Happy Anniversary, Animal Kingdom!

We exit [the] Oasis via a pair of rockwork portals that are reminiscent of the forms of the train station at the Magic Kingdom. We come around a corner, pass through the archways to the bridge, and are presented with our first view of the Tree of Life–much in the same manner as the first time we see Cinderella’s Castle. Over the course of this journey, we have made our way from the elevation of the parking lot–roughly that of the original Park site prior to construction–slowly but surely up to an elevation nearly twenty feet higher. By entering Discovery Island at that elevation, we are ensured of a clear vista, over the heads of fellow Guests up ahead, and we are able to see the Tree of Life in all of its glory–without allowing it to tower completely above us.
–p. 25, The Imagineering Field Guide to Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World.

Photograph Courtesy of Ray at Grumpy’s Hollow.

Concept Art for the Beastly Kingdom from The Making of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park.

Happy Anniversary, Animal Kingdom!

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