Ten Things You May Not Know About Disney’s Animal Kingdom
1. Disney Imagineers spent 10 years designing and more than $800,000,000 building Walt Disney World’s fourth theme park. That’s about twice as much as it cost to open the entireWalt DisneyWorld Resort in 1971!
2.When you get to Disney’s Animal Kingdom early in the morning and are faced with long lines to get in, you can actually walk through the Rainforest Cafe (to the left of the park’s entrance) and use the park entrance at the back of the gift shop.
3. To convince Disney executives that the experience of sharing the same space with animals was enough to entertain guests at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Imagineers brought a 400-pound Bengal tiger into a meeting and had him walk around the conference table. Needless to say, the experience was emotional enough to convince the executives andMichael Eisner himself!
4. About 15 minutes before park opening, you can use your ticket and get into the park.Mickey and the gang will welcome you to the park, and then you can follow their truck into Harambe Village and get one of the first rides on the Kilimanjaro Safaris.
5.The parking lot for Disney’s Animal Kingdom closed just 20 minutes after the park opened on April 22, 1998. Yes, it was full.
6. At more than 500 acres, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is large enough to fit the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in it—combined! Kilimanjaro Safaris alone is more than 100 acres, which is just a little smaller than the entire Hollywood Studios park!
7. To landscape the Animal Kingdom, more than 4 million trees, plants, shrubs, ground covers, vines, epiphytes, and grasses from every continent on Earth—except Antarctica— were planted, with more than 4,000 different species.
8.There are about 27,000,000 gallons of water in Animal Kingdom’s Discovery River, which is enough to fill about 1,800 average-sized backyard swimming pools.
9.The highway sign in Dinoland, U.S.A., is Route 498, which represents the park’s opening in April 1998.
10. If you look closely at the logos for Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you will see a dragon among the animals on the bottom. This was meant to represent the Beastly Kingdom, a planned but never built land that was to have featured mythical animals such as unicorns, dragons, and sea monsters.