Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened in Walt Disney World on April 22, 1998.
And even though we can’t be in the park to celebrate its 22nd Anniversary, we still think it fitting to celebrate all that Animal Kingdom has given Disney World guests throughout the years.
And this year brings even more significance as April 22nd is also the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day and the 25th Anniversary of Disney’s Conservation Fund. So we hope you’ll join us for a wild time today as we CELEBRATE Disney’s uniquely beautiful –and truly MAGICAL — Animal Kingdom!
We’d like to bring you around the park with some of our favorite videos and photos so you can tour along with us as you please.
The lush greenery that envelopes guests as they enter the park sets the scene for a one-of-a-kind adventure.
After strolling through The Oasis, the pathway to Discovery Island is revealed — and with it, the first views of the park’s stunning icon, the Tree of Life.
It’s beautiful by day…
… as the sun sets…
… and at NIGHT!
You can see more of Discovery Island in our Food Tour below.
We’ll start with the village of Harambe in Africa, which is home to many of the park’s star residents — the ANIMALS! — at Kilimanjaro Safaris.
Some of our favorite Disney pals at Tusker House Restaurant are all geared up for a safari of their own!
There’s so much to see…
And so much to TASTE!
Where to next?
Rafiki’s Planet Watch
From here, you can board a train and head to Conservation Station for Rafiki’s Planet Watch where you can learn about how the park cares for the animals…
… and even draw a Disney pal at The Animation Experience!
Once the train brings you back to the village of Harambe, you can set off towards Asia.
Asia is where you can face THE YETI on Expedition: Everest, enjoy UP! A Great Bird Adventure Show, or even Find Nemo in one the park’s musical productions!
Or have a friend join you for your meal at Yak & Yeti Local Foods Café 😉 .
Speaking of dining while in Asia…
It’s beautiful, isn’t it?
And just when you think you understand what Animal Kingdom is all about…
… you’ll encounter the UNEXPECTED at the roadside attraction street carnival that is DinoLand U.S.A.!
Let’s not forget to say “Hi” to a few friends while we’re here…
Be warned, though… if you see Chip and Dale (donning their Dino costumes, of course) you have to be careful… they might steal your DinoLand FOOD!
Of course, we can’t forget the truly amazing addition of Pandora — The World of AVATAR, which opened in May of 2017.
This new land delivered the headliner Avatar Flight of Passage attraction along with the lovely Na’vi River Journey, new eateries like Satu’li Canteen, Pongu Pongu, and more — all in a setting like no other.
More Magic at Animal Kingdom
Nothing reaches the age of 22 without some change along the way, but we’ve got some terrific memories of some Animal Kingdom adventures from the past, including Camp Minnie-Mickey and Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade.
But in addition to Pandora, other noteworthy arrivals over the past few years have included the debut of the evening production, Rivers of Light, in 2017.
This show was joined by the Tree of Life Awakenings, and together they brought NIGHT LIFE to Animal Kingdom!
And 2019 brought a brand new Holiday Celebration to the park, ringing in the season in a way only Animal Kingdom can!
It’s also true that the above only scratches the surface of all the adventure that awaits us in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. And for that, we say “Cheers!”
And once again, we say…
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, ANIMAL KINGDOM!
Thank you for 22 magical years… and we truly CAN’T WAIT to see you again soon!
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What is your favorite thing about Animal Kingdom? Please let us know with a comment!