Cultural Representatives from various African countries held the “Celebrate Africa!” event January 22, 2015 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. The event was designed to educate Guests about their homeland. The festival began with a Cast Member’s poem about his view of Africa that set the mood for Guests to explore and learn more about this fascinating continent. Guests were then given musical instruments and joined a celebratory parade around the lobby.
Soon after, tables about African culture were displayed for Guests to enjoy. “Passports” encouraged Guests to track their progress from table to table. From the unique food and wine to animal conservation, the Cast Members were eager to speak with Guests about their countries.
At one table, cookies in the shape of Africa and elephants were enthusiastically decorated and eaten as Guests heard about vineyards in Africa. Then Guests went to the next table to get their faces decorated with traditional African patterns. Toys made from simple pieces found around the home and animal figurines made from colorful beads were displayed for Guests to enjoy. At the last table, a map of reserves was posted as Cast Members explained how only one party can benefit from poaching while living in harmony with the animals benefits all.
South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe were countries represented in the festival and each has its own rich culture and unique traditions. The Cultural Representative from each country was tasked with planning concepts for tables and then garnered support from their fellow Cast Members who planned the opening ceremony and entertainment to bring the booths to life. Guests were not only engulfed in African culture, but walked away wiser about African life, traditions, culture and the importance of conservation.
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge hosts several other daily educational events that focus on specifics aspects of African life including storytelling, music and games every night in either the Jambo House or Kidani Village. If you weren't able to make it to this month’s “Celebrate Africa!” event, no worries! Stay tuned on OTPN for more information regarding exciting events throughout the year.
PHOTOS: ©2015 Disney. All Rights Reserved.