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15 Things You Might Not Know About Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is one of the most beautiful parks in Walt Disney World and it celebrates Earth and the various environments that it is home to through several distinct areas. Guests can feel as though they have gone on an African safari, explore a moon known as Pandora, been shrunken down to the size of a bug, conquered the Forbidden Mountain in Asia, and gone back in time to visit the dinosaurs all in one day in the park. With so many things to see and experience, there are plenty of details throughout the park that guests might not notice. Here are fifteen things that guests might not know about Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

15. A Funny Poster –

It’s Tough To Be A Bug is a 3D entertaining show in the roots of the Tree of Life where guests are shrunken down to the size of a bug. While waiting in the lobby of the theater, guests can check out posters from previous performances which all have an interesting insect twist! One of the posters is advertising the production of Beauty and the Bees!

14. Tree of Oil –

When constructing the massive Tree of Life as the icon of the park, Imagineers were faced with the dilemma of coming up with a structure strong enough to support the tree. Imagineers finally were able to purchase an oil rig which was installed as the base and main support and many guests would never guess that an oil rig is hidden inside the Tree of Life!

13. Dinosaur’s Pipes –

Dinosaur is one of the most thrilling attractions in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, but many guests might not notice one silly detail in the loading area. While walking down the set of stairs, guests pass under a trio of pipes that are red, yellow, and white and have chemical formulas written on the side. These pipes are remnants from the days where the attraction was sponsored by McDonalds and represent ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise.

12. Kilimanjaro’s Hidden Mickey –

While traveling through the Harambe Reserve on Kilimanjaro Safaris, guests can come face to face with animals like giraffes, lions, and zebras. What many guests might not notice while passing by an island covered with flamingos is one of the largest Hidden Mickeys in Walt Disney World. The island itself is shaped like a classic Hidden Mickey and can be hard to spot due to the exotic birds.

11. Kilimanjaro’s Size –

Another interesting fact about Kilimanjaro Safaris is its size. While the Reserve can feel large at times, it is actually big enough that the entire Magic Kingdom can fit inside of it!

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10. Interesting Straws –

Guests who purchase drinks while in Disney’s Animal Kingdom might not realize that the straws served are environmentally friendly. No plastic is used as it can be dangerous for the animals, so degradable straws are distributed to be on the safe side.

9. Recycled Benches –

The benches throughout the park might look normal, but guests might not realize that they are also environmentally friendly. Many are comprised of recycled plastics like milk cartons!

8. Meaningful Birthday –

While the message of the park is to be good to nature and to preserve and celebrate it, guests might not know that the park’s birthday is also on April 22nd or Earth Day!

7. Harambe’s Meaning –

Many guests of Walt Disney World recognize the word Harambe as it is the name of the fictional village in the Africa section of the park. However many might not realize that the word is actually Swahili for “working together.”

6. Backstage Glimpses –

While Kilimanjaro Safaris is one of the most popular attractions in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, guests might not realize that they can have an even more in depth look behind the scenes and on the savannah by signing up for the Wild Africa Trek. This backstage tour can be costly, but it offers guests the chance for a private tour in the reserve and a meal at the outpost overlooking the savannah.

5. Kali’s Tiger –

Guests brave enough to risk getting soaked on Kali River Rapids can spot an interesting and beautifully hidden animal while moving along the river. As the raft passes by a large formation of rocks with a flowing waterfall, guests can look closely to spot a tiger created by the different rocks.

4. Everest’s Outline –

There is a great photo opportunity along the walkway between Kali River Rapids and Expedition Everest where there is a small temple with the massive mountain range looming in the background. While many guests stop for photos in this particular spot, they might not realize that the small temple actually is crafted to match the outline of the mountain range behind it!

3. DiVine –

This spectacular performer can usually be found on the pathway between Africa and Asia but can be hard to spot since she is decked out in intricate makeup and costuming to look as though she is a plant that has come to life. Many guests might not ever notice DiVine since she blends in so flawlessly with her environment.

2. Second Entrance –

While there is the main gate at the front of the park that leads to The Oasis, guests might not realize that there is a hidden entrance nearby. Located inside the Rainforest Café, there is a small entrance which guests can use to avoid long lines at the main gate.

1. Route 498 –

Scattered throughout Dinoland are highway signs which declare that the roadway is US 498. While guests might notice the signs while walking around the area, they might not realize that they pay homage to the park’s opening date of April 1998!

About Caitlin Kane

Caitlin Kane first started visiting Walt Disney World when she was two years old, and despite spending most of that trip quarantined with the chicken pox she managed to fall in love with the place. Visiting WDW every year since, she especially loves learning all about the history and small details of the parks and eating/drinking her way through the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival each fall. When she's not in Disney, Caitlin lives in New York and spends her time counting down the days to her next trip.