By Carrie McLaren

In the words of cast members at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, “The wilderness must be explored.” And that’s exactly what happens with the Wilderness Explorers program each day inside the park.

The free program allows guests to learn about wildlife, conservation and culture while enjoying Disney’s Animal Kingdom park.

Grab a Wilderness Explorer handbook at one of the eight Troop Leader stations around the park and start exploring. As you make your way through the park, you can, among other activities, dig for fossils, learn how veterinarians care for animals and try your skills at native music.

After you’ve completed an activity at each station, you’ll receive a sticker badge for your handbook. There are 31 badges total and when you earn them all, you’ll gain the honorary title of Senior Wilderness Explorer.

Start exploring at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park

- Carrie McLaren for VISIT FLORIDA

Explore the park with your family

A look at activity stations around the park

- Carrie McLaren for VISIT FLORIDA

With no technology involved, the program is based solely on interaction with park cast members. The badge guides and troop leaders all have backgrounds in either biology or education and are well-versed in wildlife and conservation.

The program is done at your own pace; most families complete an average of 11 badges per visit. Be sure to hang on to your handbook so you can collect more badges on future visits because, just like the Wilderness Explorers motto, exploring is a lifelong journey!

The Wilderness Explorers program is great for families looking to experience the park in a new way. I saw places ithat were new to me and I learned a lot, too. Pick up a guide and start exploring on your next visit; you’ll be glad you did.

Insider Tip: Remember that it isn’t a race or a competition. The goal of the program is to learn and have fun together with your family. 

Be a wilderness explorer at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Be a wilderness explorer at Disney's Animal Kingdom

- Carrie McLaren for VISIT FLORIDA

Explore the wilderness at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Explore and have fun with your family

- Carrie McLaren for VISIT FLORIDA