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Pixar’s Pete Docter surprises members of the Wilderness Explorer cast at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park


On his recent trip to Walt Disney World Resort during the world’s most magical celebration, Pete Docter, Pixar’s creative director and director of Disney and Pixar’s “Up,” surprised some members of the Animal Kingdom theme park cast. Disney that keeps the magic of the movie alive. through the Wilderness Explorers program. Although Pete Docter has directed some of Pixar’s most iconic films, such as “Inside Out,” “Monsters, Inc.” and more recently, the Academy Award-winning film “Soul,” “Up,” remains a fan favorite that has inspired both Walt Disney World cast members and guests.

Walt Disney Imagineers and members of the cast of Animals, Science and Environment at Disney’s Animal Kingdom saw an opportunity to educate guests about the park’s conservation mission by immersing them in Russell’s Wilderness Explorers program, one of the characters in the film, which has quickly become a favorite attraction of guests. Through this interactive program, guests can earn badges and become a senior Wilderness explorer, as Russell would.

Here are some fun facts about the Wilderness Explorers program that you may not know about!

  • The program of the film and Disney’s Animal Kingdom was inspired by The Wilderness Explorers, a “real” organization of the film that was founded in 1912.
  • Nature explorers have the motto of being a friend to everyone: “A nature explorer is a friend to everyone, be it plants, fish or a small mole.”
  • Walt Disney Imagineers partnered closely with Pixar and Pixar artists to bring the film’s Wilderness Explorers organization to life through badges, artwork, and the overall look of the show.
  • Members of the cast of Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment use the program to promote Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s mission to raise awareness about the conservation and protection of the planet.
  • The current head of nature explorers at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is Pete Docter, an honor bestowed on him as director of “Up.”

Learn more about Pete’s Wilderness Explorers program in the video below.

Disney and Pixar’s “Up” is available to play at Disney + and explore your own desert adventure at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.





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