My family loves a zoo. We have been to several around the states and are members of the Nashville Zoo, here in Tennessee. Sometimes our house is even a zoo, with three kids a basset hound, a goat and some chickens. Animal Kingdom is Disney’s version of a zoo. Of course, being Disney, they have to kick it up a notch by adding shops, restaurants and attractions. Animal Kingdom houses over 250 species of animals spread over 500 acres of land that is divided into 7 different sections. The Oasis, Discovery Island, Dinoland U.S.A., Asia, Africa, Camp Mickey Minnie and Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Today we will explore the Oasis and Discovery Island.
The Oasis is filled with tropical plants and beautiful garden paths. The wildlife exhibits located in the Oasis are deer, flamingos, the Giant Anteater, wallabies and exotic birds. The area is made up of lush shaded pathways with beautiful streams and waterfalls. These pathways head to the center of the park, known as Safari Village. The paths are handicap accessible. A dining experience at the front of the park as you head towards is the Oasis Rainforest Cafe. It is included on the Disney Dining Plan and uses one table service credit. The Rainforest Cafe is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and offers seafood, salads, burgers and vegetarian dishes.
Discovery Island is where you will find that giant tree that is the icon of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This tree, known as the Tree of Life is a 14 story, 50 foot wide, man made sculpture. The tree houses a theater which is the location for the It’s Tough to Be a Bug attraction. This is an 8 minute film on what life would be like if you were a bug. *WARNING* some parts may be scary for smaller viewers. Discovery Island is surrounded by the Discovery River, tropical pathways, wooden bridges and tunnels that bring you closer to the animals.
The animal exhibits on Discovery Island include every thing from Galapagos turtles to green winged macaws. There are quite a few shops through out Discovery Island , as well. The Island Mercantile has clothes, sculptures and collectibles, while Disney Outfitters has classier things like exotic jewelry and a ring carver. Quick Service Dining here includes the famous Pizzafari, where you can get, of course, pizza. The Flame Tree BBQ offers smoked chicken, ribs, pork, beef and children’s selections.
Take time to meander through the gorgeous pathways and meet up with great photo opportunities closer to the animals. Animal Kingdom closes earlier than the other parks, as the animals head inside, but it also offers extra magic hours in the morning.