Tourists visit Animal Kingdom for the rides, attractions and of course, the animals. The first day of our visit was spent cramming in as many rides and shows as possible. The second day was spent wandering around at a leisurely pace and admiring the flora, fauna, and the impeccably convincing work of Disney's imagineers. Every restroom, barrier and snack stand was thoughtfully created and detailed to fit into it's environment, be it an elaborately painted bus retrofitted as a snack cart, or a rutted "dirt road constructed of stained, textured, and imprinted concrete.
From a Disney press release dated 2-23-10:
"Unlike the traditional Disney parks where the landscaping complements themed buildings, at Disney's Animal Kingdom the landscaping, in many areas, is the stage and set."
And the plantings were phenomenal. Imagine being in an enormous cretaceous theme garden, surrounded by towering tree ferns, podocarps and cycads (the third largest collection of the world), the same food that a brachiosaurus would have called a decent buffet! In the Oasis, you crane your neck toward the treetops and try to count the myriad orchids, bromeliads and cacti nestled in the canopy. This area is heated during freezes, in case any other gardeners in Central Florida like myself get any bright ideas.
If you're bouncing along on the Kilimanjaro Safari, take a look at the acacia trees with the wide flattened tops. Looks like a scene straight out of Africa, right? Well, while the Senegal date palms and palm grass might be authentically African, the acacias are actually live oaks with vigorous overhead pruning. Once again home gardeners, don't get any bright ideas.
I bet you're itching for some pictures by now, right?
|The Cretaceous Trail|
|Outside the Yak and Yeti, home of one delicious seafood curry.|
|Bromeliads and Asplenium nidus clinging to the boulders.|
|A shell ginger blooming outside an aviary|
|A naturalistic path through a canyon|
|Epiphytes! I lost count of the different orchids, bromeliads and rhipsalis.|
|Huge alocasias lining the water in a ravine|
|A misty jungle trail. I want foggers!|
|Check out this amazing faux treatment and signage. I love the lettering.|
|Is anybody else thinking of doing something like this?|
|You would think that the tourists were admiring the alocasias, but they were just gawking at a bird or something.|
|Who wouldn't want to buy a snack from this cart?|
Want more photos? Visit my album for the rest!