It’s always summer vacation at Animal Kingdom’s Camp Minnie-Mickey. When Guests hike down the trail, camp counselor Mickey and his pals immerse them in the forested, lake-strewn Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York, where the fish are always biting and everyone has a story to share around the campfire.
Camp Minnie-Mickey mimics the northeastern style with distinctive architectural elements and deliberate ornamentation. Stone and carved wood supply naturalistic foundations and rustic components so that the setting seems to have grown into its form without human assistance. It’s yet another beautiful example of Walt Disney Imagineering’s fine design, as the site retained only a few dozen original trees when the Park was built. Nearly all plant material at Camp Minnie-Mickey was brought in and installed on location, making the effort one of the largest landscape designs every undertaken.
The main draw of Camp Minnie-Mickey is the Broadway caliper live stage show, “Festival of the Lion King,” which is held in the camp’s assembly hall. Familiar characters from Disney’s feature animation The Lion King spring to life with pageantry and celebration, sharing their music, dance and other skills with all the campers in an air-conditioned theater-in-the-round with stadium seating. Gymnasts, puppeteers and even acrobatic monkeys encourage Guests to be part of the action and interact with life-sized Disney Characters.
For those who walk on past the Lion King entrance, a wonderful rendezvous awaits. Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy meet and greet visitors throughout the day at the Character Greeting Trails. Each of the four pavilions is shaded and tucked into a fan-cooled and misted wood, while back by the main walk, a slew of their other wildlife friends pause for photos and fun. Periodically, a Cast Member camp counselor leads sing-a-longs and teaches campers new songs too, like the one he sang about my kids’ laceless tennis shoes!
Be sure to check the Park schedule for show times and Character appearances. My family has experienced the least wait time at the meet and greet when arriving at the greeting trails just before the Lion King lets out.