For those wondering what’s been going on at the recently closed Rafiki’s Planet Watch section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom? We now know they’re using it for events and it looks pretty good. Earlier this week, the park invited more than 60 Osceola County Public School students to the space for an interactive day of learning as part of the Disney Wild About Safety program. The program has run for 15 years reaching more than one billion families in the parks and via school programs.
The special event honored the milestone for the program by inviting local students from Thacker Avenue Elementary School for International Studies and Central Avenue Elementary School to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park to learn about safe behavior and decision-making, including what they can do to help make sure the land, water and air around them is clean and safe. They also observed the fascinating worlds of environmental safety and animal behavior.
“Learning works best when learning is fun,” said Tajiana Ancora-Brown, director of external affairs at Walt Disney World Resort. “Bringing some of our community’s youngest members out to Animal Kingdom to observe environmental safety and animal behavior allowed them to observe real-world impacts of their lessons learned.”
Established in 2003 in partnership with Underwriters Laboratories (UL)—a world-renowned safety organization—Disney’s Wild About Safety is brought to life by program mascots Timon and Pumbaa from Disney’s The Lion King. Through curriculum that includes activity books, an animated video series, and illustrated safety tip cards, the pair shows kids how to stay safe whether at home, at play or a theme park. Through empowering youth to make safety smart decisions, their knowledge and behavior is impacted for years to come.
“There’s something special about bringing students out of the classroom for an educational experience,” said Dr. Debra Pace, superintendent of the Osceola School District. “And when that place is Disney, their excitement and eagerness to learn is amplified tenfold.”
Select Wild About Safety curriculum, including the environmental programming enjoyed by the students during their visit, has been recognized with the Teacher’s Choice and Parent’s Choice Awards. The anniversary celebration will continue later this week when similar safety curriculum is shared with students at Tupperware Brands Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida.
We love hearing how Walt Disney World continues to support the community it and its cast members are a part of. If you get the opportunity to participate, we’d love to hear about it.