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 (April 22) 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.
"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."
The Oasis is the Main Street, U.S.A. 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.
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.
Containing the controversial Chester and Hester's Dinorama, Dinoland USA has evolved into a diversified area within the park. Encompassing Finding Nemo: The Musical (which is permanently closed until a "reimagined" version of the show would open in 2022), Dinosaur, TriceraTop Spin, and Primeval Whirl (which is permanently closed), 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.
2021 Concept Art for a new look of Tree of Life's Beacon of Magic at the World's Most Magical Celebration in Walt Disney World's 50th Anniversary celebration.
When Imagineers were designing Animal Kingdom, executives were unconvinced that the park would have the necessary draw to compete against other zoos. To reassure them of the up-close excitement, Imagineers brought a live tiger to their presentation. It turned out that was all the convincing necessary.
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 million 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 park's opening.
Out of the three Walt Disney World Parks, this is the only one to not feature fireworks for the safety of the animals.
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.
This is the only Disney Park where all of its restrooms have doors on their entrances/exits. This is because in the event of an animal escaping its habitat, guests would need to go into the restrooms and close the door for cover.