Wilderness Explorers at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

| June 11, 2013 | 1 Reply

It’s official!  I am a Wilderness Explorer. Walt Disney World debuted this new adventure at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. If you saw the movie Up, you’ll remember that Russell was a Wilderness Explorer. This is a great thing to do with the entire family. The target age is 7-10 but kids of all ages will enjoy this experience.

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You start the experience at the Wilderness Explorers Headquarters.  It is located on the bridge that connected Discovery Island and the Oasis.  It’s the spot where the Photopass photographers are located to get your picture with the Tree of Life in the background.

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The experience has you earning badges as you walk through the park.  You can earn 30 badges but you don’t have to do them all in one day. You are given a handbook with all the badges you can earn.

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The first you will need to learn is the Wilderness Explorer call.  You are taught “The wilderness must be explored!”  Then you learn the “Caw Caw” and finally the “”Roar!”  Pay attention and remember because the Team Leaders at the different station may require you to give the special call.

We set off to earn our first badge.  It was the Flamingo Badge.  The locations for the different badges are marked on the park map, but you can look for these signs also. It also mentions in the handbook where to look for the badge you want to earn.

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You are told some information about the Flamingos and then asked to find something mentioned in the handbook. Your Troop Leader at that location will give you the badge for your book.  Another way to spot who is a Team Leader, they are all carrying an orange bag.

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We decided to head off to the Pangani Trail and this is where we earned our second badge.  It was the Ham Radio badge.  I love walking this trail and there is plenty to see and do on the trail.  This adventure helps you to spot all the interesting animals along the way.

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Be sure to take a bird spotting guide so you can earn your Birding Badge!

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As you are walking throughout the park keep an eye out for animals.  You can earn your Animal Find badge.  You will get the badge for this at headquarters so be sure to tell them about it.

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We earned 5 badges on our first trip. This means we are now a Tadpole. When you earn 10 badges you are a Minnow, 20 Badges you are a Fish.  When you earn all the badges you become a Senior Wilderness Explorer. I can’t wait to go back and do this experience again. Disney has done a great job with this enhancing your experience while not intruding on the beauty of this park.

While we were exploring we decided to check out the new meet and greet area location in the park. Be sure to check out all the photos on the wall from Mickey and Minnie’s world wide adventures. We only waited about 10 minutes to see them.

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Who wants to become a Wilderness Explorer at Walt Disney World now?

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Category: Disney World

About the Author ()

Kathy Werling discovered Walt Disney World later than most people but has made up for it. Living close to the theme parks hasn't gotten old yet for her. Kathy is an accomplished photographer and is always out finding new and different things to photograph in the Orlando theme parks. Kathy is also part of the Orlando DIS Unplugged Podcast team.
  • Wanetta

    The badges are stickers that the Badge Guide/Team Leaders place nice and neatly in your Wilderness Explorer books. There are some neat little extras, like for instance, you visit someone who speaks Thai and she writes your name in Thai in your book before she places a sticker in your book. She tells you about her area of the world and asks you questions about what you have learned. You can do it all in one day. If you already do the entire park as it is, it would be quite easy (each “badge” takes less than 5 minutes to earn) to do in one day while you are at the parks. We found the books after we had already been in the park for two hours and didn’t do the Pangani Forest side of the park. We were able to get 12 but missed about 20 of the badges. The 12 we did get took us a little over 2 hours WITH our doing our rides and shows in between and eating lunch.
    We are moms of Boy Scouts and were thinking they would be awesome badges like the Scouts wear (one of us has an Eagle Scout and the other Eagle’s in September) and we thought we would get badges to put on a sash to show our boys…sigh. Still neat enough to do and the books are sturdy and the stickers are put in BY THE Badge Guides and Team Leaders and they make sure they do them right side up, not crooked and centered well within the little circle in the book. Neat little FREEBIE souvenir and nice learning exp. for younger kids.