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Have You Ever Wondered If an Animal Escape Would Close Disney’s Animal Kingdom? Here’s the Truth

animal escape animal kingdom

With the hubbub of news concerning Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s alleged imminent closure, another question has come to the surface.

There have been many rumors going around about a potential closure at the Disney Parks, particularly Disney’s Animal Kingdom. We at Disney Fanatic took it upon ourselves to be one of the first to debunk the rumors, the same way we did last year when the stories about Disney removing Cinderella Castle were going around.

Animal Kingdom Entrance

Disney’s Animal Kingdom entrance/Courtesy of Disney

Related: Disney Permanently Closing Animal Kingdom? Here’s the Truth

However, along with this, another worry has come to the surface—what would happen in the event of an animal escape at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park? Could it possibly cause the Park to close down? Disney Fanatics can rest assured we’re here to assuage these worries.

The first thing to remember about this kind of situation is that Disney—whichever Disney Resort in question, Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort—will always put the safety of their Guests first. Considering that the Disney Park sees approximately 38,000 visitors daily, putting each of those Guests’ safety and security first is paramount.

pandora animal kingdom

Pandora, Disney’s Animal Kingdom/Courtesy of Disney

On talking with former Disney Cast Members who worked at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, we confirmed that the doors in Animal Kingdom Park are particularly designed, keeping the safety of Guests in the case of an animal escape in mind. Per the former CM, “All the [bathroom] doors open out, so if an animal escapes, it can’t push the door in.”

The Cast Member also confirmed that Disney’s Animal Kingdom has an Association of Zoos and Aquariums accreditation, so the Park would have to follow the guidelines from the AZA to keep their accreditation.

The Cast Member also continued that she worked in merchandising in Animal Kingdom and didn’t participate in drills, but security, first responders, and Cast Members who worked closely with the animals likely did. This is, again, corroborated by the fact that “regular inspections, emergency drills, animal welfare assessments, and more are all a part of  AZA’s accreditation standards, designed to keep animals and visitors safe.”

animal kingdom animals

A diverse range of animals and birds are found at Disney’s Animal Kingdom/Courtesy of Disney

The AZA also mentions in particular, “With guest safety in mind, daily checklists ensure inspections and repairs to railings, sidewalks and more are completed.”

The Cast Member corroborated this as well. She mentioned,

Some CMs have checklists for making sure animals are in their habits, even CMs who don’t work with animals in some locations, as an extra check…when I worked in [DinoLand U.S.A.], our opening checklist (for merchandise) included checking off that we saw the crocodile that’s in Dinoland and he’s all set in his enclosure. So if we couldn’t see him they’d get the animal team over. If it was ever actually not in [the enclosure] they’d go through an escape plan.

beacons of magic animal kingdom

Beacons of Magic, Disney’s Animal Kingdom/Courtesy of Disney

The CM added that in that type of scenario, Disney would likely delay the Park opening to ensure the animal was safe and back in its enclosure, as were Guests.

While these worries are certainly fair, it’s apparent that Disney is on top of the animal game and that Disney’s Animal Kingdom is perfectly safe and secure for visitors to enjoy without an issue, with the proper practices in place to ensure the safety of all in case of an emergency; it’s doubtful the Disney Park would ever permanently close in case of an escape.

More on Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park is one of four Disney Parks in Central Florida’s Walt Disney World Resort (the others being Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios). The Park is home to a plethora of wonderful animals from across the world and also is home to some fantastic rides and attractions like Kali River Rapids, lands like Pandora, and more.

About Priyanka Kumar

Priyanka is a writer, artist, avid reader, and travel enthusiast based in Chicago. In her free time, she is probably walking by the lake, catching up on the latest releases on TV, or spending inordinate amounts of time rewatching Moana, Encanto, and her Disney Channel life-long favorites Zack and Cody wreak havoc on the Tipton.

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