One of the things I love most about Disney is that they take every opportunity to plug in the educational factor in almost all that they do. Animal Kingdom is a park that has educational resources everywhere. Since we have been through this park a couple of times, this visit we wanted to try something different.
We came across the Wilderness Explorers upon entrance into the park, just passed the Tree of Life. Wilderness Explorers are dressed up like the scout from the movie UP. You get these cute little handbooks to earn badges/stickers as your travel throughout the park. I was so excited about this idea because it's an introduction for my daughter earning badges for her Daisy Scout year.
After going through the book, I realized that many of the big attractions at the park have an education reference behind them. For example, the Expedition Everest attraction details the aspects of camping in the mountains. As you walk through the line, unless you are fortunate to zip through to the front, you trek on a journey through the Himalayan mountains. One of the badges was specifically related to this as we had to find and check off items one would need to venture out into the wilderness. When we spotted all the items on the list we earned our badge.
Kali River Rapids is another attraction that provides more than just a thrill ride and some scenery. As you walk through this line, you get a little education on the horrors of logging. As you are waiting to board your raft, you are disturbed by the sound of a chainsaw. You think to yourself "why would Disney have such a distraction in their parks?" Once you are on the ride and nearing the end you get a little understanding of where this sound is coming from as your raft through a mock area that is destroyed by logging. It's a can't miss part of the attraction that begs for kids to ask what it's all about.. and they do.
One of my favorite things about this concept is that it opened our family up to areas of the park that we would have normally not have seen otherwise and I'm glad I didn't miss them! This was a great guided way to really dive into the learning experience that the Animal Kingdom has to offer and Bella and Ry loved it! They were also really excited to wear their new safari outfits!
Next time we go we'll be sure to bring along our Wilderness Explorers Handbooks and finish up the badges!!! Have you earned your badges yet with the Wilderness Explorers?
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