Of the four theme parks in Walt Disney World, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is by far the richest in small details and beautiful architecture. With lands including Africa, Asia, and Dinoland, the range of environments is huge but all maintain an insane attention to detail that makes the park so special. In all of this detail and fun are some hidden gems that can be very overt or might take some time to spot. Here are the top seven gems in Disney’s Animal Kingdom to spot on your next vacation!
7. DiVine –
This character generally roams around the walkway between Africa and Asia and is a spectacular sight on stilts. However, she can be hard to spot because she looks like a living breathing plant! Decked out in vines, leaves, and amazing paint, DiVine looks as though she stepped right off of one of the nearby lush plants and just started enjoying the park! Be sure to keep your eyes open for her as she is one of the best gems in Disney’s Animal Kingdom!
6. Tree of Life –
While this landmark of the park is obviously in plain sight, it is still considered to be a gem due to its amazing details. The trunk might look like one found on a normal tree, but upon closer inspection guests will realize that it is actually carved with hundreds of intricate animals! Spend some time taking in different views of the Tree of Life throughout the park and see how many of the animals you can find!
5. Conservation Station –
This educational attraction is often overlooked by guests and now considered to be a hidden gem because it is off the beaten path. In order to pay a visit, guests must board the Wildlife Express Train for a short ride to its area. There are plenty of interactive elements for guests to experience that teach all about how the environment can be maintained and also glimpses into veterinary and backstage areas where the animals are taken care of on a daily basis. Also located nearby are the Affection Section and Habitat Habit! which are part of Rafiki’s Planet Watch and also totally worth visiting!
4. Flame Tree Barbecue’s View –
Located on Discovery Island, most guests can smell the delicious food at Flame Tree Barbecue before actually finding it. Offering up traditional barbecue options like pulled pork and ribs, the restaurant itself is a gem but it also boats a hidden gem in the back! Located behind the ordering counters is a small outdoor dining section that features sweeping views across the river to Expedition Everest. With a gentle breeze coming off the water, delicious food, and an amazing view, this is one hidden gem that definitely needs to be enjoyed on every visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
3. Dinosaur’s Plumbing –
The Dino Institute is home to some pretty advanced technology in that they are able to send guests back to prehistoric times to take a tour of the dinosaurs. After passing through the preshow video room, guests enter a loading area that has an industrial feel complete with exposed overhead piping. At one point guests pass under a trio of pipes that are yellow, red, and white and feature long chemical formulas on each. Apparently the people at the Dino Institute used some of their technology to have pipes to transport mustard, ketchup, and mayonnaise! These pipes are fun remainders from the days when McDonalds used to sponsor the attraction.
2. Beauty & The Bees –
While visiting It’s Tough To Be A Bug, take some time to explore the lobby of the theater that is nestled in the roots of the Tree of Life. Hanging all around are posters of past productions the bugs put on, each with an insect twist. One of the funniest posters advertises a past performance of Beauty and the Bees, but the hidden gem can be heard nearby. Listen for the classic song “Beauty and the Beast” being buzzed out by an orchestra of bees!
1. Everest’s Tea –
Expedition Everest in the Asia section of the park takes guests deep into the Forbidden Mountain where they soon find themselves rushing to escape the dreaded Yeti. While moving through the attraction’s queue, there are several different rooms and areas that are so rich in detail and beautiful to take in. In one room that is stocked with supplies for a journey up the mountain, be sure to look for a hidden gem in the form of Ye-Tea! Talk about a unique drink for the adventure to come!