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8 Secrets Most People Don’t Know About Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Guests who spend time in Disney’s Animal Kingdom are invited to celebrate the beauty and diversity of nature by visiting differently themed lands full of attractions and experiences. Guests can enjoy coming face to face with the Yeti inside the Forbidden Mountain, embarking on an African safari, traveling back to the time of the dinosaurs, flying on the back of a banshee, and exploring trails filled with beautiful animals and landscapes. With so many amazing things to do and see in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, some guests can become caught up in trying to see it all and miss a lot of amazing details and secrets hidden throughout the park. Those who slow down and enjoy all of the small details are sure to love spending time in the park and stumble upon a few secrets throughout their day. Here are eight secrets most people don’t know about Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

8. A Unique Blend –

Expedition Everest in the Asia section of the park is one of the most thrilling experiences in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Guests who strap into the tea trains soon find themselves rushing to escape the mountain and its protector, the Yeti. While moving through the queue of the attraction, guests pass through the offices of a base camp company and a Yeti museum complete with art work, fables, and photographs from a lost exhibition. One of the rooms of the queue is full of supplies that climbers would need to survive on the mountain including food and drinks. Guests who look closely will notice that the office has a unique blend of tea in stock called “Ye-tea” which pays homage to the protector of the mountain.

7. A Safari Hidden Mickey –

One of the most popular attractions in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is Kilimanjaro Safaris in the Africa section of the park. The attraction invites guests into the Harambe Reserve for a two week safari through lush jungles and the African savannah where animals like elephants, zebras, lions, giraffes, and hippos can be spotted. While guests enjoy visiting the attraction, many don’t realize that it is home to one of the largest Hidden Mickeys on property! While passing by an island covered with beautiful flamingos, guests should pay close attention to the shape of the island itself as it forms a large Hidden Mickey.

6. Colorful Plumbing –

Located in the Dinoland area of Disney’s Animal Kingdom is one of the most thrilling attractions in all of Walt Disney World. Dinosaur invites guests into the Dino Institute where the technology to travel back to prehistoric times has been discovered. Before boarding their Time Rovers, guests enter into the loading area and walk down a flight of stairs. Along the way they pass underneath a trio of colorful pipes which each have a complicated chemical formula on them. The pipes are red, yellow, and white and represent ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise and are a homage to McDonalds who was the original sponsor of the attraction.

5. Size Matters –

No day in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is complete without a visit to Kilimanjaro Safaris. Since the animals in the reserve can wander freely, guests are guaranteed to have a completely different experience on each visit making it a wonderful attraction to return to time and time again. Many guests who enjoy the attraction don’t realize just how massive Kilimanjaro Safaris is. In fact, the attraction is so huge that the entire Magic Kingdom could fit inside it!

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4. Track Hidden Mickey –

While Kilimanjaro Safaris is home to a pretty large Hidden Mickey, it is Expedition Everest which is home to the largest of them all! This Hidden Mickey is actually so large that it can’t even be seen from the park. After visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom, guests should go online and pull up a map of the park and Expedition Everest where they can spot a Hidden Mickey made out of the attraction’s track.

3. Fake Asphalt –

Dinoland invites guests into Chester & Hester’s Din-O-Rama which is full of wacky puns and artwork, midway games, and fun attractions. The area was originally a highway with a gas station run by Chester and Hester. After fossils were found nearby, the duo decided that a roadside attraction was more lucrative and fun, and the Din-O-Rama was born. Even though the area is now more fun and games than highway, guests can still walk along asphalt roads to get from one location to the next. While the asphalt looks real, many guests have no idea that it is actually fake! Imagineers knew that asphalt plus the hot Florida sun would result in melting and guests sticking to the pavement, so they crafted roads that would look just like aging asphalt without having to use the real thing.

2. An Original Crate –

One of the most serene and enjoyable areas of Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail in the Africa section of the park. The trail is a self-guided walking tour that features beautiful scenery, landscapes, and a large hilly habitat that is home to plenty of gorillas. While many guests visit the trail, they don’t realize that it originally had another name which can still be found along the path today! The original name of the trail was the Gorillas Falls Trail and guests who spot a shipping crate along the pathway will notice the original name still stamped on the side.

1. Pandora’s Impressive Numbers – 

If you’ve had a chance to visit Animal Kingdom’s newest land, Pandora – The World of Avatar, chances are you were impressed with its sheer beauty! You were likely rushing to one of the two attractions held in this land known as Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey. If you have a moment to stop and explore Pandora’s setting (the Valley of Mo’ara), you might want to look up at the unbelievable floating mountains. Get this – there are 22 floating mountains in total! Plus, look around at the lush landscape and be in awe of the 250 varieties of living plants that are integrated with Pandoran plants. Just amazing!

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.