Protect The Pride Campaign In Animal Kingdom

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Protect The Pride Campaign In Animal Kingdom

Disney has really gone all out to celebrate the release of The Lion King. They initiated the Protect the Pride campaign as part of this celebration. Unfortunately, since the original release of The Lion King 25 years ago, the world has lost half of the lion population in Africa. Currently, only 20,000 remain in the wild. Disney is utilizing the release of the new version of The Lion King to increase conservation awareness. They have teamed up with the Wildlife Conservation Network’s Lion Recovery Fund. The goal is to double the current lion population in Africa by 2050. Currently, the Disney Conservation Fund has donated $1.5 million and is now encouraging guests to help double that to $3 million. It is easy to become involved with conservation efforts at Animal Kingdom. There are also many ways to celebrate The Lion King as well!  Disney invited us out to experience firsthand the many ways to celebrate lions and The Lion King.

Kilimanjaro Safaris

One of the easiest ways to be involved in the Protect the Pride campaign in Animal Kingdom is taking a ride on safari! From July 19 until July 25, for every person that goes on Kilimanjaro Safaris, $2 will be donated to the Wildlife Conservation Network. The donation will be geared to help the Lion Recovery Fund’s mission of doubling the number of lions in Africa by 2050. One tip for your best chance to see the lions is to take a ride in the morning when the park first opens or in the evening while the sun is setting. We had a chance to hop on the first safari truck on the reserve and did see the lions!

Animation Experience at Rafiki’s Planet Watch

The celebration of The Lion King continues over at Rafiki’s Planet Watch. This area of the park has recently re-opened and now features The Animation Experience.


Here you will learn how to draw one of six Lion King movie characters. This experience has an educational twist. While we were partaking in the experience, we actually learned a few facts about lions. My personal favorite was about their night vision. We learned the undereye area of lions is light in color. We drew in Simba’s eyes as we learned this fact. This helps to magnify their night time vision allowing them to hunt easier. Since they can hunt at night, it allows them to remain hidden from prey. The Animation Experience does have both Standby and Fastpass options available. There are many times to draw during the day, and the characters will change throughout the day. When you are not drawing, there are many animals that call Rafiki’s Planet Watch home. The Animal Hospital is also located here so you may get a glimpse of an animal receiving medical care.

Lion King Food Items

We have previously covered some of the fun Lion King-themed snacks found at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. These items are still available in various areas of the park. Most recently we were able to try the Simba Ice Cream Sandwich. It consists of two chocolate chip cookies with vanilla ice cream in between. On top of the cookie is a picture of Simba where he has a chocolate mane. A chocolate tail is also on the ice cream sandwich. This snack is available for $6.99 before tax and is snack eligible on the Disney Dining Plan.

Lion King Plush

Located at both Disney Stores and U.S. Disney Parks, are these cute Simba and Nala plush toys. These plush lions were designed to continue to help the Lion Recovery Fund double the number of lions in Africa by 2050. Specifically, 40,000 of these plush lions were made representing the number of lions that Disney and the Lion Recovery Fund are trying to ensure a future for. When purchased $5 of the plush sale will be donated to the Wildlife Conservation Network in support of the Lion Recovery Fund’s efforts. Purchasing this plush lion is a great and easy way to participate in the Protect the Pride campaign.

Scavenger Hunt

Even more Lion King fun can be found within the Africa section of Animal Kingdom. From now until September 20, 2019, there is the opportunity to participate in a Lion King scavenger hunt. Located all ten carved characters around the Africa section of the park for a cool magnet prize. Even with an incomplete map, a prize will still be given to you. The scavenger hunt costs $6.99 before tax and one magnet will be awarded per map. We chose the one with Mufasa and Simba. They are all beautiful though so it was hard to pick!

Preview of Circle Of Flavors

During our lunch experience, we had to the opportunity to get a sneak peek of the desserts that will be served at Circle Of Flavors. This is a future dining experience coming to Animal Kingdom. This will be Animal Kingdom’s first progressive dining experience. If the desserts are any indication, this event will be amazing. Personally, we loved the brownie pot de creme whiskey caramel the most. We learned there will be a VR (virtual reality) experience at this event. With this experience, you will enter a pride of lions like never before!  This event will run on Wednesdays through the summer starting July 24.

Final Thoughts

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is an amazing park already. With all of these Lion King celebrations, it’s even better than before! We really love how the conservation of lions is easily intertwined into the experiences. We learned so much about the importance of lion population recovery. It’s so exciting to see Disney take a huge step to assist the Lion Recovery Fund to double the population of African Lions by 2050. When lions are taken care of, so are the surrounding ecosystems. If you are heading to Animal Kingdom anytime soon, make sure you check out celebrations for The Lion King!

If you would like to learn more about what Disney is doing to Protect the Pride please check out our youtube video below.





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Melissa was raised on Disney frequenting Disneyland often as a child. Since then she has moved to the Orlando area and enjoys her annual pass to Disney World as well as other parks in the area. Often you will find her with her husband attending Disney events usually involving food.
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