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Top 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Disney’s Animal Kingdom! -by guest blogger Tim Foster

by Rod Wheaton on September 4, 2014

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the largest of the Disney parks, and it has seen a large number of changes over the years (the latest being the upcoming opening of the Avatar-themed land). But did you know that…

1. Disney Imagineers spent 10 years designing and more than $800,000,000 building Walt Disney World’s fourth theme park. That’s about twice as much money as it cost to open the entire Walt Disney World Resort in 1971!

2. If you look closely at the logos for Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you will see a dragon among the animals on the bottom. This was meant to represent the Beastly Kingdom, a planned but never built land that was to have featured mythical animals such as unicorns, dragons, and sea monsters.

3. To convince Disney executives that the experience of sharing the same space with animals was enough to entertain Guests at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Imagineers brought a 400-pound Bengal tiger into a meeting and had him walk around the conference table. Needless to say, the experience was emotional enough to convince the executives and Michael Eisner himself!

4. To landscape the Animal Kingdom, more than 4 million trees, plants, shrubs, ground covers, vines, epiphytes, and grasses from every continent on Earth—well, okay, except Antarctica—were planted, with more than 4,000 different species. And there’s plenty of water too. There are about 27,000,000 gallons of water in Animal Kingdom’s Discovery River, which is enough to fill about 1,800 average-sized backyard swimming pools.

5. The highway sign in Dinoland, U.S.A., is Route 498, which represents the park’s opening in April 1998.

About the author: Tim Foster is the founder and editor of Celebrations Magazine– discovering the magic of Walt Disney World—and the author of the Guide to the Magic book series, including the Walt Disney World Guide to the Magic for Kids.
He has traveled to Disney World more times than he can count, and he is passionate about helping people enjoy the magic of Walt Disney World.
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