Animal KingdomThe Parks

8 Facts and Secrets About Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is an amazing theme park, but it really is so much more than just your typical theme park.  There are so many amazing attractions, details, and secrets to the park that it would be hard to catch them all!  Here are eight great facts and secrets about Disney’s Animal Kingdom:


8 – Kilimanjaro Safaris is bigger than the entire Magic Kingdom.

If you consider the size of just the Kilimanjaro Safari attraction at Animal Kingdom, the entire Magic Kingdom is smaller than just this one attraction. The safari sits at 110 acres while the Magic Kingdom is around 107 acres in size. This only takes into consideration this one attraction and doesn’t include the entirety of the rest of the park!

7 – Some of the bird habitats aren’t actually laying eggs.

The caretakers have actually given some of the older birds in the park fake eggs to sit on. It helps to encourage the birds that they don’t need to lay eggs so that they aren’t continuing to grow and hatch baby birds. They younger birds still get to learn from these older birds on how to keep a nest, so it is an excellent way for nature to still take over for these bird species.

Ostridge Eggs on the Safari

6 – The park was originally supposed to have a Beastly Kingdom.

If you pay attention to the Animal Kingdom sign by the buses as you are walking up to the main entrance, you will notice that there is a dragon on the sign. You will also notice that there are no dragons in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. So now you may be wondering why that is. When the park was initially designed and planned, the Imagineers wanted to include land within the park that would be called Beastly Kingdom. It would feature dragons and other mythical creatures from the animal world. The land has never come to fruition, but who knows what the future of the park might hold.

5 – The park is home to one of the most expensive attractions in the world.

Expedition Everest is a roller coaster type of attraction in the Asia area within the park. The attraction took over $100 million to build. That is absolutely crazy to think of a single attraction costing so much money. The attraction holds the record for the most expensive roller coaster in the world. The roller coaster that comes in second place is under $60 million, so just over half the price that it cost to build Expedition Everest!


4 – No plastic straws or balloons are allowed at the park.

Animal safety comes first to Walt Disney World, so because of that, these items aren’t sold at the park. The straws that are given with drinks have fully biodegradable paper straws. Balloons aren’t sold at the park and also aren’t allowed to be brought into the park if they are purchased at a different park. You will have to check in your balloon at the front of the park and be allowed to pick it back up when you leave. They take this very seriously, and there are no exceptions.

3 – The Tree of Life is hand carved.

If you look at the trunk of the tree, you will notice a ton of animals carved into the base of the tree. There are 325 animal carvings, to be exact. Not only that, each of the animals were hand-carved in the plaster by the various sculptors. The plaster would harden between 6 to 10 hours, so the sculptors had to work quickly and in different sections at a time to accomplish the task.

Owl Carving-Tree of Life

2 – You can go and see Sue.

You should head on over to Dinoland, USA, in the park. There you will find a replica of a T-Rex skeleton. The replica was modeled from the most complete T-Rex skeleton that has been discovered. The real skeleton is on display at a museum in Chicago, but the replica is definitely the next best thing! It is really cool to know that it is precisely what a real dinosaur skeleton looks like. Disney considers every detail when constructing new parks and attractions, and this is definitely one of those extras that make Disney one of the most amazing places to visit.

1 – Alien landscapes and plants

When Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests journey to the far-away world of Pandora as probable eco-tourists, they encounter floating mountains, a glowing, bioluminescent rainforest, and other wonders of an alien world. The iconic floating mountains in the Valley of Mo’ara – there are 22 – peak at about 130 feet above the valley floor. A team of more than 60 artisans from the U.S., Peru, France, Portugal, Japan, and Ireland contributed to creating the art-scape of the floating mountains. It wouldn’t be an alien planet without bizarre plant life. On Pandora, a diverse ecosystem is rebalancing as a variety of colorful plant life flourishes. Plants have names like Puffball Tree, Dapophet, Vein Pod, Scorpion Thistle, Episoth, and Flaska Reclinata. Many plants are bioluminescent, with internal lighting or material that makes them glow. Plants are interactive. Guests can see and sense the energy of the plants that move in waves. More than 250 varieties of live trees, shrubs, and epiphytes mingle with the Pandoran The Disney horticulture team planted more than 500 trees and nearly 10,000 shrubs across the Pandoran landscape.

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Hi! I’m Kristin, and I am a wife and mother of 2 young boys (ages 5 and 2). I first fell in love with Disney when my mom took me when I was a child. After that I proceeded to go to WDW for my senior trip with my friends, and I completed a year in the Disney College Program (working in merchandise at Mickey’s of Hollywood at Disney’s Hollywood Studios). I shared my love of Disney with my now husband and sucked him in. We vacationed at Walt Disney World 2-3 times per year. We decided that what maked more sense was just moving to Orlando so that we could live the Disney life and be here for all of our favorite events and seasons every year. That is exactly what we did! Now we are at the parks a couple times a week and go for most events and major holidays. We can’t get enough and get to experience Disney in a whole different way.
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