Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Now On Disney Plus
Want to learn more about the animals you’ve seen at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida? Now you can with the release of National Geographic’s new docu-series Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which is on Disney Plus. The new series premiered on 25th September 2020 and is narrated by Disney fan-favourite Josh Gad (voice of Olaf). Explore the magnificence of nature, mixed with some Disney magic!
Filmed over the span of five months and featuring both Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot, the series gives viewers backstage access to the most rare and beautiful creatures on the planet. Viewers have the chance to meet the animal care experts, who demonstrate the daily processes of looking after the animals, as well as the remarkable bonds they have with them. Over 5,000 animals and an array of more than 300 species are cared for at the Walt Disney World Resort by a dedicated and highly skilled team.
“One thing that stands out is the great level of teamwork that goes on every single day here. It's no secret that we have a very large team—we have over 5,000 animals. I'm constantly amazed and my heart is warmed when I just see how much everyone comes together, literally on a daily basis, to continually raise the bar on that level of care and pour their heart and soul into it while they're doing it.” Dr Dan
There are eight episodes in total, being released weekly throughout the autumn months. Each one focuses on a few different animal species at the park, as well as incorporating cutting-edge technology, such as custom-built GoPro housings, 18ft cranes, and underwater camera systems. Viewers not only learn more about the animals, but Disney Imagineers also share an insight into how the Animal Kingdom park was built and the day-to-day running of the theme park operations, especially once the crowds leave the park.
Throughout the series viewers will come across plenty of different animals, from the well-known tigers, gorillas, elephants and giraffes, to some lesser-known animals that are just as interesting to learn about. There are sone exciting new “firsts” for some of the animals, including blind dates, moving into new habitats and babies being born. Here’s just a snippet of some of the animals and experiences featured:
- Meet baby Grace, the newest member of the gorilla troop
- At the Harambe Wildlife Reserve come face-to-knee with Masai giraffe Kenya
- Travel the Savanna to witness Dakari, the alpha male African lion and Kinsey, the alpha lioness
- Follow the herd of Hartmann’s mountain zebras as they are introduced to their new home on the savanna at Kilimanjaro Safaris, along with the arrival of a male foal born into the herd just a few weeks prior.
- A special matchmaking plan (technical word, species survival plan) to introduce babirusas Betty and Mentari to each other, within a new breeding programme. This threatened species has now grown by one more.
The talented animal care specialists at the Walt Disney World Resort work every day to ensure each animal enjoys new and exciting experiences. This might include introducing popcorn to the primates, sprinkling aromatic fragrances throughout the big cat habitats or working with the nutrition centre to serve frozen treats on warm days. It’s hard to tell who enjoys these enrichment experiences more, the keepers or the animals!
On your next visit to Animal Kingdom, look out for all the stars of the tv series. These animals can be found in various areas of the park including Africa, Asia and Discovery Island, so there’s lots to explore. At Discovery Island you’ll find trails and animal enclosures around the Tree of Life, showcasing lots of different exotic birds and other creatures. The Harambe village within the Africa area is the namesake of the Harambe Wildlife Preserve, the fictional home of Kilimanjaro Safaris. Jump on board a truck to see African animals roam through 100 acres of savanna, muddy creeks and rocky hills. Following on from your safari you should head for the Pengani Forest Exploration Trail where you come across the family of silverback gorillas on your trek into the 5 acre forest, as well as monkeys, hippos, meerkats, tarantulas and an aviary full of exotic free-flying African birds. Within Asia you’ll come across the Maharajah Jungle Trek with its rainforest-like surroundings. An old hunting lodge and palace ruins now serve as home to lots of exotic animals including tapirs, tigers, bats and even a Komodo dragon hiding in a rocky pit area by a rushing waterfall.
“Animal Kingdom is not really just about animals. It is about humans and our relationship to animals.”
Looking for somewhere to stay in Orlando? Take a look at our villas near Disney World, which are ideally located to the theme parks and offer plenty of space for the whole family.