Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Disney's Animal Kingdom

Happy Birthday to You!
Happy Birthday to You!
Happy Birthday Disney's Animal Kingdom!
Happy Birthday to You!

11 years ago today a park opened that celebrated animals, culture, and nature. A park that was so unique and so distinct and of course, so wild! A park that is so lush with vegetation and full of animals from all around the world. A park, that many would call, the most themed park in all of Disney's 4 Orlando parks. The park that was dubbed as Nahtazu and is known at "The New Species of Theme Parks"!

11 years ago today...Disney's Animal Kingdom was officially christened.

It really was a park in the making for many, many years...and it's almost surprising it took so long to come to fruition, in a way. What with Walt's love of all things animal, originally wanting live animals to be present in attractions like the Jungle Cruise. Building DAK, finally brought about Walt's dream to have a a place where animals actually are part of the attraction, like the infamous Kilamanjaro Safaris.

Now, I hate to admit it, but DAK is my least favorite Disney park. I'm not 100% sure what it is about the park (I think it might have something to do with the fact that it doesn't have a lot of "stuff" that appeals to me...rides and such.) However, the one thing I do love about the place is all of the intense theming. I think that DAK is honestly one of the most beautiful places in all the world. As soon as you enter the doors, you forget you are at a theme forget about the outside world. The only thing you can think is, it really is a jungle out there! :)

This park is so rich in back story. Each land seems to have it's own unique way of telling what it's all about. Lands like the Oasis and Asia make you feel transported to the places they are depicting. Even a land like Dinoland USA with Chester & Hester's Dinorama has some great stories to it, though it may not look like it from the outside. Disney really went above and beyond with their great storytelling skills when setting forth building this park.

My favorite land, thematically would have to be Africa. I love how it really feels as if you're in Africa. (Well, Disney's Africa!) And of course, Kilamanjaro Safari's being the flagship attraction for this land is so fitting. Getting to go out on an African safari is one of those things that if you went to Africa ever in your would do a safari. You'd have to do one. Disney has brought that same feeling right to their own backyard! (All without having to get a malaria shot! lol!)

I also really love Asia though. You really do feel as if you've been transported to a different Asian time and to a totally Eastern place. And of course, this land does have one of the most massive mountains ever built by Disney Imagineers. Looking at Everest, you really do think you could be looking at the real mountain. (Well, on a smaller scale, of course.) And the ride is one of the best ones in the park.

I think what I like the most about this park though, is that is so tranquil. While there may not be a lot to actually "do" at a park like DAK, there is a lot to explore and see. Something I find myself not spending enough time actually doing, I believe. Hopefully, I can learn to love this animal park a little more in the next few years. Because it really is one wild time!

So Happy Birthday DAK! to many, many more! :)

What is it about Disney's Animal Kingdom that you love? I'd love to hear from you! Leave me a message here or call the Be Our Guest Podcast's voicemail line at 206-426-2115!


Cozyflier said...

Rikki, I think the safari is the best! I have been able to get some of the best pictures over the years on this 'ride'!!

I like the parades. Being able to watch the animals in a more natural environment is also a wonderful feeling.

Jennifer said...

DAK is actually tied for my favorite park. In my opinion you lose the outside world more fully in this park than in other park. Granted, I love animals to start off so that's already a plus. I also love rides/attractions and typically don't like shows so that makes the fact that I love it so much more interesting.

What I love most:
* you truly leave the world behind...this park moves at a much slower pace than the other parks. If I have a day in each park, I consider DAK my relaxation day. I may walk a heck of a lot, but I also feel refreshed when I'm done and less overstimulated than in the other parks.
* The theming is so thorough in every area that you really feel immersed. (this is true of all the parks, but it has a different flavor here)
* I can have a quiet moment with my kids where they really appreciate learning something and discovering something..."stop and smell the roses" type experience.
* There's not much in the way of food, but the food is really good. Especially at Tusker favorite in-park restaurant.