All week long I’ve shared some of my favorite adventures while attending the Monkey Kingdom press trip! Since the Disneynature film is focused on animals – with a special story about the Macaque monkeys in the South Asia jungle, we had the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of Animal Kingdom’s wildlife during a behind-the-scenes tour.
The Backstage Tales Tour is available for all guests ages 12 and up – admission to the park is required. I especially found this 3 hour tour to be informative about Disney’s wildlife conservation, and believe it is a fantastic way for park guests to inspire their love for animals.
The tour begins with a guide who provides guests with a special earpiece for easy listening while on the tour. We took a quick walk to the Africa aviary to speak with a bird specialist and enjoy a few minutes surrounded by Animal Kingdom’s flying friends. I snapped an adorable pic (below – right) of a bird taking a bath in a hanging bucket within the aviary.
We then made our way backstage to a safari vehicle and headed to our next animal encounter…..rhinos! We came face to face with an adorable black rhino who was ever so eager to eat. They actually eat up to 50 lbs of food a day! Back on the safari truck we made our way to the elephant housing area where we saw a mom and baby together. We spoke with an animal specialist who shared that Animal Kingdom has 8 elephants in all.
We also stopped by the animal nutrition center where we saw cast members prepping food for over 1500 animals! Food is freshly prepped one day in advance. They even use certain spices and specialty “treats” for animals as positive reenforcement.
The tour of the state-of-the-art veterinary hospital was pretty neat. We saw a bird being treated by the vet, and the animal specialist was right there next to them to help keep the animal calm. We also saw many photographs of other animals that have been treated within the Disney parks for various reasons.
Next, we had some time to sit down with an animal specialist at the animal programs building where we learned about one of my favorite animals – turtles! She showed us video of the tortoise burrows and how they use a special device that travels inside to check on the animals. We also learned that gopher tortoises lay between 3 and 12 eggs.
When you book a tour like Backstage Tales Tour a portion of the proceeds go right back to helping animals in Disney’s Conservation Fund. We also received a Backstage Tales stainless steel water bottle and a special rice krispies treat that you will only get on the tour!
Lastly, we visited a kimono dragon! He was safely behind a large cage so no worries about safety there! We watched the trainer working with him on a few exercises like being weighed and moving from his cage to a special travel container. He was rewarded for doing a job well done by being fed small rats. Eeek!
Things to know before you go on the Backstage Tales Tour:
- Pictures/video during the backstage portion of the tour is prohibited.
- The tour is both indoor and outdoor and includes some walking.
- Guests must be 12 years and old. If a guest is under 18, they require a paying adult.
- Closed toes shoes are recommended as well as comfortable dress.
- For reservations call 407.939.8687 or find out more information on their website.
The tour was such a fun experience. I think it is especially enjoyable for animal lovers and anyone who’s looking for a one-of-a-kind experience while visiting the Disney parks! I even think this would be a great school field trip opportunity for kids of age.
Don’t forget to go see Monkey Kingdom in theaters everywhere! For each ticket purchased by today, Disneynature will make a donation in your honor to protect monkeys and other endangered species in their natural habitats. Help support animals by giving back with a movie ticket to see Monkey Kingdom!
I was invited as media for a press trip. All opinions are mine alone.