In the lead up to Earth Day on April 22, Shanghai Disney Resort will kick off “Celebrate Earth”, a series of exciting environmental-themed activities at the newest Disney destination to celebrate Earth Month with guests and Cast. As a highlight of this year’s celebration, the resort will launch the Join the Herd Wildlife Conservation Campaign on April 20 in partnership with WildAid, an environmental non-profit organization, and the China Wildlife Conservation Association, to promote public awareness of the protection of elephants and other endangered wild animals, and the eradication of the commercial trade in ivory.
On April 20, THE LION KING, which recently celebrated its 300th performance at Walt Disney Grand Theatre, will present a special charity performance with a red carpet arrival before the show. Guests will be able to experience The Circle of Life together with Jiang Jinfu, celebrity ambassador of WildAid. Guests of this special show will also have the opportunity to join a lucky-draw to win round-trip flight tickets from Shanghai to Xishuangbanna in Yunnan Province, sponsored by China Eastern Airline, where they can observe Asian elephants in the wild. To support this meaningful conservation effort, a percentage of proceeds from ticket sales from this show will be donated to the China Wildlife Conservation Association to support wildlife protection in China. Disney has a long history of supporting elephant conservation through the Disney Conservation Fund and has contributed more than 2.3 million USD to projects in 25 countries across Asia and Africa.
Since its early development stage, the resort has been rolling out Earth Month celebrations with Cast and community members through Disney VoluntEARS and many other Cast activities, encouraging everyone to make small changes to protect the environment and get connected with the nature. This April marks the first Earth Month celebration at the resort after opening, and a series of “Celebrate Earth” activities will be organized for Cast, community, and for the first time, Shanghai Disney Resort guests. In addition to THE LION KING charity show, beginning April 20, the resort will host the “Celebrate Earth” fair in both Disneytown and Shanghai Disneyland and run environmentally-friendly themed games for children, to promote conservation values among the young generation and their families.
“Disney’s commitment to nature spans more than six decades, and the Disney Earth Month celebration each April has become an annual tradition that brings Cast, guests and the community members together to positively impact the planet,” said Philippe Gas, general manager of Shanghai Disney Resort. “We are excited to launch the ‘Join the Herd’ campaign this year in partnership with two key organizations to bring awareness to conservation efforts by leveraging Disney resources to inspire real action from our guests, Cast and the community to preserve the beauty of the earth together.”
“Public action is vital to protecting wildlife. Since its inception, China Wildlife Conservation Association has been devoted to ensuring sustainable wildlife conservation in China. Through events like Bird-Loving Week, Wildlife Conservation Week and other educational programs, we aim to raise public awareness on endangered wildlife species. Partnering with Shanghai Disney Resort, we are hoping to promote more engagement to drive a greater awareness among the general public,” said Li Qingwen, general secretary of China Wildlife Conservation Association.
“The illegal trade and global demand for ivory are seriously threatening the survival of elephants. Public awareness and inspiration are key to ending this trade and protecting elephants. We hope that through our partnership with Shanghai Disney Resort, those who have the chance to attend THE LION KING musical and visit the Celebrate Earth – Join the Herd Exhibition will not only enjoy the magnificent show but also be inspired to take action in protecting wildlife,” added Peter Knights, CEO of WildAid.
In its 19th year, THE LION KING remains ascendant as one of the most popular stage musicals in the world. Since its Broadway premiere in 1997, 24 global productions have been seen by more than 85 million people. Having played on every continent except Antarctica, THE LION KING’s worldwide gross exceeds that of any film, Broadway show or other entertainment title in box office history. The first-ever Mandarin production has been running exclusively at the Walt Disney Grand Theatre in Disneytown since its premiere on June 14, 2016. THE LION KING uses dynamic choreography, intricately designed masks and puppets, to transport the audience to the sprawling African Pride Lands full of gazelle, zebra, elephants, and excitement.
From April 20 to May 7, a Join the Herd Wildlife Photography Exhibition will be open to the public in the lobby of the Walt Disney Grand Theater. More than 20 wildlife photographs, along with short films produced by WildAid, will be showcased to help guests better understand the natural habitat of the animals which inspired the characters in THE LION KING. An ivory free pledge wall will also be installed for guests to show their support for the campaign.
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