Known for its contributions to the world of conservation, engaging zoological exhibits, and dedication to some of the greatest animal characters in the Disney canon, Disney’s Animal Kingdom has been described as “the magic of Disney gone wild,” but something has been missing from the Park in recent years and fans are starting to truly notice. For a place that’s dedicated to Disney’s famous animals and non-human characters, they seem to be noticeably absent from the overall experience lately.
Before the events of the 2020 pandemic and Bob Chapeck’s reign of terror, Disney’s Animal Kingdom what is the place to go for Guests who enjoyed such marvelous films as The Lion King, Up, and many more animal and adventure-focused fare from Disney. While that has been represented greatly by many attractions and exhibits, the characters themselves seemed unusually lacking. On one of our recent trips, we couldn’t help but notice a surprising absence of character Meet and Greets normally seen throughout the Park. Rafiki and Timon were both missing, as were the entire DuckTales crew. Apart from Kevin and the regular Mickey Mouse gang, it seems most of our animated animal friends were absent.
Related: Fans Discuss Animal Kingdom’s Abandoned Attraction and Unfinished Themed Land
Of course, we weren’t the only ones to notice the characters were lacking, as a recent Reddit post pointed out the same thing. Compared to the rest of the Parks, who have also been experiencing a surprising character shortage, Animal Kingdom seemed to be scraping by with the bare minimum. Looking at the My Disney Experience app, only Mickey and his pals are currently active. It might seem minor to some, but not Disney’s dedicated fanbase.
“They used to have Dug and Russel and Launchpad McQuack! And Chip and Dale! Sad they’re all missing…”
And u/Particular_Cold_8366 shares a rather upsetting discovery for those fans of Pixar’s Up when they write,
“The Dug and Russell meeting spot is now being used for stroller parking.”
That all being said, u/TomBombadL shares a glimmer of hope with their most recent report.
“I want that Launchpad Meet and Greet so bad lol. I was told last year around July by a CM that they might be coming back next year (2023) so maybe just maybe we can get a Launchpad meet and greet this year.”
Related: Fans Want Nighttime Shows to Return to Animal Kingdom
Although this might come off as troubling news at first, it could be a sign of greater things to come. Consider the previous statement by the last user. Launchpad and Scrooge McDuck are primarily missing because of DinoLand’s closure. This could be due to the upcoming attractions rising from the ashes of the boneyard. Supposedly, Disney is working on a Zootopia-themed attraction to take its place, as well as some thing for Moana. While it might sting at first, it could be the first truly progressive step for Disney ‘s Animal Kingdom. It might take some time, but we will definitely see our old friends again, and maybe even some new ones too.
What do you think Disney will do to Animal Kingdom? Tell Inside the Magic in the comments below!