If you have been to Animal Kingdom with little kids, chances are you have see the Wilderness Explorers stops throughout the park. If not, then you have probably seen some cast members dressed as a Wilderness Explorer and wondered why they are dressed like that.
Inspired by the movie “UP”, it is a great (free) activity that Disney offers throughout the whole park. My daughter and her friends had a lot of fun doing this on our Animal Kingdom day. She still loves flipping through the handbook, which is why it looks a little worn.
You should be able to get a Wilderness Explorers Handbook at the Wilderness Explorers headquarters (on the bridge between the Oasis and Discovery Island) or at any of the stops in Africa, Rafiki’s Planet Watch, Asia, and Dinoland U.S.A. The cast member will explain how it works, but it is pretty straight forward. The handbook has all the directions for what needs to be done to receive each badge. Once you have your handbook, it’s time to get started!
The first thing you will want to do is fill out the membership card on the first page. Just fill in your child’s name to pledge that they will uphold the Wilderness Explorers Motto “A Wilderness Explorer is a friend to all, be it plants or fish or tiny mole.” So cute! Now your child is an official Wilderness Explorer, so it’s time to explore!
There is no certain pattern that you need to follow to get the badges, whenever you see a Wilderness Explorers sign you can stop and earn a badge. If you are at Animal Kingdom specifically to get all the badges then I would take a look at the map in the beginning of the handbook and figure out where you want to start.
The Wilderness Explorers challenges are easy to spot along the park. There will be a sign with a picture of the badge awarded at that spot. The handbook will have the directions you need in order to be awarded a badge at each stop. Once you have completed the steps the cast member will give you the badge to stick on the correct page. The kids had so much fun collecting the badges!
I love that this program encourages the kids to learn and if you have a competitive child they will most likely have to finish all the badges in the book (there are 31 badges total). Think of all the great things they will learn by earning all those badges!
My daughter and her friends definitely took away a lot of new things they learned from earning their badges and they are excited to go back and earn more! To be honest, I’m excited to do this program again too! It’s interesting, fun, and the cast members are awesome. All the cast members that we encountered during our time exploring were so helpful, informative, and fun! I think we are going to set aside one day just to do this program. You can easily spend a day going around to earn all the badges and I think it would make for a pretty fun day!
Here is a video I found on Youtube giving you a Wilderness Explorer tip. There are five videos in total and they are all pretty funny. This is lesson #1:
So if you are looking for something fun and different to do during your Animal Kingdom day, I definitely recommend this program. It is so much fun and the kids love it! Plus, they get to learn some new things while they explore.
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