Walt Disney Parks and Resorts are enlisting guests to help safeguard 10 ‘at-risk’ animals via a $1 million Connect to Protect commitment. 

In celebration of the opening of Disney’s latest attraction, Pandora – The World of Avatar at Animal Kingdom, the theme park giant has pledged up to $1 million to protect and restore the habitats of 10 of Earth’s ‘at risk’ animals, with a twist.

floating islands Disney pandora magic kingdom Connect to ProtectThe newly opened Pandora – The World of Avatar will feature conservation ‘missions’ for guests. Guests will be able to decide which endangered animal will benefit from the donations. Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Bob Chapek, explained that “their participation will unlock up to $1 million in contributions to protect and restore the habitats of 10 at-risk animals.”

Connect to Protect will operate via Facebook Messenger. Guests will be able to complete conservation themed ‘missions’ given by one of the moon’s digital ecological specialists, Fitsimti “Fits” Buckley. When completed, each player gets to choose how their unlocked $10 contribution will help protect or restore one of the endangered animal’s habitats. The 10 chosen ‘at risk’ animals are apes, elephants, butterflies, coral reefs, cranes, monkeys, rhinos, sea turtles, sharks/rays, and tigers.

Guests will also learn more about each animal supported by the Disney Conservation Fund, as well as the habitat preservation programs and the nonprofit organisations which will be supported by the Connect to Protect funds.

“Through Connect to Protect, our guests will join us in helping protect the habitats critical to 10 animals here on Earth and share in our commitment to nature,” announced Walt Disney World Resort’s President George A. Kalogridis.

George A. Kalogridis Pandora Connect to Protect

To celebrate the grand opening of Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, George A. Kalogridis, President, Walt Disney World Resort, announced Thursday, May 25, 2017, Connect to Protect, a commitment of up to $1 million to help protect and restore habitats critical to 10 at-risk animals. The contribution will be unlocked by guests who participate in conservation ‘missions’ while exploring the immersive land of Pandora and for the first time ever, guests will get to choose which animal that donation will support. Disney’s Animal Kingdom is located in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)

“Reverse the Decline, Increase the Time”

Aimed at reversing the decline of ‘at risk’ wildlife through the efforts of young people, scientific research and community collaboration, the Disney Conservation Fund introduced a new initiative in 2016 called “Reverse the Decline, Increase the Time”. The fund is giving support to leading non-profit organisations, who are working to inspire a love for nature in young people, and protect endangered wildlife.

“The Disney Conservation Fund has been core to the history and values of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. We are excited to continue to engage our guests in our shared commitment to wildlife, people and the planet with Connect to Protect,” added Kevin Callahan, Vice President of Corporate Citizenship, The Walt Disney Company.

The organisations currently supported by the Disney Conservation Fund are:

  • International Crane Foundation (Cranes)
  • International Rhino Foundation (Rhinos)
  • Save the Golden Lion Tamarin and Wildlife Conservation Network/Proyecto Tití (Monkeys)
  • Perry Institute for Marine Science (Coral Reefs)
  • The Jane Goodall Institute (Apes)
  • University of Florida Foundation (Sea Turtles and Butterflies)
  • Wildlife Conservation Society (Elephants, Sharks/Rays, and Tigers)

Disney pandora magic kingdom Connect to Protect

All images copyright Walt Disney World.