Disney's Animal Kingdom is a theme
park at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. It
opened on April 22, 1998. Covering more than 500 acres (2 km²)
in size, it is themed around live animals and extinct dinosaurs.
The park's advertising makes frequent use of
the made-up word "nahtazu", pronounced "not a zoo,"
to emphasize that it offers more than animal displays.
Disney's Animal Kingdom Attractions
The park is made up of seven themed lands.
Oasis - Disney's Animal Kingdom
This area, immediately inside the park's entrance,
contains exhibits of live animals including macaws, anteaters, boars,
and small deer.
Discovery Island - Disney's Animal Kingdom
Formerly Safari Village, this is the center of the
park, the hub from which all other lands can be reached. Its centerpiece
is the "Tree of Life", a fourteen-story-tall tree on which
are carved images of more than three hundred twenty-five animals.
- It's Tough to be a Bug!, a 3-D show (similar to
Honey I Shrunk The Audience), located beneath the tree
Camp Minnie-Mickey - Disney's Animal Kingdom
- Pocahontas and Her Forest Friends, a
show for children about the importance of nature
- Festival of the Lion King, a live show
which guests consistently rate as the best live show on Disney
Africa - Disney's Animal Kingdom
- Kilimanjaro Safaris, a safari in an open-air
vehicle through an area made to look like an African savannah
in which animals roam freely
- Pangani Forest Exploration Trail, displaying
exhibits of birds, fish, gorillas, hippos, and other animals
Rafiki's Planet Watch - Disney's Animal Kingdom
Formerly Conversation Station and still accessible
by train only, this area contains small animals, a petting zoo with
domesticated goats, and exhibits teaching about conservation efforts.
Asia - Disney's Animal Kingdom
- Flights of Wonder, a show of bird behaviors
- Kali River Rapids, a white-water rafting
- Maharajah Jungle Trek, a walking tour
of bats, tigers, exotic birds, tapirs, and other animals
- Expedition Everest, a rollercoaster currently
under construction and not yet open to guests
DinoLand U.S.A. - Disney's Animal Kingdom
- The Boneyard, an area where parents can
relax while kids play on slides and "excavate" fossils
- Tarzan Rocks!, a stage show featuring
rollerskating actors and live rock music
- DINOSAUR (formerly Countdown to Extinction),
a thrill ride similar to Disneyland's "Indiana Jones Adventure"
DinoLand also contains "Dino-Rama!", an area made to
look like a tacky 1950s roadside attraction built on an old parking
lot. Dino-Rama! has been criticized by Disney fans for containing
only "off-the-shelf" attractions (whack-a-mole and other
carnival games) similar to what other parks offer, and for charging
guests money for each play.
- Primeval Whirl, a Spinning Wild Mouse roller
- TriceraTop Spin, a Dumbo ride
Disney's Animal Kingdom Trivia
Disney's Animal Kingdom closes earlier than other Disney
parks, usually at five or six o'clock in the evening. The animals
require a strict schedule to avoid stress, so even on nights when
the park is open later, animals will still usually be brought inside
around five o'clock. Another notable difference from other Disney
parks is that Animal Kingdom does not have a fireworks
show in consideration of skittish animals.
The park was originally intended to contain an area
named Beastly Kingdom, built where Camp Minnie-Mickey is now. Beastly
Kingdom was to contain a dragon rollercoaster and a unicorn hedge
maze. Plans for this area were scrapped when the park's development
budget became tight, and the Imagineers who had been working on
it were laid off and quickly hired by Universal Studios to create
the Dueling Dragons coasters for its Islands of Adventure theme
park. Though Animal Kingdom does not contain any attractions
featuring mythical animals, the theme lives on in the park's logo
(which contains a dragon) and its parking lot (which has a Unicorn
section). Also, dragon sound effects and even an occassional fireball
emanate from the trees nearby the footbridge leading to Camp Minnie-Mickey.