PHOTO: Disney Previews Na’vi Character at Avatarland Groundbreaking (Hi-Res)

Avatarland Groundbreaking at Walt Disney World (David Roark/Disney) Using Na’vi-inspired shovels and assisted by a Na’vi, (left to right) George Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort; Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations, United States and France; Tom Staggs, chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts; a Na’vi; Jon Landau, Avatar Producer; Bruce Vaughn, chief creative executive of Walt Disney Imagineering; and Joe Rohde, creative executive, Walt Disney Imagineering, pose Jan. 8, 2014 during the ceremonial groundbreaking of an Avatar-inspired land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

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Photo: Carrie Underwood Meets Real ‘All American Girl’ — Er, Mouse

Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher with Minnie Mouse (Gene Duncan/Disney)In a photo taken July 24, 2012, five-time Grammy Award-winning singer Carrie Underwood and her husband, NHL Nashville Predators star Mike Fisher, pose with Minnie Mouse at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Underwood and Fisher took a vacation with friends to Walt Disney World Resort before she continues preparation for her upcoming concert tour of North America, ‘The Blown Away Tour,’ in support of her latest number one album, ‘Blown Away.’

Photo by Gene Duncan, courtesy Walt Disney World Resort

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How Disney’s Animal Kingdom Goes Batty Over Halloween

Bat training and enrichment at Disney's Animal KingdomAs Halloween approaches, several creatures of the night are getting a series of treats from a team of medical experts at Disney’s Animal Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Around this time each year, veterinary care specialists conduct annual wellness checks on a roost of endangered bats as part of Disney’s commitment to excellent animal care.

The bats, known as Malayan flying foxes, receive complete physical examinations, including blood analysis, vaccination and dental cleaning in front of thousands of Guests who view the procedures from a large, on-stage window into a state-of-the art veterinary hospital. With a wingspan close to six feet, the Malayan flying fox is one of the largest bats in the world and can be seen on exhibit along the Maharajah Jungle Trek in the Asia section of the theme park.

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Disney Acquires Global Theme-Park Rights to ‘Avatar’; Animal Kingdom Expansion Announced

Little League World Series Champions Ocean View Little League

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Worldwide is joining forces with visionary filmmaker James Cameron and Fox Filmed Entertainment to bring the world of AVATAR to life at Disney parks. Through an exclusive agreement announced today by Disney, Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment and Fox, Disney will partner with Cameron and producing partner Jon Landau to create themed lands that will give theme park guests the opportunity to explore the mysterious universe of AVATAR first hand. Disney plans to build the first AVATAR themed land at Walt Disney World, within the Animal Kingdom park. With its emphasis on living in harmony with nature, Animal Kingdom is a natural fit for the AVATAR stories, which share the same philosophy. Construction is expected to begin by 2013.

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WDW Refurb Update: Primeval Whirl Re-opening Pushed Back for Third Time

Karma is taking its toll on Primeval Whirl in Disney’s Animal Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort. The attraction, which has been plagued with problems during its refurbishment, including causing injuries and even death to cast members, closed on January 17, 2011 and was initially scheduled to re-open on April 6 which was later extended to April 17, then to June 2 and now has been pushed back much further with a new scheduled re-opening date of September 15, 2011.

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Is Disneyland Shanghai’s ‘Animal Kingdom’ a Call-to-Action for Giant Pandas in Orlando?

Disney pandaTake a leisurely stroll along the Maharajah Jungle Trek at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in the Walt Disney World Resort and you’ll encounter many of Asia’s exotic animal inhabitants from the Komodo dragon of Indonesia to the Bengal tigers of India. What you won’t find, however, are the coveted giant pandas of China.

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Walt Disney World Releases Concept Photos of New ‘Wild Africa Trek’ Experience; Confirms Stitch Kingdom Report

Concept photo of 'Wild Africa Trek' Tour at Disney's Animal KingdomWalt Disney World has shared with us two new concept photos of the upcoming new tour at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the ‘Wild Africa Trek.’ Initially announced on the official Disney Parks blog as starting later this fall, Walt Disney World now confirms a Stitch Kingdom report that the tour will not start being offered to guests until ‘early 2011.’

Concept Photo of 'Wild Africa Trek' Tour at Disney's Animal KingdomThe tour plans on taking a small group of guests into previously uncharted areas of the Kilimanajaro Safaris’ savanna and bringing them up close and personal with the attraction’s residents.

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s Expert Finds Species on Border of Extinction

Cotton-top tamarins at Rafiki's Planet Watch in Disney's Animal Kingdom © DisneyA tiny Colombian primate known for its distinctive punk-rock hairstyle is in imminent danger of extinction, according to new research done by an animal expert at Walt Disney World Resort. The findings paint the clearest picture yet of a dwindling population at risk.

The endangered cotton-top tamarin is found in a small area of northwest Colombia. According to the research featured in the journal Nature Communication, there are now just 7,000 of the species left in the wild.

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom Celebrates the Birth of Endangered Lowland Gorilla

Mother and newborn western lowland gorilla. Photo courtesy DisneyGuests visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom are getting a special treat along the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail where they can get a rare glimpse of a newborn gorilla born Feb. 19. The critically endangered western lowland gorilla, whose gender is still unknown, is doing well and has already become an integral member of the gorilla family group which includes first-time mother, Kashata, father Gino, and two other females, Benga and Hope.

Members of the primate team at Disney’s Animal Kingdom are encouraged by Kashata’s natural instincts at motherhood. First-time mothers often experience difficulty knowing the right things to do. They must learn to properly hold the baby and adapt to a demanding nursing schedule.  “Kashata has been a model mother from the moment the baby was born, said Matt Hohne, animal operations director for Disney’s Animal Programs. “She immediately knew how to properly hold the baby and her nursing skills have been exemplary.”

(more…)

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom Welcomes Birth of Colobus Monkey

Disney's Animal Kingdom Resident Kabibi and Her Infant

Disney's Animal Kingdom Resident Kabibi and Her Infant (c) Disney

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., March 5, 2009 — Walt Disney World Resort recently welcomed a black and white colobus monkey – the first of its species born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The infant arrived February 17 after a six-month gestation and may be seen along the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail with a group of five other colobus monkeys. (more…)

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