Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which opened on Earth Day, 1998, as part of the Walt Disney World resort outside of Orlando, Florida, is arguably the most unique theme park the company has ever built. Centered around themes of conservation and environmentalism, its lineage can be traced back to Walt Disney himself, whose early efforts to raise awareness about the natural world could be found in his award-winning True-Life Adventures, a series of films that invented the nature documentary. Well, things have truly come full circle, with a brand-new documentary series devoted to the wildest Disney theme park ever. Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, from National Geographic, is coming to Disney+ on September 24. And if you needed to be any more excited about it, well, there’s a trailer too.
While the trailer (narrated, like the series, by Olaf himself Josh Gad) focuses exclusively on giving viewers “an all-access pass to Disney’s Animal Kingdom,” the series will also focus on Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Animal Kingdom’s associated hotel which has its own unique collection of animals, as well as the Seas Pavilion at EPCOT, which, when it opened in 1986 (and for nearly two decades after!) held the world’s largest saltwater tank. Clearly there are a lot of animals – and a lot of animal stories – that will be covered in this new eight-episode documentary series.
If you’ve ever visited Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and especially if you’ve done any of the special tours or gone behind-the-scenes, you know what a special place it is, how it’s specifically designed to keep the animals healthy and the guests entertained and informed. (Even on something like the Avatar ride, you learn about how important keystone species are to ecosystems. It’s silly but it’s true.) To have eight episodes that explore that amazing place, and other animal-filled sanctuaries at Walt Disney World, will be pretty spectacular. Also, how cute is that aardvark?
Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom premieres on Disney+ on September 25 and we’ll have plenty more about the series before then.