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Disney’s Animal Kingdom 15th Anniversary Celebration

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Will you be in Disney World on Monday, April 22? Are you a big Disney’s Animal Kingdom fan? If so, you’ll want to be in attendance as the park celebrates its 15th Anniversary!

The park will celebrate with a few special events that will take place throughout the day.

  • A special opening ceremony that will take place at the Tree of Life at 8:40 am with speeches from Josh D’Amaro, VP of Disney’s Animal Kingdom; Dr. Jackie Ogden, VP of Animals, Science, and Entertainment; and Joe Rohde, Senior VP of Walt Disney Imagineering Creative
  • Artists presenting their work for purchase in Africa and on Discovery Island
  • Earth Day “Party for the Planet” which will involve interactive experiences focusing on animals and nature.  Takes place from 9 am – 5 pm.
  • 15th Anniversary merchandise (limited)
  • Special food and drink options

Blogger’s Note: I have been in attendance at both the Magic Kingdom/Walt Disney World’s 40th Anniversary, as well as Epcot’s 30th Anniversary, and I can tell you these are special days to be in the parks. A tip: Make sure to get to the park early. It will allow you to get better positioning for the events, but there also is a general excitement that’s in the air and is infectious. It’s exciting to know you are a part of that. Also, in previous anniversaries, usually a special pin and park map are handed out. I’m not sure if that will be the case for this anniversary, but it is something to be aware of in case it happens with this one.

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Rikki Niblett

I am a co-host of the Be Our Guest Podcast and do lots of other fun Disney stuff all around the interwebs! You can follow me on Twitter or Instagram at @RikkiNibs or on Facebook at

5 thoughts on “Disney’s Animal Kingdom 15th Anniversary Celebration

  • Coincidentally, we are planning to be in Animal Kingdom on this day! I am excited about the attending such a special event – since these things don’t usually coincide with my vacations! I am worried about the crowd levels though – do these anniversaries have a big impact on the crowd for the day? My hubby really hates crowds. Also – what time should I plan to be at the park now that it’s a special day?

    • Well, it is hard to say. The Magic Kingdom one and Epcot ones did have largish crowds. Especially in the morning and then again at night (they all had special fireworks which, of course, DAK will not have). Also, to be honest, among the Disney fans, DAK is usually least loved, so you may see smaller crowds compared to the previous anniversaries. So, if I had to take a guess, I would say it will be busiest in the morning and then taper significantly the rest of the day. (This is my own guesstimation based off of my opinion of course.)

      I would suggest to arrive at the park no later than a half hour before the ceremony. But to be safe, I’d say anywhere from 45 min to an hour before may be optimal. Again, based off my assumption of how this event is going to be received in the Disney community.

  • We’re going to be in WDW during this time, but I’m not sure we can rearrange other reservations to go to the anniversary. Too bad – it would’ve been nice if Disney had given everyone more warning.

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