The Secrets to Spicing Up Animal Playtime On ‘Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom’

Credit: Disney

We’re absolutely LOVING the new “Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom” series now available on Disney+. Each Friday has brought a new episode of a behind-the-scenes look at the animals throughout the Walt Disney World property. Today’s episode features the secrets to spicing up animal playtime! And yep – it’s as cute as it sounds! Check out the details and video below as shared by DisneyParksBlog.


If I asked you to imagine a trip to Walt Disney World Resort, I’m sure you can quickly think of your favorite things to do here – whether it’s riding a particular attraction, savoring a tasty treat or just lounging by the pool. Now shift those thoughts to the 5,000+ animals in our care – they also have favorite activities – and we have a talented animal care team that work to make sure their days are infused with fun and excitement.

The latest episode of National Geographic’s “Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom,” streaming on Disney+, gives viewers a closer look at the creativity our keepers use to make the magic happen for the animals in our care.

Just like us, animals appreciate a break from their everyday routines, so we look to add enrichment to experiences like playtime with special surprises and treats. It’s hard to tell who enjoys it most – the animals or the keepers. Our team loves creating unique experiences, such as introducing new food items, like popcorn, to the primates, sprinkling aromatic fragrances, like perfume and pumpkin pie spice throughout the big cat habitats, and working with the animal nutrition center to serve frozen treats on warm days.

Enrichment encourages the animals to explore and interact with their surroundings to demonstrate species-specific behaviors, such as big cats scratching to sharpen their claws or gorillas climbing to forage for food. Keeping these animals active and stimulated enhances their well-being, and it’s an essential part of the care we provide them.


Check out Sumatran tiger Sohni’s reaction to some lemongrass that animal keeper Susan and her team arranged to be added to the tigers’ home on Maharajah Jungle Trek.

The animal care team keeps things interesting by using their keen observation skills and species-specific know-how to make note of what foods and activities each animal seems to enjoy most. You can see in the video clip, Susan wants Sohni to enjoy new things in her habitat and has an inkling that Sohni will want to roll around in the fresh lemongrass, which she does, much to Susan’s delight.

Enrichment is happening all around for the animals you see at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and The Seas with Nemo & Friends at EPCOT.

Source: DisneyParksBlog

About Jamie Sylvester

I'm a Disney nerd! A kid at heart who loves the magic and memories of Walt Disney World. I follow all things Disney and enjoy the vacations, day trips, and weekend getaways, and geek out over the planning of such events. My goal is to experience as many Disney desserts and cocktails as possible! Married to another Disney nerd and blessed with a daughter and son, we thoroughly enjoy the magic at Disney and are here to help others experience the magic as well.