Animal Kingdom is an incredible park that should not be overlooked during your next trip to Walt Disney World. It is full of mystery, wonder and, of course, adventure! One of our favorite activities at Animal Kingdom is the Wilderness Explorers program. This program offers a scavenger hunt like experience for children of all ages (and children at heart). It is a fun interactive way to explore the park and learn all about animals, plants, bugs and more.
How Does It Work?
To start, guests can pick up a FREE Wilderness Explorers Handbook at the Wilderness Explorers Headquarters located on the bridge between the Oasis and Discovery Island. You can also pick up a handbook at one of the drop by locations around the park. (Admission to Animal Kingdom is required).
Scattered across the 6 areas in Animal Kingdom are around 30 Wilderness Explorers badge locations. At each location, explorers will engage in a fun learning activity that will earn them a badge. Each location will have either a Troop Leader or Badge Guide to assist the explorers in earning their badge. The handbook can be completed in one day but it will take ALL DAY. I recommend taking your time and completing it over a course of 2-3 days. This will allow kids to really enjoy each experience and gather as much knowledge as possible.
We absolutely LOVE the Wilderness Explorers program and CANNOT wait to do it again on our next trip to Walt Disney World. It truly enhanced our trip to Animal Kingdom and provided my boys with a sense of accomplishment. My boys are both Cub Scouts and love earning badges which is what made this experience even more exciting. It was like going on a scout adventure while on vacation!
Wilderness Explorers is not only fun but it also offers so many educational benefits for children (and their parents). As kids explore the park and travel through different lands, they are learning important academic concepts as well as enhancing wonderful life skills.
Benefits of Wilderness Explorers Program at Animal Kingdom
Introduces Kids to Scientific Concepts
Many of the Wilderness Explorers badge locations introduce kids to amazing scientific concepts. While kids engage in hands-on learning activities, they will gain an understanding of zoology, paleontology, botany, insectology, ecology and so much more. Explorers will learn all about ecosystems and how important the relationship between plants, animals and their environment is. They will even step back in time as they see and touch dinosaur fossils!
Enhances Life Skills
As children explore each badge location, they will learn important ways to protect themselves and the environment. Understanding animals, insects and plants can help keep kids safe when exploring the wilderness. Explorers will also learn survival skills which will come in handy long after they leave Animal Kingdom.
Teaches Kids About the World
The Wilderness Explorers program takes explorers around the world and beyond. Kids will learn about different cultures and lands like Asia and Africa along with folklore like the Yeti. My boys especially loved learning all about Indonesia and that it has 167 volcanoes!
Shows the Importance of Conservation
Animal Kingdom thrives on teaching guests the importance of conservation. Through the Wilderness Explorers program participants learn ways to care for their environment including taking care of animals, plants and insects. Kids also learn the importance of recycling and how their actions can impact animals like sea turtles.
I hope you have as much fun as we did completing the Wilderness Explorers program at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!
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