Photo credit coriscozycorner.com
This past week while visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge as part of the Monkey Kingdom Event, I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Greg Peccie Animal Operations Manager at the resort.
Greg was excited to share many of the happenings at the Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge as well as information about the animal programs.
To give you a little background on Greg Peccie, this avid outdoorsman graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a degree in Biology. He started his Zoo Career at the White Oak Conservation Center in North Florida and began working for Animal Kingdom in 1998.
His passion for antelope, gazelles, giraffe, and zebra brought him to the lodge in 2000. He now runs the day to day operations of the oversight of the animals around the resort and also serves on the Executive Committee as a line of business leader.
Just from observation on my part, I could already tell how diverse this property was from the animals walking around on the Savanna, as well as the awesome decor and unique food offerings in the restaurant.
Plus after visiting the resort website and checking out the April Recreation Calendar, it is hard not to be impressed by the pool, dining options, jogging trails, and onsite activities. Just as Greg stated in our interview, “Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is a destination unto itself”.
Speaking of the activities at the resort, Greg shared with us information about a program called “Dine With Animal Specialists – An Untamed Lunch at SANAA“. This program is available even if are not staying at the resort and costs $49 for adults (10 and up) and $20 for children (3-9). However it is recommended for ages 8 and up.
To give our group a feel for what this experience is like, he gave us samplings of the food from the restaurant SANAA, along with answering our questions about the animals that live on the premises.
At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge there are 4 Savannas totaling around 46 acres. The resort is open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, and the animals live outside. There are over 30 species represented totaling over 250 animals with 35 animal keepers between the day and night.
Since they do care for the inhabitants on site, Greg also gave us a head up that between the hours of 6 am and 11:30 am animals may be missing off the grounds due to daily checkups.
Greg encouraged us to dig into the contents of the activities calendar, and I have to say that I agree about this being a destination. Between African Face Painting, Drum Cafe (lessons), Cookie Decorating, Meet a Savanna Guide, Night Vision Animal Viewing… well the list goes on and on. Plus they offer a bead program when certain activities are completed, and there is even more going on poolside at Kidani Village and Jambo House.
Interested in participating in one of these activities or staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge? Visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge for room rates, availability, and amenities.
About Disneynature Monkey Kingdom:
Life is an adventure for Maya, the clever and resourceful blonde-bobbed monkey in “Monkey Kingdom,” Disneynature’s new feature film set among ancient ruins in the storied jungles of South Asia. Maya’s world is forever changed when she welcomes her son, Kip, into her complicated extended family. Like all families, Maya’s has more than its share of colorful personalities—and she’s determined to give her son a leg up in the world. When their longtime home at Castle Rock is taken over by powerful neighboring monkeys, Maya’s whole family retreats, and she uses her street smarts and ingenuity to uncover untapped resources amidst strange new creatures and unsettling surroundings.
Ultimately, they will all have to work together to reclaim Castle Rock, where Maya can hopefully realize her dreams for her son’s future.
Featuring a rich variety of characters, including a mischievous mongoose, simple-minded langur monkeys, predatory leopards and monitor lizards, “Monkey Kingdom” is narrated by Tina Fey (“30 Rock”), directed by Mark Linfield (“Chimpanzee,” “Earth”) and co-directed by Alastair Fothergill (“Chimpanzee,” “Bears”).
With music from award-winning composer Harry Gregson-Williams (“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” “Shrek” movies).
Monkey Kingdom is rated G and out in theaters NOW!
For more information on the film visit nature.disney.com/monkey-kingdom.