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DISNEY'S ANIMAL KINGDOM
Monday, 15 September 2008
Roar! The Lion Moves in With the Mouse

"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 Eisner April 22,1998
     Walt Disney Worlds 4th Theme Park is my favorite theme park. Animal Kingdom opened on April 22 1998. The park is divided into 7 themed areas.
The Oasis
Upon entering the park, guests must walk through this area to get into any of the other lands in the park. The Oasis consists of different paths leading to Discovery Island which walk guests past animal habitats such as ducks,turtles,fish,wallabies,spoonbills and more.  Also located at the entrance of the Oasis is a Rainforest Cafe.

Discovery Island

 
A closeup view of the Tree of Life
A closeup view of the Tree of Life

The main land in the park (previously known as Safari Village), Discovery Island is the center island in the park and has paths to all six of the other lands. It is also the home of The Tree of Life.

Here you'll see kangaroos, flamingos, axis deer, West African crowned cranes, vultures, porcupines, lemurs, macaws, ducks, Galapagos tortoise, small-clawed otters, saddlebill storks, and more.

  • It's Tough to be a Bug - At the roots of The Tree of Life, Flik from A Bug's Life shows a 3-D Film about bugs and their daily lives.

Camp Minnie-Mickey

This land is the home of two shows and four character greeting spots where guests can meet characters such as Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and others.

  • Pocahontas and Her Forest Friends - A children's show with live animals based on the film Pocahontas. The show will conclude its run on September 27, 2008, with no replacement immediately known.
  • Festival of the Lion King - A high-energy musical performance featuring songs and characters from the film The Lion King.

 Africa

Set in the fictional village of Harambe, the Africa section contains a number of animal adventures.

  • Kilimanjaro Safaris - Guests climb aboard an open-sided safari vehicle for an expedition seeing many African animals. Animals from Africa freely roam through acres of savanna, rivers and rocky hills. The guests can see giraffes, hippos, elephants, rhinoceroses, lions and other animals, while later embarking on a mission to stop some ivory poachers.
The Africa area features an exhibit of Silverback Gorillas
The Africa area features an exhibit of Silverback Gorillas
  • Pangani Forest Exploration Trail - The guest treks into the forest in search of gorillas. Along the way, the guest goes on a nature walk through a verdant African valley filled with Nile hippos, birds and fish and enters an exotic bird aviary, a research centre with naked mole-rats and various rodents and reptiles, an underwater hippo viewing area, a savanna overlook, and has an intimate up-close encounter with a magnificent troop of gorillas.

Rafiki's Planet Watch

Accessible by train only, this area, hosted by Rafiki, contains small animals, a petting zoo with domesticated goats, and exhibits teaching about conservation efforts. The veterinary hospital's viewing window allows guests to watch medical procedures conducted by the veterinary staff.

  • Wildlife Express Train - Guests ride the rails on this rustic African train that travels the savanna for a behind-the-scenes journey through several animal housing and care areas of the park. On the return trip, the train passes near the Asia section of the park.
  • Habitat Habit! - Guests see endangered cottontop tamarin primates up close, trekking down an adventure trail and learning of novel ways to help animals.
  • Affection Section - This attraction is an animal encounter with goats, sheep, pigs, chicken, llamas and more. Some of the park's friendlier animals make special guest appearances.
  • Conservation Station - At the trail's end, guests can visit the center of Disney efforts to promote wildlife conservation awareness. Inside are a variety of wild animal experiences, interactive games and shows.

Asia

Asia was the first expansion land added to Disney's Animal Kingdom, first opening in 1999. Like Africa, the section's attractions are part of a fictional village, Anandapur.

The mountains of Expedition: Everest.
The mountains of Expedition: Everest.
  • Flights of Wonder - Guests join a trainee bird handler and a wayward tour guide who teach each other about the delicate state of nature and see birds such as vultures, hawks, colorful macaws, crowned crane and the American Bald Eagle up close.
  • Kali River Rapids - Guests raft down the turbulent waters of the Chakranadi River aboard a 12-passenger raft through an enchanting Asian rain forest. Guests ride past a blazing inferno, a rushing waterfall, and geysers. Guests will get wet on this ride.
  • Maharajah Jungle Trek - Guests trek into the lush forests for an unparalleled adventure into the wilds of the mystical Anandapur Royal Forest of Southeast Asia and respective ancient ruins, having up-close encounters with Komodo dragons, fruit bats (the largest species in the world), tapirs, birds, and tigers.
  • Expedition Everest - In this runaway-train roller coaster, Himalayan trekkers board refurbished steam trains on their way to the base camp of Mount Everest, using a shortcut that passes through the "forbidden mountain" guarded by the legendary yeti.

DinoLand U.S.A..

  • The Boneyard - Guests slip, slide, slither and slosh through a play maze filled with fun fossils. "Exploration. Excavation. Exultation." is the motto of the Dino Institute and nowhere is this truer than here. Would-be paleontologists young and old play amidst a world of dinosaur discoveries like a Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus rex, and Wooly Mammoth.
  • DINOSAUR (formerly Countdown to Extinction) - Guests whoosh back to primeval times for a wild ride of an expedition to complete a dangerous mission. Guests have mere minutes to rescue a stray dinosaur, and must beware the hungry clutches of one large meat-eating predator and the devastating power of an impending asteroid.
  • Animals located in Dinoland include an American Crocodile, Abdim's Storks, and Asian brown tortoises.
  • Finding Nemo - The Musical - Officially the park's newest attraction, the show debuted on November 12, 2006. This original stage show was developed by Walt Disney Creative Entertainment and tells the story of the Disney/Pixar film Finding Nemo with new songs by Avenue Q composer Bobby Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, and puppets designed by Michael Curry. The production combines dancers, acrobats, animated backdrops, and theatrical puppetry. Marlin, Dory and Nemo are depicted by actors holding large puppets while other characters are portrayed through a variety of puppetry styles. The show performs several times daily.
  • Dino-Sue - Disney's oldest "cast" member, clocking in at 67 million years, Dino-Sue is a painstaking reproduction of the largest, most complete T-Rex ever found. The length of a four-story building, the mighty T-Rex is available to pose for pictures with guests at the Dino institute.
  • Cretaceous Trail - Cretaceous Trail is a walking tour amidst plant and animal survivors that have outlived the dinosaurs. Guests play with a Pachycephalosaurus, encounter living animal species that have survived since prehistoric times and discover fossil dig sites.

Chester and Hester's Dino-Rama - part of Dinoland U.S.A., this portion is an area made to look like a tacky 1950s roadside attraction built on an old parking lot.

  • Primeval Whirl - Guests ride a spinning time-machine themed roller-coaster with sudden dips, hairpin turns and tight curves. Each colorful car spins independently.
  • TriceraTop Spin - Guests ride a whirling, twirling, four-person flying dinosaur.

Posted by tony609 at 2:24 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 15 September 2008 2:45 PM EDT

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