From the Disney Parks Blog and written by: Scott Terrell

Yesterday was National Pumpkin Day, and our “chefs” at Walt Disney World Resort’s Animal
Nutrition Center celebrated by preparing a delicious and nutritious snack for a group of giant
Galápagos tortoises at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park!

Meet Phantom, Dracula, Mummy, Frankenstein, Wolfman and Creature. These “monsters” of Discovery Island are herbivores who eat a variety of plants and fruits, and they absolutely love chowing down on pumpkins carved by their keepers and delivered by the Animal Nutrition team.


Disney animal nutritionists prepare customized diets every day for more than 5,000 birds, mammals, reptiles and fish across Walt Disney World to ensure the highest quality nutrition as part of our overall animal wellness program. From mighty hippos to the tiniest spiders, cast members at the Animal Nutrition Center serve as personal chefs for the animals in our care and handle more than 10,000 pounds of high-quality food daily — this is about the same weight as an adult African elephant!

And they’re getting into the Halloween spirit by delivering over 200 pumpkins to animals across Walt Disney World to ensure a wide variety of species get to participate in the festive fall fun.

Disney animal nutritionist with a pumpkin for animals at Disney World

Nutritionally, pumpkins provide many vitamins and minerals, like beta-carotene, potassium and vitamin C to help boost the immune system. They’re also loaded with fiber for good digestive health!

And while not every animal will eat the pumpkins, they are put to good use in many other ways. Some keepers add them to habitats as festive decorations. Some animals will play with them, and others sometimes smash them. It’s all part of our enrichment program that encourages natural behaviors. Enrichment provides opportunities for animals to use their instincts while exploring their environment.

If you’re visiting Walt Disney World this week, be on the lookout and you just may spot some animals snacking on pumpkins throughout the resort. From Disney’s Animal Kingdom to The Seas with Nemo & Friends at EPCOT, and even resorts like Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, pumpkins will be all around!

Check the Disney Parks Blog soon for more spooky fun and follow Dr. Mark on Instagram and Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment on Facebook for all the latest news on Disney animals.

Rehabilitated Sea Turtles Make a Celebrated Return Home

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