“The Wilderness Must Be Explored!”

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“A Wilderness Explorer is a friend to all, be it plants or fish or tiny mole.” – Wilderness Explorers Pledge

Yesterday was our second day at Animal Kingdom and the kids participated in a super cool explorer program taken from the movie UP. They became Wilderness Explorers for the day. When we saw multiple booths labeled with the Wilderness Explorers seal we just had to stop and ask about it. After hearing how the program worked the kids were eager to become Wilderness Explorers just like Russell.

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They began by receiving handbooks.

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The handbooks contained requirements needed to earn 30 different badges around Animal Kingdom park including:

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A music badge, insect badge, tracking badge.,ham radio badge, Mt. Everest badge, currency badge, and dinosaur badge… among others.

Molly immediately embraced the idea of getting all 30 badges before the park closed and encouraged the others to be equally committed. The others wanted to be more casual Wilderness Explorers and just earn badges as they worked their way around the park revisiting the rides and shows they enjoyed last time. That is what we ended up doing and they earned about half the badges over the course of the day.

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The stations were so well done, with fascinating information being shared at each stop. I learned as much as the kids as we visited the different spots. It was especially fascinating visiting the badge stations for certain countries that were run by cast members from those countries. We were able to ask questions and learn so much about a variety of cultures as we traveled around the park.

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Often the requirements to earn a badge required performing a task or seeking out a clue in the area. On the safari ride the kids had to listen closely to the safari guide for a certain secret word that they had to record in their books.

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Other stops were more science focused. At the insect station the kids learned that the reason that Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches hiss is because it is a natural defense against the lemurs who love to eat them. By hissing they can scare away the lemurs who are fearful of the snakes that make the same sound. Who knew…right?!

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Halfway through the day we ran into fellow Wilderness Explorers… Russell and Dug!

"Keep calm and...squirrel!"

“Keep calm and…squirrel!”

"The wilderness must be explored!"

“The wilderness must be explored!”

After a full day of exploration and adventure it was time to pack up and go to dinner…

Toby thought this looked like our family's road trips.

Toby thought this looked like our family’s road trips.

But first we had to stop for one last Dole Whip.

A frozen pineapple dream in a cup.

One of our favorite Disney treats!

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For dinner we headed over to Animal Kingdom Lodge for an African feast at Boma restaurant.

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Boma desserts...yum!

Boma desserts…yum!

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“Adventure is out there!”

Animal Kingdom- Thanks for the adventure…

Tomorrow we will have a new one!

Final stop- Magic Kingdom 🙂

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