Disclaimer: The Walt Disney Company invited me to their “Protect the Pride” media event in order to facilitate this post. I was provided with park tickets, lunch, and a gift card for snacks.
I’m going to share the hard-hitting facts right off the bat, because I want you to know why this is such an important post for me — and why it should be for you as well.
25 years ago, Disney’s The Lion King was released in U.S. theaters. Since then, we have lost HALF of Africa’s Lion population. That’s a pretty staggering statistic!
Again — In just 25 years, we have lost HALF OF AFRICA’S LION POPULATION.
Friends, only 20,000 lions remain.
The time to act is NOW if we want future generations to enjoy these beautiful creatures.
I am so honored to partner with Disney during their launch of The Lion King “Protect the Pride” campaign in conjunction with the Wildlife Conservation Network’s Lion Recovery Fund.
Since 1995, the Disney Conservation Fund has directed up to $75 million ($13M to projects across Africa) to save wildlife and protect the planet.
Disney has already donated more than $1.5 million to the Wildlife Conservation Network’s (WCN) Lion Recovery Fund (LRF) and its partners and will make additional grants as well as invite fans to help double the donation for a total contribution of up to $3 million.
Disney is committed to ensuring a world where wildlife thrives and nature is treasured and protected by saving our precious wildlife. For more than 60 years now, animals have been a HUGE part of Disney storytelling.
Fans may participate by taking part in celebratory experiences and purchasing special-edition products, as part of The Lion King “Protect the Pride” campaign.
The “Protect the Pride” campaign is making an effort to double the lion population by 2050.
By helping protect lions, we are also protecting the health and well-being of the African savanna, other wildlife and communities who live alongside them.
How Can You Help “Protect the Pride”?
Take a ride on Kilimanjaro Safaris this week — For every guest who rides the Kilimanjaro Safaris® Expedition at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park in Florida during opening week of The Lion King film (July 19 – 25, 2019), Disney Conservation Fund will donate $2 (up to $350,000) to the Wildlife Conservation Network in support of the Lion Recovery Fund’s efforts to help double the number of lions across Africa by 2050. Visit Disney.com/LionKingProtectThePride to learn more.
You may even get to see PUMBA in real life! 😉
Purchase a Simba or Nala Plush — 40,000 Special Edition The Lion King 2019 Simba and Nala plush lions are available for purchase at Disney stores across the globe. Each of the 40,000 plush represents one of the lions for which Disney and the Lion Recovery Fund (LRF) are working to ensure a future. For each Special Edition lion sold, Disney will donate US $5 to the Wildlife Conservation Network in support of the Lion Recovery Fund and its local partners.
Thank you, Disney, for providing me with this adorable Simba plush. I will cherish it forever.
Protect the Pride Media Event + New Lion King Scavenger Hunt!
Attending The Lion King “Protect the Pride” Media Event was such an honor. The fact that Disney would consider me for such an important campaign really touched me!
As part of the media event, I was invited by Disney to learn more about the “Protect the Pride” initiative, meet Disney animal care and conservation experts to learn about how we care for the lions at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and in the wild, and enjoy some VIP experiences!
One of our favorite parts of the day was our lunch at Tiffins Restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park.
During lunch, we got to hear from Dr. Scott Terrell, Director, Animal & Sciences Operations, Disney Parks, Experiences & Products. What an absolute honor that was. He really drove the point home when it comes to the importance of Lion Conservation efforts.
Not only was our lunch absolutely delicious (I had the Grilled Hangar Steak), but we got to try desserts from the new Circle of Flavors: Harambe at Night Event at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park.
Let’s keep it real — if these desserts are any indication of what you can experience at the Circle of Flavors event, you are in for a REAL TREAT.
Lion King Scavenger Hunt
As of July 19, all guests are able to experience a new “The Lion King” inspired scavenger hunt in the Africa area of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park.
Your favorite “The Lion King” characters are hidden around Harambe Village — and it’s your goal to spot them! Each time you find one, you add the corresponding sticker to your Scavenger Hunt map.
The map will be available at Outpost, Discovery Trading Company, Island Mercantile, and Mombasa Marketplace for $6.99.
Once you are done looking for your “The Lion King” pals, you can return your Scavenger Hunt map to Mombasa Marketplace in Harambe or The Outpost Shop in the Oasis by September 28, 2019 or while supplies last for a veyr special savanna surprise.
VIP Viewing of the Festival of the Lion King
I’ve said this for years, but I don’t mind saying it over and over again — The Festival of the Lion King is, by far, one of the best experiences available at Walt Disney World Resort.
This show is moving, immersive, and visually stunning. It’s an amazing theatrical experience celebrating “The Lion King” music that has touched Disney fans of all ages. I get teary-eyed every time I experience it.
We had the opportunity of watching this show “up close and personal” in the VIP “Lion” section. However, all seats in the house get an incredible view of this show!
Final Thoughts — “Protect the Pride”
It is up to us to help raise awareness for and support the dwindling lion population across Africa.
Although half of Africa’s lions have disappeared, research shows us that the lion king can recover.
If you want to do your part while visiting Walt Disney World, don’t forget to take a ride on Kilimanjaro Safaris and pick up your own limited-edition Simba and/or Nala.
Follow “The Lion King,” Disney Conservation Fund, and the Lion Recovery Fund on social media to stay up to date on #TheLionKing #ProtectThePride campaign. Don’t forget to do your part in sharing information with your friends and family about how they can also help PROTECT THE PRIDE.