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Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort. It opened on April 22, 1998, and it is the largest single Disney theme park in the world, covering more than 500 acres. It is also the first Disney theme park to be themed entirely around animal conservation, a philosophy once pioneered by Walt Disney himself. This park lets you explore the unpredictable world of animals on safari, in a prehistoric world, at parades, or at stage shows.
Shortly after the park opened, Disney advertised the park using the fictional word “nahtazu” pronounced “not a zoo.” The word emphasized that the park was more than animal displays found in a typical city zoo.
The icon of Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the Tree of Life. This is a 145-foot artificial tree. Engineered from a refitted oil platform, it is located on Discovery Island, roughly in the centre of the park. On the exterior are carved images of 325 animals. Under the Tree is a theatre featuring It’s Tough to be a Bug!, a 3-D film hosted by Flik, from A Bug’s Life.
There is a hidden Mickey on this tree.
Animal Kingdom has an official opening ceremony called The Adventure Begins which starts each morning 15 minutes before the official opening time for the park and is located in the Tree of Life area. If you are there at this time you will be allowed past the turnstiles and into the park to view the ceremony.
The opening ceremony is hosted by Minnie, Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Pluto.