An unofficial Walt Disney World news and trip planning guide!

Animal Kingdom Overview

Disneys Animal Kingdom lodge is the newest of the four main parks, having opened on April 22, 1998. It is also the largest of Disney’s parks, covering over 500 acres due to its large open wildlife safari area.

The park was created out of Walt Disney’s idea to have a park themed around Animal Conservation, and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

The parks feature centerpiece is a 145 foot tall sculpted tree, known as the ‘Tree of Life’. It is a completely artificial structure with a theater built inside it, which hosts the “It’s Tough to be a Bug!” 3D show staring characters from the Disney-Pixar film “A Bug’s Life”.

As a zoological park, much of the focus is on animal conservation. The park runs an active breeding program in an attempt to increase the worldwide population of endangered species, such as Elephants and the White Rhino, which faced near extinction. They have also successfully bread several Giraffe and smaller animals.

The park is home to the Expedition Everest rollercoaster, a ride themed on replica of Mount Everest, in addition to the Kali River Rapids, where you will more than likely get soaked!

Animal Kingdom is the only park to not have an evening fireworks event, this is due to the park housing animals. It closes much earlier than the other parks to ensure the animals are properly looked after.

There are a number of great restaurants at the Animal Kingdom, such as the Rainforest Café, Flame Tree Barbecue and the Yak and Yeti Restaurant.

Future Expansion Plans

In September 2011, Disney announced plans to partner with filmmaker James Cameron to create new attractions for the park based on his Avatar film franchise. The plan is to create a new land in the park specifically for Avatar. Whilst no complete detailed plans or dates have been given, it is expected that work on the new area will begin in 2013.

The park was originally supposed to have a land called ‘Beastly Kingdom’ however budget cuts and close deadlines forced it to be scrapped. It is expected that the land that was to be used for the Beastly Kingdom will be used to create ‘Avatar Land’.

 

Animal Kingdom Lands

Animal Kingdom is split into 7 lands. Each land has a unique theme with attractions, stores and restaurants which compliment the area they are in.

Animal Kingdom Events

Animal Kingdom has 1 regular events, most of which will be shown every day at least once.

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade

A 15 minute daytime parade staring Rafiki, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy and Donal Duck. The parade runs from Africa, through Discovery Island and on to Asia then back through to Africa. Characters ride on African themed floats. Guests are randomly selected to participare in the parade.

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