10 Wild Facts Behind Walt Disney World® Resort’s Conservation Efforts
Updated March 17, 2023
Originally published April 19, 2019
From safaris that take you up close and personal with savanna wildlife to “under the seas” adventures with Nemo and friends, Walt Disney World® Resort is a place for families to experience the magic of nature. But protecting our planet’s animal species and natural resources isn’t all hakuna matata. As Walt Disney himself once said, “it’s a matter that concerns all of us.”
The Walt Disney Company is committed to environmental stewardship and focused on using resources wisely and protecting the planet. Here’s a glimpse at just a few of the amazing ways Disney is caring for our “small world:”
1. The Disney Conservation Fund helps preserve Earth for generations to come
Through support from Guests and The Walt Disney Company, since 1995, the Disney Conservation Fund has directed more than $120 million to save wildlife and protect the planet in 120 countries. And it has inspired millions of people to take action for nature in their communities.
2. Animals enjoy visiting Walt Disney World® Resort, too
Nearly 1/3 of Walt Disney World® Resort (more than 8,000 acres!) has been permanently set aside for wildlife conservation, providing a home for animals including nearly 70 butterfly species and purple martins, small songbirds that travel to Florida to raise their young before flying more than 6,000 miles to the Brazilian rainforest and back!
3. Dining on seafood at the parks? It’s sustainable
Walt Disney World® Resort is committed to minimizing its impact on the ocean by sourcing environmentally responsible seafood according to Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch recommendations. They will serve 100% environmentally responsible seafood in the parks.
4. Rhinos born at Disney parks help species survive
The success of the white rhino breeding program at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park is a major achievement for Disney’s animal care experts and the white rhino population in managed care. The herd, or “crash,” allows Disney to learn more about this incredible, near-threatened species, and these learnings can benefit rhinos worldwide. In November 2021, the 13th white rhino was born at Walt Disney World® Resort, making this the largest crash in the park’s history!
5. Sea turtles have a home away from home in an educational attraction
More than 300 endangered sea turtles have been nursed back to health at The Seas with Nemo & Friends Pavilion at EPCOT®, which houses a massive 5.7-million-gallon saltwater aquarium where Guests can learn about marine animals. After the turtles regain their health, they are returned to the wild.
6. The Walt Disney Company has reduced plastic waste worldwide
The Walt Disney Company has eliminated single-use plastic straws and stirrers at all locations around the globe. That’s a reduction of more than 200 million straws and stirrers!
7. Bees have acres and acres of welcoming habitats
Florida is home to more than 320 species of bees, and they are treated particularly well at Walt Disney World® Resort. The ornamental gardens in the parks and resorts allow for the perfect opportunity to figure out what plant species the bees and butterflies like most, which helps them create acres of pollinator habitats.
8. Scientists track elephants at Disney parks to learn how to save them in the wild
Elephants in Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park were among the first to wear high-tech tracking collars that are now used in Africa to prevent poaching, locate wild elephants in distress and help scientists plan for the species’ long-term survival.
9. Disney is aiming for zero waste to landfill by 2030
As part of a company-wide pledge to achieve zero waste sent to landfills by 2030, Walt Disney World® Resort is reducing food waste with a commitment to the U.S. EPA’s Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions challenge. That means less waste of the resources that go into growing, harvesting, packaging and transporting the food served at Walt Disney World® Resort.
10. Disney has a special honor for people who help care for the planet
The Disney Conservation Fund has recognized more than 220 Conservation Heroes who are individuals going above and beyond to protect more than 1,000 species across 120 countries. Together, these Heroes inspire a global story of hope for our planet’s future.
Learn more about conservation by visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park. And don’t forget to use your Disney® Visa® Credit Card to unlock special savings—like 15% off the non-discounted price of Wild Africa Trek—and get special vacation financing when you book your next vacation package!123
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