that both observes the special day as well as the park's birthday. And 2018 is a special year as it marks the 20th anniversary of the park, which opened on Earth Day in 1998. Here's a rundown of all the special entertainment that will be taking place beginning on April 22: 

  • A special welcome celebration - A festive 15-minute kick-off for The Party for the Planet on Earth Day in front of the Tree of Life, featuring music, dancers and favorite Disney characters!
  • Exclusive PhotoPass opportunities- ̶ “Step in” to a photo opportunity exclusive to the 20th Anniversary of Disney’s Animal Kingdom park! These Disney PhotoPass frames highlight animals supported by the Disney Conservation Fund and the 20th anniversary of the park.
  • Special Wilderness Explorers badge location  ̶ Wilderness Explorers will have a special limited-time badge location helping Guests learn how to better connect with nature while on vacation―and once they return home.
  • Rafiki’s Planet Watch Backstage Experiences ̶ Guests can meet animal ambassadors, participate in unique mini-tours, learn about animal nutrition, visit the state-of-the-art veterinary hospital, and hear how Disney promotes global wildlife conservation and much more during this event. 
  • Tiffins Talks  ̶ For an additional fee, guests can enjoy an intimate dining experience with animal and conservation experts from Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
  • Commemorative Disney’s Animal Kingdom park 20th Anniversary merchandise - Available for purchase around the park. 
  • Party for the Planet Special Edition Dishes – Daily Special, limited time offer featuring Unique Food and Beverage selections throughout the park at existing locations.
Image: Disney
Interestingly, Disney is going to be offering many of these special experiences, including the extra food offerings, backstage experiences, and Tiffins Talks, for several days as part of an elongated celebration of the park's landmark 20th year. Though unconfirmed, this stretched out Party for the Planet almost feels like a test run to see if Disney's Animal Kingdom can support annual "festivals" like Epcot does, which could help boost attendance at this park as new attractions at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and eventually the Magic Kingdom pull guests away. Interestingly, this year is also the first year that some activities related to this annual tradition come with additional cost, which seemingly supports the idea that Disney is potentially looking at turning this formerly one-day event into a full blown festival in the future. 


i've already put in for april 22nd and 23rd off for animal kingdom's 20th...can't wait for that...we're going to epcot tomorrow, may make a stop over at magic kingdom to see if we can catch captain hook and smee

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