Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Disney's Animal Kingdom
- Animal Kingdom redirects here. For the biological Kingdom Animalia, see Animal.
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.
The park is made up of seven themed lands.
This area, immediately inside the park's entrance, contains exhibits of live animals including macaws, anteaters, babirusa, and muntjac.
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 fake 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
- Animals located on Discovery Island include lemurs, flamingos, otters, kangaroos, storks, cranes, and deer.
- 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 property
- 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, okapi, colobus monkeys, and naked mole rats.
Rafiki's Planet Watch
Formerly Conservation Station and still accessible by train only, this area 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.
- Flights of Wonder, a show of bird behaviors
- Kali River Rapids, a white-water rafting ride
- Maharajah Jungle Trek, a walking tour of Komodo dragons, bats, tigers, exotic birds, tapirs, and other animals
- Expedition Everest, a rollercoaster currently under construction and not yet open to guests
- 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"
- Animals located in Dinoland include an American Crocodile, Abdim's Storks, and Asian brown tortoises.
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 coaster
- TriceraTop Spin, a Dumbo ride
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 Beastlie Kingdome, built where Camp Minnie-Mickey is now. Beastlie Kingdome 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 occasional fireball emanate from the trees nearby the footbridge leading to Camp Minnie-Mickey.
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