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Experts Prepare Animals For Changes to Disney World Park

Apparently, Walt Disney World Resort Guests are not the only ones who are inconvenienced and affected by the changes being made to Disney Parks like EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, the Magic Kingdom, and the Animal Kingdom!

In an interview with Cinemablend, Dr. Scott Terrell (who happens to be the Director of Animal and Science Operations for The Walt Disney Company) revealed that the Cast Members and staff on hand at the Animal Kingdom Disney Park will actually have a lot more issues to take into consideration during Disney theme park renovations than other Disney Park staff would.

disney's animal kingdom entrance

The entrance to Disney’s Animal Kingdom/Disney

Walt Disney World Resort renovations have been on many Disney fans’ minds as of late, because the area in the Animal Kingdom called Dinoland U.S.A is closing and Disney World will either be creating a new Zootopia land or a Coco land.

Because the Animal Kingdom theme park is of course focused on animals and their welfare, Dr. Terrell revealed that he and his team are already starting to make plans that will involve keeping the animals safe and happy during the complex construction process.

“I will very much avoid that topic,” Terrell said, refusing to delineate which land Disney World had chosen, “but anything that happens in this park, and [The Dinoland Plans] would be no exception, my animal and science team is involved from day one, with the Imagineers, with the entertainment team… We’re just automatically at the table.”

“It’s not like I have to even ask,” he added. “my partners reach out to me and say ‘Hey, we’re starting something new, can somebody from your team be there?'”

According to the article, “his team is responsible for animals company wide, not simply those at DAK. By making sure that somebody from the animal and science team is involved from the beginning, it prevents the need to have to make any significant changes to plans for attractions or other entertainment by realizing too late that whatever is being designed might cause a problem for animals.”

Avatar, Walt Disney World

Flight of Passage, an Animal Kingdom ride inspired by Avatar and Pandora. Credit: Disney

Animal relocations have happened during previous updates, renovations, and construction projects. Apparently, the animals were stressed by the seismic shifts happening during the construction of Pandora: The World of Avatar, and had to be moved for their own well-being.

Loud noises like those from a construction site (or fireworks, for that matter) can also severely stress out animals in captivity as well as wildlife, which is something that many people often forget.

As Dr. Terrell put it, his team monitored the landscape for any concerning “seismic activity” during the construction process and moved the animals away from the area “for certain periods of time to make sure they were able to thrive through that period”.

dinoland usa "goodbye" sign

Photo Credit: Becky Burkett

Did you know that this kind of preparation was necessary during construction, and that Disney World was starting a new Animal Kingdom project?

About Sharon

Sharon is a writer and animal lover from New England. Sharon's two main focuses in her work are Disney's correlations with pop culture and the significance of Disney princesses (which was the basis for her college thesis). When she's not writing about Disney, Sharon spends her time singing, dancing, and cavorting with woodland creatures!