10 Things I Learned From the Wilderness Explorers Program at Disney’s Animal Kingdom #MonkeyKingdomEvent

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20150416_091243 (1024x576)Wilderness Explorers is a FREE program at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  Participants go around from station to station earning badges as they go.  We had the opportunity to learn about the program first hand on our press trip for the Monkey Kingdom movie that is now open in theaters.

20150420_203946 (723x1024)First take the Wilderness Explorer’s Pledge and fill out your membership card.20150420_204046 (670x1024)

Learn the Wilderness Explorer’s Call

20150420_204013 (576x1024)Start Exploring!

Here are some things we learned:20150416_090046 (2) (1024x704)

  • The Wilderness Explorers Program has been around for 15 years but has grown in size from 6 stations to 31 badges to earn.
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  • The target audience for the Wilderness Explorers Program is families with kids from 7-10 years old but families with older or younger children will also enjoy it.  We participated in the program without children and had a blast collecting badges so even if you don’t have children with you, grab a Wilderness Explorer’s Handbook and earn some badges.
    Wilderness Explorer Program
  • The beauty of the Wilderness Explorers Program is that it DOES NOT involve technology.  It uses cast members who present information and engage participants as they explore the park going from station to station.
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  • Participants are given a Wilderness Explorer Handbook at one of 9 Troop Leader Stations.  They are located all over the park so you don’t have to be in the front of the park to get started.
  • Exploring is a life long adventure.  Most participants average about 12 badges a day and come back multiple times with their books to earn all the badges.
  • The Wilderness Explorers Program connects families to nature and each other.  It shows them parts of the park they might not have seen and gets parents involved in the learning, too.
  • There are 3 types of cast members who give out badges- Trooper Leaders (interns who are trained in education or science), Merchandise Cast Members (who share all about various authentic merchandise that is available in the park), and Cultural Cast Members (who share about their native countries).20150416_093425 (576x1024)
  • Troop Leaders and other representatives don’t just give out badges, they engage the participants, ask them questions about what they have learned, and teach them new things, too.
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  • Find cast members with orange satchels or look for signs with W/E on it to find badges to earn.
  • When you earn all the badges you earn a special Senior Wilderness Explorer badge.

Build Your Own Backyard Habitat





Learn About Animal NutritionP1240395


P1240394Meet Rafiki and He Might Just Check Your Head For Bugs!

P1240396Meet Lots of Animals

20150416_101056 (576x1024)The Wilderness Explorers Program at Disney’s Animal Kingdom encourages families and children to experience the park in a whole new way! As Wilderness Explorers, Guests participate in a variety of activities, such as hiking the trails, digging for fossils, studying gorilla behaviors, listening to animal sounds, learning how veterinarians care for animals, and interacting with Cultural Cast Members representing different countries in Africa and Asia. Completing each activity allows you to earn a sticker badge in their very own Wilderness Explorers handbook, which can be picked up from any of the nine Troop Leader locations around the park. Explorers can earn up to 31 badges, but are encouraged to earn these badges in multiple visits, since exploring is a lifelong adventure! Completing all 31 badges gives guests the honorary title of Senior Wilderness Explorer. The program’s goal is to connect guests with animals, conservation and culture while spending time together as a family, during and even after their visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Don’t forget to take your family to see Monkey Kingdom!!!


Disclosure- I was invited on an all expense paid trip to Orlando for the Monkey Kingdom Event.  All opinions are 100% my own.

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