Some photos I took in early 2010 of the scarily under appreciated Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The best Disney park in Orlando, for certain, and I don’t how how anyone could disagree, honestly. The place brings me to tears through it’s hyperreal representations of idyllic tropical places without their real life burdens. And what’s more, it’s not just a copy of natural perfection, it’s a story being told with physical space with attractions, shows and great food. My favourite thing about animal kingdom is the superior zoo enclosure design, that ensures you can see animals and effortlessly photograph them in perfect scenery without ever glimpsing a shot of a fence. It’s genius design.
“I think the best way to get the value out of Animal Kingdom is to really slow down, pay attention and sort of read it the way you would read a really complicated and rich kind of novel.” - Joe Rohde, lead designer of Animal Kingdom
I fully recommend reading Roller Coaster Philosophy’s review of the park, especially if you’ve been to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, because you’ll be kicking yourself for not experiencing it to it’s full potential.
Animal Kingdom is the closest thing to the pinnacle of modern themed design Disney has in the states - Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea deliver it in spades, as do the Harry Potter areas at Universal Orlando. Hyper-real, as described above - a place you feel you could live and that other unseen people live in, and yet is still ‘fantastic’ at the same time. New Fantasyland borders it, but never quite achieves the same level of involvement and ‘awe’ and detailed nuance.
People who list DAK as a ‘half day park’ and that there isn’t much to do there I don’t think realize precisely how brilliant it is, going just based on things you can ride or stage shows.