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Camp Minnie-Mickey | Countdown to Extinction | Discovery River Boats/Radio Disney River Cruise | March of the ARTimals Parade | McDonald's Sponsorship in DinoLand U.S.A. and Other Early Attractions | Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade | Pocahontas and Her Forest Friends | Safari Village | Tarzan Rocks!
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Camp Minnie-Mickey ended up in Animal Kingdom for several reasons. Asia wasn't going to be ready by Opening Day (with the exception of Flights of Wonder) and there were concerns that there wasn't enough to do for guests to justify spending an entire day in the park. It was also felt that having Mickey and Minnie in Dinoland, U.S.A or Africa would not fit the theme of those lands. The park had also gone over budget during construction of Phase One and there wasn't enough money to build the planned Beastly Kingdom section of the park until Phase Two. The solution was to build a short-term area with some shows instead of actual attractions and to have the character greetings held there. The area was themed as a rustic camp in the Adirondacks, complete with a stream where statues of Disney characters could be seen hiking and fishing.
Located to the left of Safari Village/Discovery Island, Camp Minnie-Mickey was on the left side of the park and was accessed via a bridge over Discovery River. Upon crossing the bridge, the area consisted of an open-air amphitheater to the left where the Pocahontas and Her Forest Friends show was performed while the Festival of the Lion King show was performed in an open-air pavilion (it was later enclosed) to the right. There were also four smaller open-air pavilions were guests could meet characters and two small food areas. The map above on the left is from the park's first year of operation and shows the original building for the Lion King show. The map on the left was from the a Wilderness Explorer Handbook given out in the park in 2013 and shows the Lion King theater after it was enclosed. The backstory of the theater is that it was the camp assembly hall.
There were only two food areas in Camp Minnie-Mickey but they went by a variety of names through the years.
Campside Funnel Cakes: In addition to funnel cakes, corn dogs and drinks were also served. It was located at number 6 on the map above. This spot was later known as Forest Trail Funnel Cakes starting around 2000 but a park map from 1998 also used the Forest Trail name.
Camp Kiosk: Formerly known as Campside Funnel Cakes and Forest Trail Funnel Cakes, the stand was briefly known as Camp Soft Serve before going back to selling funnel cakes in 2012.
Camp Soft Serve: Name for the former funnel cake stand in 2006. It sold floats in addition to ice cream.
Campfire Treats: Formerly Chip 'n' Dale's Cookie Cabin, it began serving hot dogs in 2012 and added ice cream in 2013.
Chip 'n' Dale's Cookie Cabin: Located at number 7 on the map above. Chocolate chip, macadamia nut and sugar cookies were available, as well as ice cream sandwiches and drinks. By 2004 it was shown on park maps as only being open seasonally and was no longer listed on park maps around 2006.
Characters and Entertainment
The Character Greeting Trails hosted a variety of characters through the years including Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Chip, Dale, Pooh, Tigger, Baloo, King Louie, Thumper, Pocahontas, Meeko, Governor Ratcliffe and Timon. There was also a pony from Fort Wilderness named Rosie who wore a lanyard and would pin trade! The performer Gi-Tar Dan, who would improvise songs using an amplified acoustic guitar, could often be found performing in or near Camp Minnie-Mickey.
Remenants of Camp Minnie-Mickey
Camp Minnie-Mickey closed on January 5, 2014 to make way for Pandora- The World of Avatar. The Festival of the Lion King show went on a hiatus while the Harambe Theater was built in Africa. The relocated show made its debut on June 1, 2014. Merchandise made for this area of the park included a pin featuring the bear and canoe from the sign at the top of this page and a Vinylmation based on the bear. The only thing near Camp Minnie-Mickey that survived is the dragon rock that used to be a waterfall. It was built as a placeholder for the never-built Beastly Kingdom and could be seen from the Discovery River Boats prior to passing the rocks where the underwhelming dragon cave effect occured.
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See ya real soon!