Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom Park and Lodge Receive AZA Accreditation


Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom theme park and the accompanying Animal Kingdom Lodge have again receive accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA.)

Receiving this accreditation is a high honor as it is considered “the gold standard in animal care.”  According to Dr. Mark Penning, Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks. “I’m incredibly proud of the entire Animals, Science and Environment Team for earning this stellar accomplishment.”

They should be proud. This process is overseen by an ‘Accreditation Commission’ made up of 16 “experienced and trained experts in operations, animal welfare and husbandry, and veterinary medicine.” It’s their job to remain impartial and “to thoroughly examine each zoo or aquarium that applies for AZA accreditation to determine if AZA standards are being met.”

Zoos and Aquariums that pass this process can become members of the AZA. This means that Disney’s animal teams are doing a fantastic job. Fewer than 10% of licensed animal exhibitors earn this accreditation–it’s a big deal.

This year also marks the 25th anniversary of the Disney Conservation Fund, which works to save wildlife and protect nature. One thing I love about the Kilimanjaro Safari attraction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, is the dedication the Cast Members have to protect the animals and to encourage guests to do what they can to help the planet through “everyday actions.”

I have my criticisms about Disney from time to time, but their animal teams really do deserve this accreditation as they support their animals and the efforts of other groups to save species around the world.

Good job and congratulations!

What do you think? Comment and let us know!

Sources: Disney Parks Blog, AZA.org, Disney Conservation Fund

Disney has been a big part of my life for years--from family trips to WDW, at a very young age, to growing up on Disney classics, TV, and movies. I also love to sing Disney songs and have sung them for my kids since they were babies! I've been successfully running social media and websites since 2010. I've also been a public speaker and presenter since 2007. I'm the co-host for the YouTube channel Clownfish TV as well as the podcast/ Youtube Pirates and Princesses (PNP) channel. Former contributor, online personality and acting social media manager at The Kingdom Insider (built it from the ground up with my husband for 2+ from it's start in 1997-2019) Pirates and Princesses was started by my husband and I several years ago. Prior to our work on The Kingdom Insider and advertising from Academy Travel. Living OUR happily ever after getting to do what we love with our two kids! Creating fun content and building up new platforms from scratch. Certified art teacher, and mom. Opinions are all mine.