Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom celebrated its 25th anniversary this weekend with rare character experiences, themed treats, environmental awareness, and recognizing animals who have been there since the Park’s opening.
Something else was hidden in Animal Kingdom for 25 years, and Disney Cast Members just unearthed it! The Original Cast buried a time capsule in 1998 when the Park opened on Earth Day, 1998.
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The inscription on the time capsule’s plaque starts, “The original cat of Disney’s Animal Kingdom takes pride in our contributions to this park.” It continues, “In this capsule, to be unearthed April 22, 2023, are mementos of the creation and opening of a New Species of Theme Park.”
Take a look at the “opening day memories” that were inside:
One’s label shows it’s from as far back as 1996. Each apparently contains old files and photos – if anyone still has a drive that can read floppy disks, that is.
There are three primary colored VHS tapes with recorded orientation videos for different Opening Cast duties such as Conservation, Animals, and Park construction. Maybe someone still has a VHS player!
Gino’s first toothbrush
Gina is a silverback Gorilla that has lived at the Park since it’s 1998 opening! He’s still around, and some Guests plan their Dinsey vacations around visiting him and his family every year. Hopefully, he’s been through hundreds of toothbrushes by now.
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The year 1998 is printed everywhere! All the encapsulated merchandise is from the year the Park opened. It includes a key chain, magnets, a button, mugs, and license plate with the Parks advertising slogan “A New Species of Theme Park.”
Original Park Pamphlets
There is a map of Animal Kingdom’s layout, a guidebook for “Guests With Disabilities,” an opening team pamphlet, and one making the Grand Opening. T narrator of the video notes that this map was way before the construction of Pandora.
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Physical Paper Tickets
Did you almost forget paper tickets were even a thing? These ones are in pristine condition. The first shows characters like Simba, Pumba, Rafiki, and Timon from Disney’s The Lion King (1994), which had only been out for four years at the time. Only FOUR years!
Mickey Mouse ’98 T-Shirt
Mickey is in his Safari gear on a white t-shirt, surrounded by the signatures of everyone in the Opening Cast.
Happy Earth Day, and here’s to the next 25 years, Animal Kingdom! Check out the full video here:
Soooo who’s gonna help us access those floppy things? 💾 #Disney #DisneyParks #DisneyWorld #AnimalKingdom #EarthDay #TimeCapsule