• Thursday, January 21, 2021
10 Things You Might Not Know About Disney’s Animal Kingdom

10 Things You Might Not Know About Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened as the fourth theme park at Walt Disney World Resort on April 22, 1998. Themed and dedicated to the natural environment and animal conservation, Animal Kingdom is the most unique of the parks because it is equal parts theme park and zoo. In honor of the park (which was originally planned to be named “Disney’s Wild Animal Kingdom”) celebrating its 22nd birthday, check out these crazy facts about the youngest Walt Disney World location!

  1. Before it was called Discovery Island, the “central hub” of the park was called Safari Village. At the time, there was a separate theme park called Discovery Island. Safari Village was renamed in December 2000, after Discovery Island closed.
  2. The Tree of Life isn’t just an awesome landmark in the middle of the Disney’s Animal Kingdom, it also houses one of the park’s attractions inside! The Bug’s Life inspired interactive show “It’s Tough to be a Bug” takes place inside the giant tree.
  3. Pandora — The World of Avatar was the first move Disney World made towards creating completely immersive experiences. The new land transports guests to the Mo’ara Valley and allows you to experience amazing Avatar moments such as flying on the back of a banshee in Flight of the Banshees and take a calming bioluminescant journey through the rainforest on the Na’vi River Journey.
  4. The first park expansion at Disney’s Animal Kingdom was the addition of Anadapur, the Asia inspired area of the park. This section is home to the park’s biggest thrills including Expedition Everest and Kalie River Rapids. Other attractions in that area are the Majarah Jungle Trek and the new show UP! A Great Bird Adventure.
  5. Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the largest park at Walt Disney World Resort with a whopping 580 acres of land on the property.
  6. When the DINOSAUR attraction opened in 1998, it was originally titled “Countdown to Extinction”. The name was changed in May 2000 in order to go along with the premiere of a new movie with the same title. The actual ride went primarily unchanged, with the exception of a few storyline and narration changes. The ride vehicles are still called “CTX Time Rovers”.
  7. Expedition Everest is the tallest attraction in all of Disney World, standing at just under 200 feet tall. Attractions over 200 feet tall require warning lights on top because they become a hazard to airplanes flying in the same range!
  8. The Rivers of Light nighttime spectacular features over 100 floating lanterns on the water during the show. The 15-minute show is one of the most unique evening experiences at Disney World, combining water, sound, and light to tell the story of the park.
  9. Part of the park’s original plan was to include an entire “Beastly Kingdom” area dedicated to mythological creatures like dragons and unicorns. The Imagineers who were working on the Beastly Kingdom were let go when the plans were scrapped, and Universal Orlando immediately made moves to hire that team to work on the Dueling Dragons roller coaster (which later became Dragon Challenge in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter). The area that was meant to be the Beastly Kingdom eventually became Pandora — The World of Avatar
  10. Some of the older birds in the park are actually given fake eggs to sit on. This helps to keep repopulation in control while still helping young birds learn how to keep a nest and grow and hatch new baby birds.

Keep the party going with a visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom! You can find great deals on Disney World tickets on tickets2you.com!

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