Ultimate Guide to Wilderness Explorers at Animal Kingdom
Wilderness Explorers is a FREE self-paced, interactive, scavenger hunt type of activity at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park (valid theme park admission required). Just like Russel and Dug from the move Up, guests earn Wilderness Explorer badges for completing tasks and challenges as they make their way through the park. All you need is your Wilderness Explorers handbook and an appetite for adventure and learning.
Who can play?
While the tasks may be geared toward kids ages 7-12, the activities are fun and educational for the whole family. You’ll have personal interactions with specially trained Troop Leaders and Badge Guides, who will tailor the experience to the ages and abilities of the guests participating. The official Wilderness Explorer call “Caw! Caw! Roar!” can be heard from kids and kids-at-heart throughout the park.
Where to start?
You can register and pick up a handbook at the Wilderness Explorers Headquarters located near the bridge from Oasis to Discovery Island. This is usually the most popular outpost, so if it’s busy, you can choose to start your adventure at any of the Wilderness Explorer stops you encounter as you tour in Africa, Asia, and Dinoland U.S.A.
How do we play?
Wilderness Explorer activity and badge locations are spread throughout the park. You can find them using the map in your Wilderness Explorers handbook and they will be clearly marked with Wilderness Explorers signage.
Complete the activity on the corresponding page and find the Troop Leader (wearing a WE uniform) or Badge Guide (wearing an orange satchel) to earn your badge.
There are over 30 Wilderness Explorer Badges to earn at Animal Kingdom, including:
- Animal Call
As you earn badges, you work your way up in ranking. Earning five badges makes you a Tadpole, 10 badges a Minnow, and 20 badges or more makes you a Fish. Once you earn all badges, you are given the honorary title Senior Wilderness Explorer.
To earn your badges, you may:
- Learn about the legend of the Yeti
- Spell your name in Hindi
- Explore dinosaur fossils
- Learn to code on a HAM radio
- Play an African drum pattern
- Hike trails and study animal behavior
Why we love it
Aside from being totally FREE, Wilderness Explorers allows you to experience Animal Kingdom in a whole new way. You’ll explore parts of the park you otherwise may not have seen, all while learning about animals, culture and conservation. This technology-free activity inspires great family conversation and cooperation as you work through the tasks together.
While you could devise a plan that efficiently takes you through the park in search of all the Wilderness Explorers stops, we advise against it. Instead, hit the major attractions in the morning when you first arrive at Animal Kingdom, before the lines build.
Then, pick up your handbook and begin exploring the far reaches of the park. Complete tasks as you encounter them while touring, and while you are waiting for a show to begin or for your next scheduled FastPass+ time.
With over 30 badges to earn, it is pretty tough to complete all tasks in a single day. In fact, most families average about 12 badges each day. But don’t despair! You can always keep your handbook (makes a great souvenir) and continue your adventure on your next visit.
Have fun with it and remember, “A wilderness explorer is a friend to all, be it plants, fish, or tiny mole.”
Are you interested in doing the Wilderness Explorers with your family? Contact me today for a FREE quote on your next Disney vacation and we can make it MAGICAL!
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