Disney trip prep: Animal Kingdom

Posted on: Fri, 03/28/2003 - 6:02am
jeancbpugh's picture
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Joined: 03/17/2001 - 09:00

I spoke with a woman at the Animal Programs office at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Looks like we have to skip the train ride and attractions at Rafiki's Planet Watch. While they don't use peanut shells in their animal bedding, they do use peanuts as rewards to the animals. The handlers walk all around the area, with pockets full of peanuts. Peanut shells litter the area. I am SO disappointed. My son would have loved to go to the animal petting area. Disney advised we skip all of Rafiki's Planet Watch.

There is risk in the rest of the park, too. Peanuts are in the birdfood throughout the park. While the birds are out of reach, the birdseed can spread.

The animal handlers that mix with the crowds in the front of the park would not have birds; they are more likely to have spiders or lizards....

I am still waiting for a call back whether we can attend the Flights of Wonder show. Disney contracts this show out to another company.

Posted on: Fri, 03/28/2003 - 6:39am
rj's picture
rj
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Joined: 01/19/2003 - 09:00

Hi, thanks for the information. We have taken the kids to D.World the last 3 years. We have never taken them to that park before. We have reservations this year, too. We were going to animal kingdom this year. Always been a little afraid of that park (pa). But, I thought we would try it this year. After reading your post I have changed my mind. I'm glad I found out about the pn.'s before I dropped a bundle at the cashier's gate. Thanks again,rj.

Posted on: Sun, 03/30/2003 - 11:25am
Kathy L.'s picture
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Joined: 07/30/1999 - 09:00

Thank you for posting this information. I never even thought about peanut shells in the bedding or peanuts being fed to the animals. You've got me thinking now -- I promised my girls to take them to the local zoo this spring (it's pretty small), but last time I was there they had vending machines with peanuts. I wouldn't have remembered that.

Posted on: Wed, 04/02/2003 - 1:01am
robinlp's picture
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Joined: 05/14/2002 - 09:00

This is interesting. We went to Animal Kingdom w/ my PA 2 year old in January. As soon as we got to the park he was red and screamed the entire time. We left after only an hour. We had no idea what was wrong. Now i wonder...

Posted on: Sun, 04/06/2003 - 6:57am
jeancbpugh's picture
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Joined: 03/17/2001 - 09:00

Just back from Disney. We did go to the Animal Kingdom, but just made it to the Dinosaur area, so we weren't near any animals. I got a call while I was away from the company that manages Flights of Wonder. They said it would have been safe.

Posted on: Mon, 05/05/2003 - 1:41am
Wilton's picture
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Joined: 12/15/2000 - 09:00

Just returned from Disney, including Animal Kingdom. We spoke with the head chef for the park - Rolf Kosswiller. He put us in touch with the chef at Restaurantosaurus where we were attending a character breakfast - very helpful and no problems for our PA daughter.
Rolf also contacted the person who handles food for the animals. He was assured that any animal feed containing peanuts is given "behind the scenes" and not near any of the public areas. Note, the little petting zoo with sheep & goats in AK does not allow guests to feed the animals. Not only does this remove any PA concerns, it also means the animals are MUCH calmer than those that you see at your local petting zoo.
We asked some trainers, and the pellets they were giving animals were made of oats.
This was our first Disney trip with the kids and without exception, every interaction we had with Disney staff was very positive.

Posted on: Mon, 05/05/2003 - 2:13am
jeancbpugh's picture
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Joined: 03/17/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Wilton:
[b]Just returned from Disney, including Animal Kingdom. We spoke with the head chef for the park - Rolf Kosswiller. He put us in touch with the chef at Restaurantosaurus where we were attending a character breakfast - very helpful and no problems for our PA daughter.
Rolf also contacted the person who handles food for the animals. He was assured that any animal feed containing peanuts is given "behind the scenes" and not near any of the public areas. Note, the little petting zoo with sheep & goats in AK does not allow guests to feed the animals. Not only does this remove any PA concerns, it also means the animals are MUCH calmer than those that you see at your local petting zoo.
We asked some trainers, and the pellets they were giving animals were made of oats.
This was our first Disney trip with the kids and without exception, every interaction we had with Disney staff was very positive.[/b]
Interesting. The story I got from the AK Animal Programs office was so different. Hope you had a good time.
------------------
Jean
** son with PA **

Posted on: Mon, 05/05/2003 - 2:47am
e-mom's picture
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Joined: 04/23/2000 - 09:00

We were at the Animal Kingdom two years ago and had absolutely no problems.
Wilton glad to see you posting again. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Tue, 05/06/2003 - 5:29am
nancy023's picture
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Joined: 12/12/2002 - 09:00

Wilton,
Glad you had a good time. My son has been to Animal Kingdom many times with no problems, also. What restaurants did you have luck with? Did you call ahead to make all of your reservations? Did you stay at a Disney hotel and get a fridge or microwave? Just wondering, as my family will be returning to Disney in October.
Nancy

Posted on: Fri, 05/16/2003 - 6:51am
Wilton's picture
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Nancy - We called ahead for all reservations, spoke to the head chefs for AK and Magic Kingdom, and then spoke with the chefs at each restaurant. We had a character breakfast at Restaurantosaurus in AK and were able to eat the items on the buffet that the kids wanted (french toast, eggs & bacon, fruit).
We stayed off the Park at Sheraton Vistana Village where we had a full kitchen. But our kids had more energy than anticipated, so we ate at the hotel very infrequently.
Only one food incident gave us pause. The head chef for MK told us that the Dolewhip soft icecream served in Adventureland was from a peanut-free facility. We had vanilla/pineapple swirl twice, and both times our PA daughter caughed a couple times. Now she NEVER has soft-serve icecream, and so it may have been that it just got a little stuck in her throat. But we won't get it again just to be safe.
The itzakadoozies, strawberry popsicles, and frozen lemonade all provided welcome and safe snacks for hot kids (and parents). And we brought little bags of safe snacks as well.
The whole trip really went very well, with lots of planning and a little luck combining to make it a smooth and wonderful experience. We'd go back tomorrow if the bank account would support it.

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