Disney’s Animal Kingdom features many different areas which transport guests to exotic locations all over the world. One of the most popular areas in the park is Asia which is beautifully rich in detail, history, and architecture. Guests who spend time in the Asia section of the park can explore the Forbidden Mountain, go rafting down a jungle river, dine on delicious Pan-Asian cuisine, and explore lush temple ruins. Part of what makes these experiences so amazing is the intense attention to detail featured throughout the area. Guests can spend days in the park and still find new small details to enjoy. Found in all of the details are plenty of hidden secrets for guests to also find and enjoy on a day in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Here are seven secrets in Asia in Walt Disney World.
7. A Special Blend –
One of the most popular and thrilling attractions in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is Expedition Everest which begins as a gentle tea train ride through the foothills of the Forbidden Mountain. Soon guests find themselves deep inside the mountain and face to face with the Yeti who they desperately try and escape. Those who wait on the regular standby side of the queue pass through various rooms which are full to the brim with equipment needed to climb the massive mountain. One room is full of food supplies and guests are able to spot a unique type of tea. “Ye-tea” is a clever combination of a delicious drink and subtle nod to the fabled protector of the mountain.
6. A Photo Tribute –
As guests move closer towards the loading area of Expedition Everest, they pass through a museum dedicated to the Yeti and pass by lots of photographs depicting what life is like for those who try and conquer the mountain. One photo in particular features a real life Disney Imagineer who was an avid mountaineer. Guests should look for a photo depicting Frank Wells standing near the base camp of Everest. Wells was an avid mountaineer and he loved to conquer all of the highest peaks in the world. While he was successful on most occasions, he unfortunately never made it to the summit of Mount Everest but guests can still honor him by finding his picture today.
5. A Hidden Tiger –
Kali River Rapids takes guests down the Chakranadi River on a soaking adventure like no other. What begins as a beautiful tour of the lush jungle quickly turns into a lesson in the dangers of deforestation. Guests are shown the devastation created by illegal logging and end up soaked along the way. After the first massive lift hill, guests emerge near a large rock formation which features a hidden jungle cat. Those who look closely at the rockwork will realize that it forms the massive face of a tiger which perfectly captures the adventure that is to come.
4. The Skyline –
Along the path that winds from one end of the Asia section of the park to the other, there is a small area which looks out across the water at the massive Expedition Everest. The area features a small temple and makes for a great photo opportunity for guests. Those who look closely at the small temple will realize that it has a unique shape. The outline of the top of the temple is an exact replica of the skyline of the mountains in the distance! Guests who stand at the right angle can line up the outlines of both the temple and the mountains and enjoy this small detail.
3. A Height Marker –
While many of the thrilling attractions in Walt Disney World feature height requirements for the safety of guests, Expedition Everest does so in a unique way. Just outside of the main entrance to the attraction is a height marker which guests can stop and measure children against. Instead of a normal ruler, the height marker is the massive footprint of the Yeti and declares that guests must be one Yeti foot high to ride!
2. Hidden Signatures –
The queue for Kali River Rapids is beautifully themed to feel like the real offices of a rafting company. As guests move through the various rooms of the company and work their way towards the loading area, they pass by a number of props which would realistically be used on the river. Guests should be on the lookout for oars which seem to feature many different letters and numbers. While the writings might seem random, they are actually the initials and birthdays of some of the Imagineers who helped make the attraction a reality!
1. Authentic Props –
The only full service dining location in the Asia section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the Yak & Yeti Restaurant which serves up Pan-Asian cuisine in a beautifully decorated area. The backstory of the restaurant is that a family traveled throughout Asia collecting recipes, artwork, statues, and décor pieces along the way. When they returned home, they opened up the restaurant and used all of the amazing things gathered from their journeys to decorate it. Imagineers spent a lot of time exploring Asia and collecting authentic props and artwork which are now on display. Guests who dine at the Yak & Yeti Restaurant should definitely take some time to walk around the two floors and enjoy the amazing artifacts, artwork, and pictures from Asia.