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Disney's Animal Kingdom

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Disney's Animal Kingdom logo

Disney's Animal Kingdom is one of four theme parks at the Walt Disney World Resort. Built on a theme taking inspiration from the many cultures around the world, circling around a central animal message, the park's icon is the magnificent Tree of Life, into which is carved a massive array of animals, insects and fauna.

Plans for the park were originally released in 1995, and ground-breaking began soon after. The park opened on Earth Day 1998, and is the largest of the four theme parks in the Resort, due to the large expanses of man-made savanna and animal habitats in the north of the park.

Dedication

Welcome to a kingdom of animals... real, ancient and imagined: a kingdom ruled by lions, dinosaurs and dragons; a kingdom of balance, harmony and survival; a kingdom we enter to share in the wonder, gaze at the beauty, thrill at the drama, and learn. - Michael D. Eisner, April 22, 1998

Lands

The Oasis

The Oasis is the Main Street, USA of Animal Kingdom. Guests first enter this land after entering the park. Here, guests are surrounded by animal exhibits featuring birds and other animals as well as realistic rock work until they are greeted by a view of the Tree of Life.

Discovery Island

Located around the Tree of Life, Discovery Island is the main hub of Disney's Animal Kingdom. Many shops and restaurants are found here. Discovery Island is home to It's Tough to Be a Bug! inside the Tree of Life. Walking tours of the gardens surrounding the Tree of Life are also located on Discovery Island. This area was originally named Safari Village.

Africa

Themed around the southwestern continent, the Africa area is home to Pangani Forest Exploration Trails as well as a train to Rafiki's Planet Watch. You can also find the insanely popular Kilimanjaro Safaris in Africa. This area also became the new home of the popular Festival of the Lion King stage show in the summer of 2014, following the closure of Camp Minnie-Mickey.

Rafiki's Planet Watch

Rafiki's Planet Watch is the only land that is not connected to Discovery Island, it is instead connected to Africa. The land is named after Rafiki, a character from the 1994 Disney film The Lion King. Attractions in the land include Wildlife Express Train and walkthrough attractions Habitat Habit!, Conservation Station, and Affection Section.

Asia

Currently famous for the new Expedition Everest roller coaster. Asia also contains the new restaurant The Yak and Yeti. Themed around a town near Tibet, Asia, Asia also contains Kali River Rapids, Flights of Wonder, and the Maharajah Jungle Trek.

DinoLand U.S.A.

Containing the controversial Chester and Hester's Dinorama, Dinoland USA has evolved into a diversified area within the park. Encompassing Finding Nemo: The Musical, DINOSAUR, Triceratops Spin and Primeval Whirl, Dinoland USA contains a wide variety of attractions. Dinorama's theming is often under fire from Disney fans due to its theme of a cheap carnival in what is usually an impeccably-themed complex.

Expansion

Avatar Land

An area that will be themed to the world of Pandora from James Cameron's Avatar films. It is currently slated to open in 2017.

Former Lands

Camp Minnie-Mickey

Camp Minnie-Mickey was the main character greeting area of the park. It was also home of two stage shows: Festival of the Lion King and Pocahontas and her Forest Friends. The area was originally slated to become Beastly Kingdom with the Camp serving as a temporary placeholder, but those plans were never realized. The Camp closed for good in January of 2014 to make way for Avatar Land.

Trivia

  • When Imagineers were designing Animal Kingdom, executives were unconvinved that the park would have the necessary draw to compete against other zoos.  To reasure them of the up-close excitement, Imagineers brought a live tiger to their presentation.  That was all the convincing needed!
  • Over a three-year period, Animal Kingdom came to life on what was a barren cow pasture.  The incredible transformation included laying 60 miles of plumbing, importing 4.4 miliion yards of dirt, creating rivers, and relocating and relocating animals from around the world.  The park was quite an investment- a whopping $800 million dollars!
  • Approximately 1,000 animals live in Animal Kingdom, and more than 150 species have reproduced since the parks opening.
  • Ever wondered where all of your recycled containers go?  Well, quite a few milk jugs ended up in Animal Kingdom.  Through Disney's "green" efforts, the benches in the park are made of the recycled material.
  • It has a game on Facebook.com and unlocks more animals encircling the Tree of Life.

Gallery


Disney's Animal Kingdom
Tree of Life
The Oasis: The Oasis Exhibits

Camp Minnie-Mickey: Festival of the Lion King

Discovery Island: It's Tough to Be a Bug! | Discovery Island Trails

Africa: Kilimanjaro Safaris | Pangani Forest Exploration Trails | Wild Africa Trek

Rafiki's Planet Watch: Wildlife Express Train | Conservation Station | Habitat Habit! | Affection Section

Asia: Expedition Everest | Kali River Rapids | Maharajah Jungle Trek | Flights of Wonder

DinoLand U.S.A.: DINOSAUR | Finding Nemo - The Musical | Fossil Fun Games | Primeval Whirl | The Boneyard Playground | TriceraTop Spin

Resorts: Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge | Disney's Coronado Springs Resort | Disney's All-Star Movies Resort | Disney's All-Star Music Resort | Disney's All-Star Sports Resort

Former Attractions: March of the Art-imals Parade | Pocahontas and her Forest Friends | Discovery River Boats | Lucky the Dinosaur | Tarzan Rocks!

Future Attractions: Avatar Land

Others: Tree of Life


Kingdom Keepers
Kingdom Keepers I Disney After Dark
Books: Kingdom Keepers | Kingdom Keepers I: Disney After Dark | Kingdom Keepers II: Disney at Dawn | Kingdom Keepers III: Disney In Shadow | Kingdom Keepers IV: Power Play | Kingdom Keepers V: Shell Game | Kingdom Keepers VI: Dark Passage

Original Characters: Finn Whitman | Charlene Turner | Terrence Maybeck | Dell Philby | Isabella Angelo | Wayne Kresky | Amanda Lockhart | Jessica Lockhart | Mrs. Whitman | Wanda Alcott | Greg Luowski | Storey Ming | Bess Maybeck | Gladis Philby | Sally Ringwald | Dillard Cole | Hugo Montcliff | Mattie Weaver

Disney Characters: Mickey Mouse | Minnie Mouse | Pluto | Ariel | Mulan | King Triton | Megara | Goofy | Stitch | Lilo | Winnie the Pooh | Piglet | Tigger | Chip 'n' Dale | Elsa | Rapunzel | Timon | Pumbaa

Overtakers: Maleficent | Chernabog | The Queen | Cruella De Vil | Claude Frollo | Ursula | Jafar | Shan Yu | Jack Sparrow | Tia Dalma | Gaston | Prince John | Horned King | Big Bad Wolf | J. Worthington Foulfellow | Gideon | Shenzi, Banzai and Ed | Diablo | Magic Brooms | Green Army Men | Blackbeard

Locations: Magic Kingdom | Epcot | Disney's Hollywood Studios | Disney's Animal Kingdom | Typhoon Lagoon | DisneyQuest | Cinderella Castle | Escher's Keep | It's a Small World | Splash Mountain | The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh | Big Thunder Mountain Railroad | Expedition Everest | Fantasmic! | Voyage of the Little Mermaid | Disney Dream | Walt Disney: One Man's Dream | Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge | Soarin' | Mission: SPACE | Test Track | Wonders of Life | Morocco Pavilion | China Pavilion | France Pavilion | Norway Pavilion | Mexico Pavilion | Disneyland | Jungle Cruise | Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye | Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters

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