Seeing behind the scenes at Disney's Animal Care Center.

 On our most recent visit to Disney's Animal Kingdom, we experienced something we didn't even know was possible! We watched an animal being examined at their animal care center!

I did not even know the Animal Health & Care Center even existed. The Center is located in Rafiki's Planet Watch ( a place I had never been).  You have to take a short train ride to get there. The train is in Harambe, in the Africa section.  The entrance is just to the right of the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail entrance.  The train does not start operating the same time the rest of the park does though. I think it starts around 10 am and ends at 5 pm unless otherwise noted. 

           We ended up seeing this procedure just by accident.

The procedure was on a Black Swan.  At first, we did not have a great view of the animal, so we were watching it from a telemonitor that was there. But then, the doctors and staff ended up moving the swan to a table that was right in front of the window we were watching from. Talk about a front row seat!  Of course you could still watch the procedure from the monitor too.

Although the procedure looked pretty intense ( they were giving him oxygen and taking blood), we were told that it was just a general exam and that the bird would be okay.  There was a cast member there to explain to the guests what was being done to the animal.

There is a second monitor in the exam room that shows what animal procedures are coming up, but the friendly cast member there told us that procedures and times are not officially published.  This is just a way to control crowds. I can totally understand that.  I heard someone once saw a tiger being worked on. I would have definitely wanted to see that! 

After I returned home from my visit,  I started watching the series "The Magic behind Disney's Animal Kingdom" ( I didn't know that existed either) on Disney Plus!  There were many episodes that took place in this Animal Health and Care Center and I even recognized some of the doctors on the show that were here this day ( specifically the female doctor in the grey coat and short grey hair).

In one of the episodes, they took the manatee from Epcot's Living Seas building and brought him here. They actually had to air lift him out of the building through the roof and put him in a refrigerated truck to bring him to the Center here at Animal Kingdom! Tell me that wouldn't have been something to see!  So yea, I understand why times and procedures are not published! 

And of course we noticed some of the hidden and not so hidden Mickey's in the background!

Overall, I'd say this ended up being the highlight of our visit to Animal Kingdom that day! Seeing this was every bit as satisfying as one of those behind the scenes tours!  And the best thing about this, it was free!  NOTE: Seeing a procedure during your trip is not guaranteed. 

I have included a link to some video I saved on my Instagram stories if you'd like to check them out.
You have to be logged into Instagram to view them. I believe it only lets me link to the first video clip but if you click on my profile, the rest of the videos are under the highlight circle labeled "Disney Fun"

Have you ever seen a procedure on an animal at Animal Kingdom, a Zoo, or anywhere else?  If so, what did you see?   -M


  1. So interesting... I know my animal loving heart is thankful for them but I dont know if I could watch it. I'd want to go in 7 hold their paw, fin, claw - whatever - LOL

  2. Oh wow! Hot absolutely fascinating! That sounds so neat!

  3. We saw a procedure being done here once before although I can't remember what it was. I remember talking it over with my mom and that's when she decided she could work at Disney, too! (She didn't realize there was a lab there...and she's a laboratory scientist)! Such cool experience!!

  4. Wow, not sure how I would feel watching this. We are such crazy animal lovers. My daughters both worked for years in a vet clinic and saw the best an the worst of situations. They would come home so distraught some days. Very interesting, though. Glad the bird was going to be fine.


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