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 trips...in 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...