Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the fourth Disney World’s theme park built in the central Florida area, however, it is the largest within the Walt Disney World theme parks in the entire world. The park is home to more than 2,000 animals across 30 species, covers 500 acres of land and it is divided into 6 distinct areas: Oasis, Discovery Island, Africa, Rafiki’s Planet Watch, Asia and DinoLand. During our recent visit to the Orlando area for the #ZootopiaEvent, we had the opportunity to visit the park and to learn more about what the park is doing to preserve wild life across the world.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom:
Preserving Our Wild World in the Heart of Florida!
As you make your way through the park, you will find authentic African and Asian-themed buildings and areas. Which takes me to, which area of the park should you visit first? I highly suggest to make your way to the tree of life (first picture above). This impressive tree is 145 feet tall and 50 feet wide at its base. The Tree of Life is carved with 300 meticulously detailed animal carvings throughout its massive trunk, gnarling roots and outstretched branches. It is simply, stunning! When you are done admiring the tree, make your way to the It’s Tough to be a Bug 3D film. Here you will see the world from a bug’s point of view with a little help from Flik inside the great Tree of Life. It is simply, too cute to be missed!
Harambe Wildlife Reserve is a sanctuary dedicated to the protection of African animals.
If you ever wonder what it is to visit Africa, I highly suggest taking the Kilimanjaro Safaris tour. Here, you will ride off in an open-air vehicle (picture below) for a tour of a lush African savanna, home to real-live exotic animals. During the tour, you will have the opportunity to glimpse at real African animals in their natural habitats. The expedition takes about 18-minute to tour the 110- acre Harambe Wildlife Reserve.
Traipse along a picturesque twisting path amid a lush garden gateway and make your way to the rendezvous point of Kilimanjaro Safaris expedition, the touring company for your adventure into the wilds. Featuring picturesque open plains, shady forest landscapes and rocky wetlands, the 110-acre Harambe Wildlife Reserve is a spectacular sanctuary dedicated to the protection of African animals.
So, bring your camera and keep your eyes open to seeing wildlife along the trail. While there is no guarantee you will see all the animals in the preserve, I did get to see plenty. See some of the animals I saw while I took the Kilimanjaro Safaris expedition below.
As I said before, during our recent visit I was able to learn more about how Disney’s Animal Kingdom park is helping preserve our wildlife. After taking a short ride in the wildlife express train, we were invited to take a backstage VIP tour. Although I cannot share pics from our private tour, I can share with you a few fun facts about how Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Here we go:
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, meaning they have met or exceeded the standards in education, conservation, and research.
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom is NOT a rescue center, they are a rehabilitation center for all wild life.
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom handles over 45-tons of restaurant quality food for their wild life residents.
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom conservation funds sends vets to other countries to help with sick and injured animals.
Not only did we learned about the facts stated above, we also got to learn more about the fascinating lives of the elephants that call Disney’s Animal Kingdom home:
- All the elephants that reside at Animal Kingdom know their names.
- Did you know that an elephant’s trunk has more muscles that a human body does? It is true! Scientists estimate that on average, an elephant’s trunk has between 40,000 to 100,000 muscles.
- If you are wondering how old are the elephants at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The answer is: the youngest elephant is age 4 and their oldest is age 32.
- Interesting fact: To help keep elephant’s genes diverse, zoos and conservation associations have a stud book keeper.
And one last thing, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is not only about conservation, they are also about resource maintainability. The benches and chairs, like the ones pictured about, are actually made from recycled milk jugs. Isn’t that amazing? I think so!
Continuing with what you should see at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. You should definitely stop by the Conservation Station at Rafiki’s Planet Watch and learn about the research that went on to create the world of Zootopia. After you and your kids learn about the world of Zootopia, take a few minutes and take pictures with your favorite Disney characters.
Festival of the Lion King
Finally, after al the sightseeing, experience of seeing all the wildlife, you must see the live shows entertainment going on at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Shows like, Festival of the Lion King. Festival of the Lion King is a broadway-style show that celebrates Simba, the lion cub who would be king. And Finding Nemo – The Musical, this adventure makes a splash with spectacular music and stunning theatrical puppetry. And for those of you thinking about visiting the park later this Spring and Summer, Disney’s Animal Kingdom has a special treat for all of us with Rivers of Light Nighttime Spectacular. Thanks to Disney’s Animal Kingdom for hosting us, cannot wait to visit the park again later this year.
Disclosure: I was be provided with an all-expense paid trip to Orlando Florida to attend the #ZootopiaEvent. No additional compensation was received.