What’s New in Animal Kingdom: Rare Characters and an Unexpected Photo Op

The Disney World Parks change oftenwhich is why we go to the parks (almost) every day so we can bring you the lattest news!

The Tree of Life in Animal Kingdom

Today, we’re bringing you what’s new in Animal Kingdomso let’s jump right into it!

Traditional character meet-and-greets returned to the parks this week, and, thanks to Earth Day, we saw some pretty unique characters out in Animal Kingdom! We saw Kenai and Koda from Brother Bear

Kenai and Koda!

…and Gypsy, the gypsy moth from A Bug’s Life!


So, in celebration of Earth Week at Animal Kingdom, there’s a new Wilderness Explorer activity over at Rafiki’s Planet Watch!

A new Wilderness Explorer Activity!

Individuals who complete the special Earth Day activity will receive a special sticker.

Animal Kingdom Food Updates

the Thirty River Bar near Expedition Everest was missing one of its drink options when we were there recently.

Thirsty River Bar Menu

The Bumblebee Blonde Ale was missing from the menu.

Animal Kingdom Construction Updates

There’s a new photo opportunity out in front of the park! Next to the sand sculpture promoting the new Disney+ documentary polar bearyou’ll find a National Geographic photospot! In this spot, you can take a picture inside of National Geographic‘s iconic yellow box logo.

New ‘National Geographic’ Photo Spot

Also at the entrance to the park are some new banners promoting disney planet possible, a new initiative set forth to become more sustainable. There’s a banner that says “Inspire Future Conservation Heroes…”

Disney Planet Possible

…and one that welcomes three threatened rhinos!

Disney Planet Possible

Mammoth Marathonone of the carnival games located in Chester & Hester’s Dino-Rama was closed.

It’s closed!

The other carnival games were still open.

Animal Kingdom Merchandise Updates

Riverside Depot

First and foremost, Mobile Checkout is now available at Riverside Depot! Now, you can check out through the My Disney Experience app instead of having to wait in line to check out with a cashier. Alright, now let’s get on with the new merchandise.

First up, the Mickey Mouse: The Main Attraction Pirates of the Caribbean collection (which has been spotted in other stores in the parks) can also be found here! You can get the ear…




…pin code…

Pin code!

…and Loungefly backpack!

Loungefly backpack!

Any fans of toy story out there? We found this Reach For The Sky coffee mug that you might love for $14.99!

Reach For The Sky!

We also saw this Earth Day pin that we had previously seen in EPCOT for $17.

Earth Day pin!

This plush is perfect for ice cream lovers. It’s on ice cream truck with three different types of ice cream on top (is that a Dole Whip I spy?) other Mickey Mouse enjoying some ice cream inside!

Ice Cream Truck Plush

It is $19.99.

Iceland Mercantile

Island Mercantile had some of the new Disney World 50th Anniversary Dooney & Bourke collection in stock. You can grab the wristlet wallet for $168…


…or the satchel bag for $268.

Satchel bag!

We’ve seen this collection both online and in other stores around Disney World.

wind traders

There were lots of things to see over at Windtraders in Pandora! There were a couple of new water bottles like this one that spins and glows in the dark! It is $14.99.

It glows in the dark!

We also saw this bottle that has a picture of Pandora during the day on one side…

Daytime Pandora

…and Pandora during nighttime on the other side. It is $22.99.

Nighttime Pandora

We also saw this blue graphic print shirt for kids for $24.99. It has drawings of some of the different things you can find on Pandora.

Kids graphic print shirt

We also spotted two new magnets! The first magnet is this Na’vi River magnet for $9.99.

Na’vi River magnet

The second is this black magnet with a banshee from Flight of Passage on it. It is also $9.99.

Banshee magnet

In addition to two new magnets, we saw two new keychains in Windtraders, as well! The first is this Pandora Na’vi River keychain for $9.99. it has a similar design as the Na’vi River magnet we saw.

Na’vi River Keychain

The other keychain we saw was this Pandora keychain. It is black and says “Experience Pandora a world like no other.”

Pandora keychain

This keychain lights up, as well! It is $14.99.

And that’s what’s new in Animal Kingdom! Make sure to keep reading DFB for the latest news from all of the Disney parks, hotels, plus Disney Springs!

NEWS: Connections Cafe is Now Open in EPCOT!

Don’t miss out on Any Disneyfun!

Order Your Copy of the 2022 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining Today!

With more than 750 pages, the 2022 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining is full of tips and planning tools developed by Disney World experts over 30+ years of visits. We’ve done the research for you, so you’ll know just which spots will uniquely suit your family’s needs!

With mini reviews of every single restaurant, bar, lounge, kiosk and more; an entire chapter on the best snacks at Disney World; full Disney Dining Plan analysis (and how to get FREE dining); and a full chapter on discounts and deals; you’ll have everything you need to plan your best vacation yet.

Click here to order your copy of the 2022 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining E-book with code WDW2022 to save 25% off the cover price today!

ready to shop button
Our guides are backed by a 100% money-back guarantee, so you have nothing to lose. 🙂

What’s your favorite thing to do in Animal Kingdom? Let us know in the comments!

Leave a Comment