The Orlando Florida Guide
 
 

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Disney's Animal Kingdom

The sun has risen. The trees have parted. And Disney has opened the gates to a world of adventure celebrating man's enduring love of animals, with Disney's Animal Kingdom. Every path in this fourth Walt Disney World Park leads to thrilling encounters with the real, imaginary, and extinct creatures who rule here. So get ready for a journey into the mysteries, marvels, and thrills of the ever-unfolding story of animals.

The Animal Kingdom Park covers 500 acres. Among it's residents are over 1700 animals representing 250 different species. Great efforts were made to re-create their native habitats. Over 4 million plants, trees, grasses and shrubs were planted to produce this jungle in the midst of Florida.

The majestic Tree of Life is the icon of this park and serves as the center of the hub that leads to the different sections. At 14 stories tall, this amazing showpiece commands your attention. You'll find 325 animals intertwined in it's intricately sculpted trunk and limbs. Located on Discovery Island, the Tree of Life is home to the 3D attraction, "It's Tough To Be A Bug." Put on your "Bugs Eyes" and be prepared to be chilled and thrilled as you experience life from the perspective of an insect.

In Africa you'll find the not to be missed Kilimanjaro Safari. You're transported in open air vehicles on an amazing journey through the African Savannah. Elephants, lions, rhinos, giraffes, gazelles, zebras and a bevy of other animals freely roam the terrain. 

At Camp Minnie-Mickey you'll find character greeting stations. Here you can get those special hugs and photos with your favorite Disney friend. The fabulous Festival of the Lion King show is performed in this section. With an amazing and talented cast, this lively show is considered one of Disney's best. Another show found here is Pocahontas and her Forest Friends. With Grandmother Willow serving as her guide, Pocahontas learns a lesson in protecting the forest and it's many residents.

Dinoland U.S.A. has a carnival atmosphere. You can try your luck at the Fossil Fun Games. At the Boneyard, kids can climb fossils in this prehistoric playground.

The Conservation Station features a glimpse of the veterinary care, research and food preparation that are an integral part of this park. Lessons in conservation are found throughout this section. Kids will love the chance to pet some furry friends in the Affection Section.

Africa

The Animal Kingdom brings you the plains of Africa. The African exhibit at Animal Kingdom features a number of extensive presentations consisting of Kilimanjaro Safaris, Pangani Forest Exploration Trail, and Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade. On the Kilimanjaro Safari, the family gets to see animals first hand out the side of the large safari van. And because you are seeing living animals with their own drives, no two safaris will be the same. Also walk through the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail and see exotic birds, hippos, and a close meeting with a group of gorillas. As night falls, join the fun of Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade as it strolls down the street in a musical extravaganza starring Mickey Mouse, Donald and Goofy, Rafiki, and Minnie Mouse.

Rafiki's Planet Watch

Rafiki's Planet Watch has four distinct attractions to inform guests about the environment and educate everyone while still being entertaining. The Wildlife Express Train, is a rustic African train, that brings guests to through the savannah and gives an intimate tour of Animal Kingdom's inner workings. After a short five minutes, the train leads into the conservation center. Here, Disney promotes wildlife conservation awareness by providing interactive games, animal experiences, and fun shows. Just as fun as the Habitat Habit, which presents the audience with close encounters with cotton-top tamarins, is the Affection section that lets children pet several animals such as goats, pigs, sheep, llamas, chicken, and more.

Asia

Like Rafiki's Planet, the Asia Exhibit, has four attractions all designed to expose you to the extremes of the area. Try the Kali River Rapids, Expedition Everest - Legend of the Forbidden Mountain, Maharajah Jungle Trek, and Flights of Wonder. The Kali River Rapids puts you in a raft soaring down a turbulent river through a rain forest and away from a blistering inferno. You're guaranteed to get wet. On Expedition Everest, passengers peer over the edge of a cliff, on a train chugging at an otherworldly pace and then, when you think it's over... the train kicks into reverse for a blind backtrack at the same speed. If you want to see the animals of Asia, go on the Maharajah Jungle Trek and get close to Komodo Dragons and tapirs, and even closer to the present tigers. Last of the Asian attractions, is the Flights of Wonder show. Here, on stage, several birds are presented to the audience and a lesson about how fragile our beautiful environment is.

Dinoland U.S.A

Dinoland is your stop for the big lizards from the past. Dinoland has an impressive array of Dinosaur exhibits to shock and awe you. The Boneyard, Fossil Fun Games, Dino-Sue, Kids Discovery Clubs, Cretaceous Trail, and TriceraTop Spin are just a few you have to see. In the Boneyard, children crawl through the sand, uncover fossils, and live a dream of being a paleontologist. Watch as they discover all sorts of massive dinosaurs. At the Fossil Fun Games, you can participate in all the classic carnival games that made an amusement park fun but with the twist of a Dinosaur theme. Dino-Sue is an exact replica of the most complete T-rex fossil ever discovered. Feel free to take pictures with this four-story long giantess. Traverse Cretaceous Trail and learn about the creatures that outlived the familiar dinosaurs. From plants to the Pachychephalosaur, everything is brought to life. And for a little thrill, ride the TriceraTop Spin and whirl around in your own Triceratops. But be advised, Triceratops never actually flew.

Oasis

The Oasis is all about the plant-life of the world. This lush garden is filled to the brim with amazing flowers, trees, and plants to captivate your eyes. The bright streams are almost completely hidden by the sheer magnitude of the flora. Gorgeous waterfalls cap the heads of the streams giving the area an immense amount of life.

Camp Minnie-Mickey

Pocahontas and Her Forest Friends, Festival of the Lion King, Camp Minnie-Mickey Greeting Trails. Live action, and a stage show, Pocahontas sings and speaks with many animals as she fulfills a quest from Grandmother Willow. Everyone, from little to big, will enjoy the musical live presentation of the famous film. During the Festival of the Lion King, spectators bare witness to a glorious parade featuring Simba, Timon, and Pumbaa as well as countless specialty acts and performances. And close out your trip to the camp by visitting you favorite Disney characters in person at the Minnie-Mickey Greetings Trail. Pose for pictures and get a hug from the group.

Discovery Island

The Tree of Life, at the center of Animal Kingdom, is an amazing work of art. Over a dozen artists were employed to complete this 14-story sculpture with its 50-foot wide base. Not only is it immense, but the tree is also covered in 325 animal carvings to bring out the amazing detail put into the design. It's Tough to be a Bug is a 3-D show that puts you behind the eyes of an insect. Laugh, and get scared by the sillyness followed by the presence of spiders and birds. Life as a bug is tough, and you will definitely want to know why so grab a seat and enjoy. Discover Island Trails is the great attraction that puts you close enough to animals to see their pupils. Get close and see lemurs, Galapagos tortoises, and cotton-top tamarin monkeys. Animals think for themselves and, often to your delight, cause sillyness to occur.