I began my journey toward becoming a Wilderness Explorer last year while exploring the park with friends. And the entire time I did, all I could think about was how much my girls would love it.
What is the Wilderness Explorer Program?
The Wilderness Explorers is a free program that allows guests to learn about wildlife and conservation all while enjoying their day at Animal Kingdom park. As you make your way around the park and participate in activities such as digging for fossils, learn how veterinarians care for animals, learn about flamingos and music native to Africa and Asia.
After you’ve completed an activity at each station, you’ll earn a sticker badge to place in your Wilderness Explorer handbook. With 31 badges total, families are encouraged to earn badges on multiple visits – because just like the Wilderness Explorers motto – exploring is a lifelong adventure!
How Do I Start the Program?
Pick up a handbook at the front of the park or one of the nine Troop Leader headquarters around the park. Open your guide to the map and start exploring! At each station, you can earn at least one badge from your guide and have the chance to learn from the educators. And best of all – it is free!
With zero technology involved, it is 100% focused on interacting with Cast members throughout the park. Meant for ages 7-10 years old, my friends and I explored kid-free and absolutely loved it. It’s a fun way to see new things in the park that you may have missed and it is extremely educational too!
What Do I Win?
When you complete all 31 badges, you’ll receive a special sticker badge and the honorary title of Senior Wilderness Explorer. Plus, you win knowledge – the program’s goal is to connect guests with animals, conservation and culture – such a great learning experience.
According to the folks at the park, families earn on average about 12 badges per visit. My friends and I earned 11 badges during our visit and truly learned so much. We discovered new places within the park we hadn’t seen before and loved meeting Cast members along the way too.
Another thing I love about the Wilderness Explorers guidebook is that I can continue using it on future visits. While some activities are simple – like playing the drums – others are more difficult – solving word puzzles. The program allows families to work together all while having fun.