Disney’s Animal Kingdom Grand Opening VIP Guest Badge (1998)

This is an unused VIP Guest Badge from the grand-opening celebration for Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which took place April 20-22, 1998.

The opening ceremony took place on April 21 and included a parade of performers and puppeteers, musical performances, celebrity attendees, and a finale that featured an American bald eagle flying in over the crowd and landing on-stage.

The park “officially” debuted to the public the following day (Earth Day), and even still remains the largest ever built by Disney. It centers on various aspects of the natural world, while placing a large focus on plant and animal conservation. At opening, Disney’s Animal Kingdom was divided into the following five lands, with the 145-foot Tree of Life serving as the park’s centerpiece: The Oasis, Safari Village (renamed Discovery Island a year later), Camp Minnie-Mickey, DinoLand U.S.A., Conservation Station (later re-branded Rafiki’s Planet Watch), Africa, and Asia.


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