While not often thought of as being particularly “Christmas-y,” Animal Kingdom actually has a lot going for it in terms of holiday cheer. It’s the only Park where you’ll find key characters dressed up in holiday outfits outside of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. There’s a gorgeous Christmas tree that greets guests as they enter the Park. Camp Minnie-Mickey is decked out for the holidays with Christmas trees themed to individual characters. You’ll also find holiday garlands, wreaths, and lights strewn around the Park. Let’s see what Animal Kingdom looks like this year.
The Christmas Tree:
I feel like they’ve added something, but it’s hard to put my finger on what…
These are real humans standing near it, not miniatures. Not that miniature people aren’t humans.
A closer look:
Some cutouts and statues of Disney characters around the base:
Photopass is available should you wish to get a shot in front of the Tree. You’ll be handed this gift to hold if you’d like a prop.
All of the ticket booths are garland’d/wreath’d out:
Similar stuff lining the top of the buildings just inside the entrance.
I asked this guy to give us his best scowl and this is what we got. No wonder you aren’t in entertainment, buddy! Just kidding. Always nice to see a smiling face. Obviously happy to see us.
Camp Minnie-Mickey Themed Christmas Trees
You knew this sign was just begging for a wreath, right!
It’s hard to see with all of these stupid trees everywhere, but the lamp posts are wrapped in garlands too. We’re headed over to Camp Minnie-Mickey. You know what I’ve always wondered? How long did the suits take to decide if it should be called Camp Mickey-Minnie or Camp Minnie-Mickey? Obviously, Mickey is the star of the show. Even though Minnie is cuter. But does putting his name first inherently seem sexist? Does Minnie-Mickey intrinsically sound better than Mickey-Minnie? These are the sorts of things that haunt my days. You don’t want to know what haunts my nights.
Told you! Naysayer…
Throughout Camp Minnie-Mickey, you’ll find Christmas trees themed to individual characters (and occasionally animals, drunks, and unidentifiable).
Chip and Dale:
Amusingly, some idiots tried to steal Pluto’s collar from off the tree while I was standing there (the decorations are “literally” chained to the trees). You may recall how at one time there were really cute Mickey and Princess Mouse Ears hats on the FASTPASS machines for their Meet and Greets at Town Square. Those were also replaced with generic signs because people kept stealing them. This is why we can’t have nice things.
Sort of the raccoon-thing from Pocahontas (Meeko):
Running out of ideas, I guess.
Josh…er…Tennessee or something?
Because everyone from Tennessee drinks bottles of XXX and plays the fiddle? I’m not saying they don’t. I’m just saying.
This one dedicated to bears is in an inopportune place for photographs.
I guess it’s too early for Avatar trees.
These are right near the entrance to the Greeting Trail for that particular character. Check out Donald’s hat on top!
I want that bow!!!! I wonder if it’s chained on…
Stitch (of course!):
That’s that. It’s fun to have a look around and try to find all the themed trees.
Camp Minnie-Mickey Characters
A recycled image – Pocahontas is available in Camp Minnie-Mickey throughout the day. Find her in a nook to the left just after you cross the bridge. Her lines are usually short – five to ten minutes.
Chip and Dale in scarfs and hats. Their waits are usually short to moderate – 10 to 20 minutes.
If you would like pictures without the holiday extras, they meet in Epcot to the right of the Character Spot (and behind the building). Basically, if you walk to the base of the hill that takes you up to the Land Pavilion, turn around so you’re facing Future World and the Fountain, and look at the building to the right – you’ll see them if they’re out.
This is the area you’re looking for. They also appear in Tomorrowland in their “outer space” outfit and at Hollywood Studios around Mickey’s Sorcerer’s Hat in the morning.
Santa Goofy – one of my favorite characters. He meets in a decked-out-for-the-holidays gazebo. Waits are usually pretty short as well – 10 to 20 minutes.
He meets in his usual outfit in Epcot at the Character Spot and in Magic Kingdom to the right of Pirates of the Caribbean in a pirate outfit. He also appears in DinoLand USA in Animal Kingdom across from TriceraTop Spin.
Minnie in Christmas skirt, hat, and sweater. Waits are relatively short – 10 to 20 minutes most of the time.
She meets in her regular outfit at Epcot Character Spot and at the base of the Sorcerer’s Hat at Hollywood Studios. She usually appears with Mickey at Town Square Theater in Magic Kingdom as well.
This is as close as we’re getting to Mickey, unfortunately. His line was super long – 40+ minutes probably. He meets in a Christmas sweater and Santa hat in a very nicely themed gazebo.
Brer Bear and Pluto in a holiday collar (as long as someone doesn’t steal it from around his neck, anyway). Virtually no waits for these two most of the time. You’ll find them in the very back of Camp Minnie-Mickey, past Mickey.
Thumper and Miss Bunny.
Donald and Daisy also meet in Camp Minnie-Mickey. I’ll add pictures when I remember to take them.
Finding the Shortest Waits at Camp Minnie-Mickey
As we’ve seen in the past, the main “issue” with Camp Minnie-Mickey is that 1,000 people are let loose in the area after every Festival of the Lion King show. The best time to visit is right as the characters come out, which is usually 9:30am or 10am depending on time of year. Right now, it’s 10am. That should be enough time to ride Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest and then walk over. Pocahontas may begin appearing before the other characters come out. The second best time is to arrive in the area about ten minutes before a Festival of the Lion King show begins. This gives people exiting Camp Minnie-Mickey plenty of time to exit the area and hopefully many of them that waited for a character or two will also be on their way out.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom has some nice holiday additions and the character Meet and Greets in Camp Minnie-Mickey are a lot of fun. For Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade, check this.