It’s not every day you are able to sit down with someone as passionate about their job as Greg Peccie, Animal Operations Manager at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Not only does Greg enjoy what he does, but he is amazing at “selling it” to others. How so? His personality and knowledge get others excited too.
According to Mr. Peccie, Kidani Village is an experience in itself while visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom. And he is not kidding. There is actually much more to see and do then you would imagine. They have 4 savannas, 46 acres, over 30 species that roam free and over 250 individuals at Kidani Village.
You can even work to identify each species with a Wildlife Field Guide (found in your Guest Room) and learn more about African animals and ecosystems in fun programs led by Animal Specialists. In fact, the animal specialists believe Kidani Village at Animal Kingdom is a “zoo first, then resort.” This is definitely seen as you travel through the property.
So what feeds Greg Peccie’s love for animals? He actually said it began as a child. His mother always knew that he would choose a career involving animals because of his admiration for them early on. Growing up in North Carolina, his love for the outdoors blossomed with the unique geography of the state. After graduating from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2004 with a degree in Biology, Greg set out with a desire to make a difference.
His zoo career stared with an internship at White Oak Conservation Center in north Florida working with the carnivore department. That internship eventually turned into a full time job with the Hoofstock crew where he discovered his true passion for the antelope, giraffe, zebras, and rhinos. Greg spent a short time at the Fort Worth Zoo here in Texas before moving to Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 1998. Once at Disney, he began to work with the cheetah and white rhino team.
That undying passion for the antelope, gazelles, giraffe, and zebra brought Greg Peccie to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge as a member of the opening team in 2000. He eventually took over as the Animal Operations Manager in 2006… the same time that Walt Disney Imagineering and Disney Vacation Club began rolling out plans for Kidani Village. This unique opportunity allowed him to be a part of the opening of both grand openings for Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Today, as the Animal Operations Manager, Greg is responsible for the day to day operations of the animals around the resort as well as serving on the resort Executive Committee as a business leader. And, when you dine at Sanna within Kidani Village, you can request an animal specialist to dine with you… and may very well see Greg Peccie at your table!
Ready to feed your passion for monkeys? Be sure to swing into theaters to watch Disneynature’s Monkey Kingdom this week!