Monday, April 22, 2013

Happy Anniversary, Animal Kingdom!

April 22- Earth Day- is the birthday of Disney's Animal Kingdom. At fifteen years old, it's the youngest of the parks in Walt Disney World. I admit it- there was a time, way back, when I was one of those people who thought of Animal Kingdom as a "half day" park. It wasn't until my sister and her family visited and told me stories of all the amazing things I'd been missing that I made a point to take my time here. In the years since then, my love and appreciation for this park has grown immensely.

The majestic Tree of Life

The level of detail is astonishing, beyond any of the other parks. You can stop just about any place in Animal Kingdom, look around you, and experience amazing thematic immersion- details that go unnoticed when you're sprinting between headlining attractions. From the intricate carvings of the iconic Tree of Life, to the foreboding and beautiful Expedition Everest in Asia, to the museum replica Dinosaur preshow, and the markets of Harambe in Africa- the beauty is in the details. The theme of conservation and preservation is rooted in everything, and reminders of our intricate balance abound throughout Animal Kingdom.

A photo celebration of some of my favorite things from this amazing park...

Intricately carved stone slabs at the base of Expedition Everest, honoring the 
living things found throughout the park...

The gorgeous DiVine

The Dino Institute flashes me back to 8th grade science field the best way.

This guy, just because.

Always remember: look up!

Stopping for a photo of a snoozing tiger, on the Maharajah Jungle Trek

A carved stone wall, Maharajah Jungle Trek

There's nothing like coming upon dinosaurs on lush fern-lined pathways...

The coolest bus around...

The river. Were any of you lucky enough to take a boat ride in the early days?

How many animals are carved into the Tree of Life?

A gorilla on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail

Caravan Stage, home to the Flights of Wonder aviary show

The Dawa Bar...a tasty respite from the heat in Harambe.
 Care for a Safari Amber, a glass of Excelsior, or perhaps a Dawa Colada?

A foggy path under the Tree of Life

One of my favorite photo spots

What are some of your favorite spots in Disney's Animal Kingdom? What do you look forward to seeing here as Animal Kingdom enters its next phase? Tell us in the comments...


  1. You have done a wonderful job capturing all those small details that make this park so amazing. I am a lover of those small details, and have visited many times, but you still managed to capture some great perspectives I have never seen or noticed. Just goes to show you how much there is to see- you notice new things every visit.

    I love the off-the-beaten path Tea shop here which serves the best tea in Disney, and makes me feel like I am buying a cup of tea at a roadside shop in Tibet. I also love delicious veggie spring rolls at lovely kiosk, and the secluded pavilion nearby, where you can sit and eat overlooking the water in a quiet spot just a few feet off the busy trails.

  2. Love this! Stopping by from SITS. We are huge Disney fans, and love visiting Animal Kingdom. We often do the safari twice, and never miss breakfast with Donald at Tusker House. I was pleasantly surprised how much our kids (ages 6,4, 2 at the time) enjoyed the musicals/shows on our last visit. My four-year-old was literally on the edge of her seat during the Lion King Circle of Life. It is definitely a "full day park." We've gone twice in the same week on longer visits.

  3. crystal from Faithgracemotherhood.blogspot.comApril 27, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    Found you from SITS! We love Animal Kingdom! I think my favorite things in the park are the fesitval of the lion king, the safari, and Kali River Rapids. Dying to go back! You can check out my disney tab on