Camp Minnie-Mickey now takes its place in the history books of Disney's Animal Kingdom after its final day of operation this past Sunday (January 5 2014). The land is now permanently closed to make way for the upcoming AVATAR land opening in 2017.
Themed as a summer camp, Camp Minnie-Mickey opened with Disney's Animal Kingdom as one of the park's original lands on April 22 1998. The land was never intended to be a permanent feature of the park, but served as home to character meet and greets and brought much needed capacity to the park in its early years.
Due to its temporary nature, the land was always at the center of any speculation about the park's future, with lands such as Beastly Kingdom often talked about as taking over the space. Ultimately, it was AVATAR that was selected as the next major addition to the park, and that will see all of the Camp Minnie-Mickey space used, along with more unoccupied land behind Camp Minnie-Mickey. You can see the full site in this photo.
The signature attraction of Camp Minnie-Mickey was the extremely popular 'Festival of the Lion King' show, which will now be relocated to the new theater currently under construction in Africa
. During its time in Camp Minnie-Mickey, the theater received a number of upgrades which included a major refurbishment in 2003 bringing air-conditioning to a newly fully enclosed indoor theater. The musical stage show will be reopening in the sumer of 2014 as part of an expanded Harambe in the Africa section of the park.
Along with the Festival of the Lion King, Camp Minnie-Mickey was also home to the character meet and greet trails, which saw a number of different meet and greet experiences over the years. Characters appearing included Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse Chip and Dale, Donald Duck, Thumper, Miss Bunny, Pocahontas, Balloo and King Louie. Most of the characters have been relocated to other areas of the park to continue their meet and greets (more details).
Although it didn't offer rides or thrills, Camp Minnie-Mickey will hold a lot of memories for Animal Kingdom guests, especially those with young children who no doubt made many life-long friends with the characters at the meet and greet trails. For one last walk through of Camp Minnie Mickey check out our video below, shot on Sunday morning, along with our photo gallery.
Jan 09, 2014 / 11:12am EST