*Updated 4/18/18 – if you’ve been following Mousesteps over the years, we used to have very photo heavy articles with usually little text. And smaller photos. So that is what we have here for Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s 10th. I wish I still had my opening day and pre-opening photos, my older pictures used to be on Hometown AOL but that closed long ago.
I had a great time at the Animal Kingdom 10th anniversary, celebrating a park I have been visiting since just before it opened (including opening day). The last photos in this set will be of our VIP seating and meet with Legend of the Lion King performers!
Waiting at the front of the park to get in:
The main event took place in front of the Tree of Life. The performers here were hard to see without my camera, even though I was only a few rows back from the front:
I am a huge fan of Joe Rohde, and he and Jane Goodall were the speakers for the event. Erin Wallace, senior VP for WDW Operations introduced them. Each gave a short speech about the park. I’m very happy to have been there for the 10th, as I was for both a pre-opening day and opening day 10 years earlier. The most talked-about aspect of the event seems to be Jane Goodalls thank-you in chimp speak, that was quite unusual! You can find video on many sites online showing the speeches. Here are some photos.
After the opening ceremony, we headed for the Theater in the Wild to see Joe Rohde speak. He was introduced by Valerie Bunting, who is the Vice President of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Joe discussed the design of the park, and much more. You can see artwork and photos below. There is a great book that is now out-of-print called The Making of Disney’s Animal Kingdom (by Joe’s wife Melody Malmberg) that gives so more about how the park was created.