New Experiences Arrive at Disney’s Animal Kingdom This Month

Disney's Animal Kingdom
Credit: Disney

This year has already been an eventful one for the Walt Disney World Resort, and the attention is about to turn toward Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

The Resort recently wrapped up its 50th-anniversary celebration on March 31, 2023, and is now in the midst of Disney100, which celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Walt Disney Company. In the Magic Kingdom, Tomorrowland recently opened its newest attraction with TRON Lightcycle / Run, and EPCOT is making final preparations for its next attraction, Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is now operating its newest table-service restaurant, and the first in Toy Story Land, with Roundup Rodeo BBQ. And at Disney Resorts, several renovations are underway, especially at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, where Narcoossee’s recently reopened to Guests.

With the 25th anniversary of Disney’s Animal Kingdom coming up this month, this Park is getting ready to debut multiple new experiences.

tree of life

Credit: Disney Photo Snapper

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Animal Kingdom will officially mark its 25th anniversary at the Walt Disney World Resort on Earth Day, April 22, 2023. Any Disney anniversary festivities will surely come with specialty merchandise and snacks around the Park, but there are a couple of more surprises in store for Animal Kingdom this month.

We already learned about a brand new Moana character meet and greet coming to Discovery Island, along with Earth Day-inspired eats included in our full 25th-anniversary guide, but here’s what else is in store for this Disney Park.

Disney's Animal Kingdom 25th Anniversary Spirit Jersey

Credit: Disney

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom 25th anniversary merchandise

The Disney Parks Blog recently shared a first look at new merchandise coming to the Park, which will include a commemorative spirit jersey, tumbler, pocket tee, limited-edition Earth Month pin, and a 25th-anniversary Mini Loungefly Backback and bucket hat.

All of these specialty items will be available in the Park beginning April 21 at Island Merchantile and Discovery Trading Company on Discovery Island and Mombasa Marketplace in Africa, with the Earth Month pin already available at select locations around Animal Kingdom.

Disney has not confirmed how long these items will be available for after they debut on April 21, but we imagine it will be “while supplies last.”

Animal Kingdom 25th Anniversary Cupcake

Credit: Disney

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Celebratory eats for Animal Kingdom’s 25th anniversary

No celebration at a Disney Park is complete without a specialty cupcake or two, but the offerings for the 25th anniversary of Disney’s Animal Kingdom sound truly delicious.

Among the must-have sweets are the 25th-anniversary Alive With Magic Cupcake and the Colossal Elephant Roll that Guests will find in select locations around the Park on Earth Day, April 22. Other items will be available for the entirety of Earth Month, including the Bee Hive Mousse Dome and Flamingo Cupcake.

To confirm which sweets and treats will be available during your trip, check for special offerings at restaurants in the Park using the My Disney Experience app.

Disney's Animal Kingdom 25th Anniversary Photo Ops

Credit: Disney

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New photo ops just for Animal Kingdom’s 25th anniversary

For Guests who plan to take advantage of Disney PhotoPass services, new props and Magic Shots will be a part of the 25th-anniversary celebration. The additions arrive very soon on April 16, with props made out of recycled materials plus magic shots with WALL-E, EVE, and more.

All of the specialty shots, along with on-ride photos and select character experiences will be included with a purchase of Memory Maker, and you can always find photo locations and ways to view your photos in your My Disney Experience account.

Conservation Station at disney's Animal Kingdom theme park

Credit: Disney

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25th-anniversary attraction updates

Perhaps the most exciting additions to Animal Kingdom this month will come in updates to some of the Park’s most underrated attractions. At The Animation Experience at Conservation Station, Guests visiting the Park this April will be able to learn how to draw new characters like Dumbo, Terk from Tarzan (1999), Crush, and Bruce from Finding Nemo (2003), Tigger from Winnie the Pooh, and Simba from The Lion King (1994).

For Guests who participate in the Park’s Wilderness Explorers program, there will be a special opportunity to complete a new nature challenge and earn a limited-edition badge from April 12-23.

With so much to see and do around Disney’s Animal Kingdom, one day at this Park might not be enough! As always, be sure to check back here on Disney Tips for the latest updates around Walt Disney World, and have a magical time on your next vacation!

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."