by Blake Taylor
The 15th anniversary of Disney’s Animal Kingdom is right around the corner! As the big day approaches, many are becoming nostalgic about Walt Disney World’s wild fourth park. April 22 will be a day of celebration at Animal Kingdom, with confirmed plans from Disney including a special opening ceremony at 8:40 a.m. and Earth Day activities taking place all day long.
To commemorate the occasion here on the blog, it’s time for another round of “Share YOUR Disney Memories.” You may remember we shared Magic Kingdom memories in February, and the responses were great. Not only is it fun to share personal Disney moments with other people, but it’s also a two-way street and neat to hear theirs. In honor of Animal Kingdom’s 15th birthday, I would love to hear your individual favorite memory of the park. It can be about anything Animal Kingdom-related!
I’ll start us off. A brilliant Cast Member who frequents Camp Minnie-Mickey is named Gi-Tar Dan. You can find him just outside of the Lion King Theater, and he always has his guitar with him. His strumming is good enough to listen to him play anything, but what makes Gi-Tar Dan so wonderful is his ability to make up songs on the spot about guests! After a quick conversation in which he asks your name and things you like to do, he has a whole song ready to go. He made a song about my then-preschool-aged sister that we never get tired of watching. That would have been great in itself, but six years later we met Gi-Tar Dan again. He was glad we found him again and made another song about my sister! He’s just incredible.
All right, now it’s your turn! Share you favorite Animal Kingdom memory as we all wish the park the happiest of 15th birthdays. Did you have a fun animal encounter? Did you have a particularly entertaining safari ride? Did you experience a magical character moment? Were you scared silly on Dinosaur? Share your family’s magical Animal Kingdom memory in the comments by April 23 for the chance to win a WDW Radio Mystery Ticket! The winner will be announced in a future Finding Disney installment, so check back!
Blake is a college student focusing on Creative Writing and Media Studies. He enjoys making his family of six watch the parade on Main Street and then sprint to Frontierland in time to see it again. You can follow Blake’s random Disney ramblings on Twitter at @blakeonline, or at BlakeOnline.com.