April 2, 2018, 6:32 AM

I can't help but wonder what Animal Kingdom's next big attraction will be now that Pandora has been open for a bit. I know the other parks have a lot of ongoing/upcoming projects. How great would it be if Disney could make a deal with China to get a pair of Pandas. I was at the zoo in Mexico City Friday and chance to see the pandas. I was not impressed with facility or the zoo. Most Panda exhibits i have seen are mediocre at other facilities.If other zoos can get pandas surely Disney has the magic to get it done if anyone can. Panda's would be a huge draw, the closest ones are in Atlanta from Florida.

Replies (8)

Edited: April 8, 2018, 7:18 PM

This would seem to imply that Disney's Animal Kingdom is a zoo and not a glorified amusement park.

Pandas are rented for $1 million per year per panda with usually a ten year agreement. If a baby is born, the zoo is charged an additional $600,000 "baby tax". On top of that, just caring for the pandas is $500,000 per year because their care and diet are so highly specialized. Most US zoos are pulling back from having pandas in their zoos, since most panda exhibits lose money after the first couple of years.

Disney doesn't need and wouldn't want this headache. People at Disney ride the Jungle Cruise and don't mind that the animals are all plastic models. Animal Kingdom is getting to be the same way.

April 10, 2018, 3:58 PM


Anyway, I think Pandas are very hard to come by.

Personally, I would think an Australia Land would be better.

April 11, 2018, 4:51 AM

Pandas are often given as a diplomatic “prize” for governments that cooperate with China. Needless to say in the current political environment, that isn’t happening.

However, I imagine Australia will be more than happy to get rid of a few Roos...

April 11, 2018, 12:16 PM


April 11, 2018, 12:20 PM

And if Disney would bring in real pandas, Universal's response would be to build an awesome Kung Fu Panda ride that would pull all of the panda lovers over to their park instead.

It has been rumored that Universal is already thinking about a Kung Fu Panda attraction...

Edited: April 12, 2018, 9:22 AM

I used to be a volunteer at The San Diego Zoo. Anyone who poo-poos the power of the popularity of a panda with the general public is sorely mistaken.
That said, 92% of the time, pandas are duller than dirt. Same goes for koalas, but Koalas are dull as dirt 97.9% of the time. Both spend the majority of their day sleeping or eating and very, very little else.
One day I observed a mother koala and her baby climb down one tree, walked 15 feet across the enclosure and then up a different tree to take a nap in the crook of a branch. You'd have thought The Beatles were competing in a kick-boxing death match against The Rolling Stones with Madonna as the referee based on how the gathered guests reacted to all the excitement.
Never the less, on those mornings when I'd be stationed just inside the entry turnstiles the only two animals people would ask directions for by name were pandas and koalas. They would take off practically running before I could even finish giving directions.
If Disney were able to snag pandas as a new species to display at Animal Kingdom - make no mistake, it would be a massive hit with park guests. Yes, there are hurdles to get over in order to get pandas from China, but I have a funny feeling if Disney wanted them, they would find a way.
I also agree that an Australian expansion to DAK would be welcome. I'm just not sure the uniqueness of koalas is quite the same as pandas.
Either way, I hope the next big expansion at DAK is animal focused. The addition of Rivers of Light and Pandora have defiantly boosted the park's desirability for your average park goer, but I hope they continue to keep the focus on actual animal experiences.

April 12, 2018, 11:59 PM

The main selling points for koalas over pandas are that you can actually hold a koala for a photo op, they're relatively cheap and easy to come by, and they don't eat 20kg (44lb) of bamboo a day. Give them some eucalyptus leaves and they'll remain pleasantly stoned

April 13, 2018, 12:00 AM

And we've got more than enough rooms to share, have some crocs while you're at it

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