Mirror Walt Disney World 3.0 – The Definitive Version


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Let us continue our journey through Disney's Animal Kingdom...

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Discovery Island


Discovery Island is the central hub of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, consisting of the island in the center of a vast flowing river, which seems to flow its way throughout the entire park. Bridges connect Discovery Island to the other lands of the park. Discovery Island is filled with vast jungles, flowing rivers, cascading waterfalls, encounters with real-animals and plenty of secrets left to be seen. Discovery Island is a place of excitement and adventure. The island honors the greatness of animals and nature, apparent in the buildings and overall thematic influences seen throughout Discovery Island. While Discovery Island is not meant to depict any sort of actual “place”, its architectural influences come from the equatorial islands from around the world, places like Bali, the Caribbean, the South Seas, Barbados and Jamaica. The artwork of the buildings features ornate animal carvings and sculptures.

The vibe of Discovery Island is one alive with music and fun. Throughout the island are various craftsmen and artists, all of whom use the animal kingdom and nature as inspiration for their work. To help welcome guests to this world of adventure, the Sensational Six – Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy and Pluto – can be found roaming throughout Discovery Island, offering photos, autographs and hugs. The Viva Gaia Street Band can be heard throughout the day at their performance space across from Flame Tree Barbecue, lending a tropical flair to the island atmosphere.


Now, of course, every Disney theme park needs a parade, and Animal Kingdom finds its parade in the form of Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade. The story behind this procession is that Mickey and the gang have come to town for an expedition, and they have decided to hold a special celebration in tribute to the animals of the Animal Kingdom. The procession weaves around Discovery Island and features unique and artistic depictions of animals. Expect to see stilt-walkers, drummers, giant animal puppets, and of course, your favorite Disney friends. I’ve even heard that Mickey, Minnie and Goofy brought their own jeeps along, and once you look at them, you’ll see they’ve added a bit of personality to them.

Continuing on from the entrance from The Oasis, guests walk along an ornate wooden bridge, crossing over the Discovery River. Here guests are then emptied into the main plaza entryway of Discovery Island. Vast jungles, trees, beautiful flowers and ruins of what may have been a once very active building are scattered throughout the perimeter of the area. Trees and plants are even planted backstage, to make the area of Discovery Island seem more expansive, more immersive, as if a whole world could possibly be explored in this jungle.

Just ahead, planted in the center of the island is the Tree of Life, the icon of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This centerpiece is one of the most exquisite and elaborate pieces of art that Disney has ever created. It is a piece of art that both captures the beautiful simplicity of nature and the kingdom of wildlife. The Tree of Life itself depicts the Animal Kingdom as it is, featuring 325 animals carved into the wooden tree trunk, even carved into the roots and branched which extend from the tree. It could and will take hours to spot every detail of the tree. The more one looks, the more it seems as though the tree is continuing to grow and branch off with new details!

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, each park in Walt Disney World features its own unique opening ceremony. Here in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, that ceremony is “The Adventure Begins.” Every day, in front of the Tree of Life, a safari truck pulls up carrying Minnie, Goofy and Pluto, making sure they have all they need for a day full of adventure. As for their guide, one Mickey Mouse, he appears via a lift mere inches away from the Tree itself. With the gang all together, there’s only one more thing left to do: start the day with a joyous shout of “Let the adventure begin!”

When continuing down through the main plaza into Discovery Island, directly ahead, guests will find the Tree of Life Garden, a small garden area, surrounded by tall trees and plants. The garden leads into a small enclosed section of Discovery Island, where guests can get a closer look at the front side of the Tree of Life. The garden also offers glimpses of some of the animal inhabitants, such as flamingos, lemurs and kangaroos.

A nearby path leads guests through dense, lush forests, proceeding directly inside the trunk of the mighty tree. From within the mighty tree, we are invited to take a seat and behold the world of animals and their habitats, and what we can do to make sure they last for a long time; behold the wonder of that magnificent planet we call ... Earth.


In a concept devised by @PerGron for his Disney’s Wild Kingdom concept, Earth – or, to use its full name, “Earth: An Environmental Fable” – is a show narrated by an Audio-Animatronics figure of Gaia, otherwise known as “Mother Earth.” She tells stories of different animals, mainly sourced from folklore from around the world, tying the stories into real-life animal facts and how they contribute to the Circle of Life. However, her story is interrupted by her brother, Thanatos, otherwise known as “Death.” Thanatos offers his own perspective on the Circle of Life, claiming that death is not just misery, but rather, the ending of an age, symbolizing new beginnings and the chance for new creatures to take control as the dominant species. Thanatos is angered by how humans destroy the planet’s environment, and more than eager to end humanity’s age as the dominant species. But Gaia is able to quell her brother’s rage by describing how humanity is recognizing the fact that they can destroy the environment, and are taking measures to fix the damage. The show utilizes a film as well as animatronics, relating to a Hall of Presidents or American Adventure more than just a film or just an animatronic show.


Come nightfall, the mighty tree comes to life with the beauty of Tree of Life: Awakenings. Utilizing astounding projection technology, the spirits of the Animal Kingdom imbibe the Tree with the natural wonders of our Earth. Stories involve hummingbirds, fox and deer, and utilize unique music and artistry to help weave the tale.

Heading back through Discovery Island, towards the entrance to Earth, guests will find the Discovery Island Trails, a trail which snakes its way throughout the base of the Tree of Life. The area is actually very well-hidden and is missed by many people completely, it almost seems as a bit of a “restricted” area, but that is a part of the adventure, right? As guests make their way through the ascending paths leading up the slopes of the island, the lush foliage falls away to reveal breath-taking vistas of the Tree of Life. Ornate animal carvings are featured in the branches entangling throughout the path. Guests proceed underneath a tunnel passage, revealing a waterfall, creating a mist effect throughout the cavern. Continuing down the trail, guests will also find other viewing areas for the animals from the Tree of Life Garden, such as kangaroos, birds and even a pool of swimming fish. The first trail disposes guests into the far-end of Discovery Island, just off of the entrance to Africa. The second trail leads through some pelican and flamingo environments, a cluster of parrots, some porcupine, a tortoise and other animals. The path brings guests right down towards Discovery Lake, leading right to the exit of Earth, at the very base of the Tree of Life, offering more breath-taking vistas of the scenery. It is a beautiful sight to behold.


Every day, watch as the skies above the Tree of Life burst with living color during Winged Encounters: The Kingdom Takes Flight, a show featuring macaws. Keep your peepers peeled for all six shades of macaw as they’re showcased in flight—from hyacinth, green-winged and military to blue and gold, blue-throated and scarlet. Each awe-inspiring specimen features a wingspan of up to 60 inches, which you can witness firsthand as they soar up and around the heart of the park.

To the left of the plaza, guests will find the Island Mercantile store, a shop themed to a shipping company, celebrating working animals, such as camels and elephants. This store features Disney character merchandise, Disney’s Animal Kingdom merchandise, clothing and other sorts of paraphernalia. It is one of the main shops of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, offering a wide selection of merchandise to choose from. Lilo and Stitch often meet guests nearby.

Continuing northward, towards Africa, guests will find Pizzafari, a quick-service restaurant specializing in Italian foods and salads. Colorful animal murals decorate the restaurant. The restaurant also includes a small, closed off gazebo area at the back of the restaurant, also open to dine in, which almost appears to be sheltered completely in lush foliage, making it a quiet, relaxing place to take a break in. Located behind Pizzafari is Tiffins. This table-service restaurant celebrates the art of traveling, featuring a diverse menu drawing from places that inspired the creation of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Open for both lunch and dinner, Tiffins includes waterfront views from comfortable indoor and outdoor seating areas. And if you’re wondering about the name, “tiffin” is an Indian English word for a midday meal or a type of container used to carry food while traveling.

Back at the exit of the Discovery Island Trails, directly ahead, right before the entrance to Africa, guests will come across Creature Comforts, a Starbucks location for the park. On the other side of Discovery Island, across from Island Mercantile, the Disney Outfitters store is located, offering nature-themed gifts and an abundance of clothing. The store also features ornately designed totem poles of animals. In 2015, the Disney Outfitters store expanded into the Riverside Depot. The store carries a variety of character merchandise, and offerings from many of the stores found in the park. The Disney Outfitters and Riverside Depot combination is basically Animal Kingdom’s equivalent of the Magic Kingdom’s Emporium.


Just beyond the store(s), a small rampway leading down to a dock along the Discovery Lake. Here, guests will find the first stop for the Discovery Island Riverboats. These boats serve as the first of two major forms of transportation around this large park. The boats make three stops along their trek down the Discovery River: at Discovery Island, at Africa and at Asia.

Just across from the Riverboat Landing, guests will find the Flame Tree Barbecue, which serves up a selection of barbecued entrees, all wood-roasted to perfection. The seating location is also located right along the Discovery Lake, looking upon Expedition Everest. The seating area is a beautiful Balinese water garden and offers one of the most tranquil spots to enjoy a meal in the park. Guests can dine under ornately carved gazebos, overlooking the river. The entrance to Earth can be found right nearby, situated next door to the access point to the park-wide Wilderness Explorers game, inspired by the Pixar film Up. Along the path leading to Asia is Beastly Bazaar, a shop themed around water animals offering tropical wares, like surfwear and island-inspired merch.


Along Discovery Lake are another form of processional here at the parks: “Flotillas.” Like the cavalcades of the Magic Kingdom, these flotillas allow guests to see the characters in procession without having to scout out a spot on the parade route. There are five flotillas that sail out daily: one featuring Mickey, Minnie and Pluto; one featuring Donald, Daisy and Launchpad McQuack; one featuring Goofy, Chip and Dale; one featuring either Rafiki and Timon or Baloo and King Louie; and one featuring an enthusiastic troupe of drummers.

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That, my friends, was the central hub of Disney's Animal Kingdom. Join me again on Saturday, January 7, when we'll explore the first distinct area of the park. An area that many have dreamed of seeing actually come to fruition. An area that never came to be in our real-life WDW...but in this Mirror WDW, it absolutely did.


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That, my friends, was the central hub of Disney's Animal Kingdom. Join me again on Saturday, January 7, when we'll explore the first distinct area of the park. An area that many have dreamed of seeing actually come to fruition. An area that never came to be in our real-life WDW...but in this Mirror WDW, it absolutely did.

Oh yeahhh, I can't wait to see it. It's definitely my favorite of all the unbuilt lands.


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It's unfortunate, but I never got to go on the much maligned Discovery Riverboats. With some retooling I think it could have been a great transportation option and attraction. I think they just cheaped out on the budget for it and it suffered because of it.
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Here we go, into the next land of Disney's Animal Kingdom!

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Beastly Kingdom


Myths and legends have prominently featured animals. But among that literary menagerie are the animals that never were seen with human eyes. Heading southwest of Discovery Island, a crystal-clear stream trickles beneath an arched footbridge, churned by a thundering waterfall pouring from a nearby rock formation in the shape of a fire-breathing dragon. We are in the forests of Beastly Kingdom, welcoming us to the world of mythological beasts and animals, a fairy tale come true for RPG nerds everywhere.

On the horizon, an ancient castle stands tall above the kingdom, perhaps inhabited by the darker creatures of mythology. On the adjacent horizon, a luscious mountaintop casts a welcoming shadow on the kingdom below, perhaps inhabited by the kinder creatures of mythology. Passing the bridge and going through a brief, tree-filled forest, we first find ourselves standing before a golden house. This estate is Mythic Manor. Inside this Renaissance-inspired home, we find a museum-like tribute to the various creatures of folklore. Real-life cryptozoology is also featured within the museum, exhibits showcasing the likes of the Sasquatch, Loch Ness Monster and Yeti on prominent display. Going westward from Mythic Manor, we come across the “darker” side of Beastly Kingdom. A smaller cottage right next door is Mother Goose’s Cottage, a small shop for the knight or maiden in all of us. Mother Goose’s focuses on fantasy-themed gifts not just of Disney-based origin, but also that of Grimm’s Fairy Tales and Mother Goose.

To reach our first stop, we must cross a bridge. The waters beneath the bridge are inhabited by none other than the Troll from The Three Billy Goats Gruff, making this footbridge effectively a “troll bridge.” This wart-faced troll might have a grim sense of humor and big appetite for park guests, but don’t be alarmed. He’s just as goofy and ugly-looking as the trolls once found in Maelstrom at EPCOT. In taking this path, heading down a dark forest road, guests would be led along a path with charred suits of armor, abandoned weapons, and an eerie smokey atmosphere. This is Loch Ness Landing, the home of some of the more unsavory mythical beasts. Keep a good eye out, and you may see Nessie herself appear from under the water!

Upon entering Loch Ness Landing, we find ourselves before an old tavern. This is the Heroes’ Tavern, a place where knights of old used to rest. When they weren’t fighting dragons or saving damsels, you can bet they were right here, enjoying themselves. The bill of fare is traditional pub fare: meat, chicken, vegetables, tons of desserts, cheeses, and all that jazz. Plus, this is a good place to go for ale, mead and other English beer.

But just beyond this tavern, we head towards a certain town under the shadow of a curled-hill… a trail separate from the others leads to an ancient castle perched high above the treetops, appearing to be battered and worn from an ancient battle centuries ago…


A clearing in the forest brings us to the threshold of this ancient stronghold, immediately surrounding us with a Stonehenge-like arena seeming to have been built as a tribute to some great spirit. In the center of it all rests the skeletal remains of a mighty dragon, and not of the Maleficent variety. This giant fossil was at one time a true medieval dragon, the ones in which haunted the dreams and visions of the European countryside in the Dark Ages. Suddenly, a massive fireball spews from the twisted-facade of the castle, closely followed by a pair of reptilian eyes peering outward before disappearing into the shadows. From within, we hear screams of absolute delight and terror. We have stumbled upon the remains of the Dragon’s Tower.

Venturing deep inside the castle, we find that at one time a Royal Family of unknown origin resided over the surrounding land, ruling with a cheerful, loving hand. Scorch-marks and the skeletal remains of many a charred-knight imply that long ago, a dragon had indeed attacked the castle and all those within it, perhaps even taking over the estate. Our suspicions are confirmed when we come face-to-face with a band of giant vampire bats whom have been gifted with the ability of speech. These bats are a band of thieves known as the Dracula Six, and according to local legend, the dragon that now resides within this castle has a sea of treasure underneath his belly that he's not willing to share anytime soon...unless it’s stolen...


Boarding a bat-winged roller coaster train suspended from the ceiling, we embark deep within the castle to rob the sleeping dragon of his priceless gems, only to unintentionally awaken the beast and undergo a thrilling, chilling roller coaster ride through the remains of this charred castle past restless spirits, booby traps, and of course, the dragon overlord himself.

As the Dragon’s Tower has an in-ride photo opportunity, it seems only fitting that a gift shop is located just near the exit, Dragon’s Tower Portrait Studio, a medieval-themed photo supplier and Dragon’s Tower-themed gift shop nestled in the former dungeon of the once-grand castle…

On the eastern path leading from Mythic Manor, we find ourselves in a land of rolling green hills, trickling streams, and endless, patchwork fields of multi-colored flowers and temperate trees bathed in the colors of autumn. The remainder of Beastly Kingdom represents that of Ancient Greece and Medieval Europe, land of heroes and monsters, gods and goddesses, adventure and magic, a natural fit in the realm of mythical beasts.


(57:37 – 1:00:48)

This section of Beastly Kingdom features five attractions. First is Fantasia Gardens, a boat ride themed around the animal-based elements of Fantasia. Along the same lines as Storybook Land Canal Boats over at Disneyland, this is a gentle boat ride past dioramas, both outdoor and indoor. Expect to see the sights and sounds of Ancient Greece, as represented in “The Pastoral Symphony”; the yo-yo-ing flamingo and his disapproving brood of “The Carnival of the Animals”; Noah’s ark, as seen in “Pomp and Circumstance”; and, of course, the dancing animals of “Dance of the Hours.”


Second is the Queen’s Garden Trail, the animal trail for Beastly Kingdom. The Queen’s Garden Trail highlights the unique animals found in Europe, animals rarely seen in zoos. Here, amid the dense woodlands, amid the beautiful flora, we can gaze upon fauna such as the capercaillie, the red deer, the fallow deer, the wisent (aka the European bison), the European mouflon, the mute swan and the Italian wolf.

Blending in beautifully with the Queen’s Garden Trail are the Pal-Around Woods, Beastly Kingdom’s meet ‘n’ greet area. Here within these woods, guests can meet up with classic European animal friends: specifically, Robin Hood and his Merry Men (Little John, Friar Tuck, Maid Marian and Prince John), as well as our friends from the Hundred Acre Wood – Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore, Rabbit and Owl. In addition to these friends, Merida, she who once had a bear for a mother, can be found within the woods, as well. Surrounding the Pal-Around Woods are three special exhibits of the King’s Garden Trail, each one containing an animal inspired by the three stories: the red fox (Robin Hood), the brown bear (Brave) and the coney rabbit and western barn owl (Winnie the Pooh).


On the outskirts of the King’s Garden Trail is an old, abandoned castle stronghold. Unlike the Dragon’s Tower, this one appears to be more well-kempt. Stepping within, we are invited to take a look at Merlin’s Menagerie. In this theater-in-the-round production, basically a cross between a Circle-Vision show and a live production, we join Merlin and Archimedes as they use their magic to bring the animals of myth to life via special effects, animatronics and screen-based wizardry. Not too far away from Merlin’s is the Beastly Spin, a Dumbo-esque spinner ride, built within Merlin’s garden. However, unlike those flying pachyderms, here we get to fly on the backs of mythical winged creatures, like griffins, gargoyles, phoenixes and pegasi.



Fifth, and perhaps the most intricate and detailed of the attractions in Beastly Kingdom, is Quest for the Unicorn, an interactive maze where guests wander through a labyrinth in search of the mythical and elusive unicorn. Guests need to awaken five golden icons in order to enter into the underground grotto where the unicorn lives. It’s all very visually engaging and detailed. Quest for the Unicorn is located right in the middle of Beastly Kingdom. From there, the path connects back to the Dragon’s Tower, but I don't really wanna go there again. So, let’s just head on back to the mainland, why don’t we?

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Thus concludeth our sojourn through Beastly Kingdom. I've always wondered what it would be like to see this land come to life in the park, so it was so much fun to set up this Mirror universe where Beastly Kingdom got to be part of the Animal Kingdom experience, after all. In fact, in this Mirror universe, it opens on Opening Day with the rest of the park!

My Beastly Kingdom was inspired by three concepts. First was @MANEATINGWREATH's Beastly Kingdom sub-area, that was part of Fantasyland in his 2016 Dream Resort thread.

Second was S.W. Wilson's Ideal Buildout, the layout of which played heavily into my ideas here. In my mind, Beastly Kingdom has this same layout, complete with Merlin's Menagerie and Beastly Spin, albeit with the Queen's Garden Trail/Pal-Around Woods standing where the Swan Queen ride is.

Third and finally was @PerGron and his Europe concept. All credit for the Queen's Garden Trail/Pal-Around Woods concept comes from his wonderful Wild Kingdom park concept! And by the way, PerGron, I know I mentioned this the first time I did MWDW, but I hope you don't mind me giving your European Wilds a different name. I wanted it to blend in with the Beastly Kingdom aesthetic.

Come and join me on Monday, November 9, and our journey will continue with a trip to Africa! See you then!


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Walking through the deep jungles of Discovery Island, we continue north until we arrive at a wooden bridge, embedded with stone features. The sounds of distant drumming could be heard just over the bridge. On the other side of the bridge is Africa. The Africa that Disney’s Animal Kingdom depicts does not focus on one sort of area, but many different areas that could be found in Africa. DAK’s Africa is centered around the village of Harambe, which depicts a real place facing real environmental challenges. Harambe is a Swahili word, meaning “working together”. When guests enter Harambe, they have become a part of the story. When the guests walk the streets of this village, they are greeted by the residents, as though they are tourists exploring the city.

After crossing over the bridge, guests find themselves in the village just on the outskirts of a dense jungle and the Harambe Wildlife Reserve. The buildings are somewhat worn, showing both their age of construction and the natural, simple way that the buildings were constructed. The buildings are inspired from a form of Swahili architecture, a common form of architecture found throughout many parts of Africa. It was researched by the group of Imagineers that had designed the Africa section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom that many of the architectural qualities of Africa that they had researched were impractical work spaces and not conducive for theme park operations. It is all a part of the storytelling aspect of Africa, even just using legitimate building architecture that works for a functioning theme park, but is also a legitimate African architectural style. In the pavement of Harambe, guests will find stone linings, depicting the remnants of old city walls. The only remainder of these walls are the footprints that still lie cemented into the ground. Plastered along the somewhat dilapidated buildings are worn advertisements and tourist attraction signs that help better introduce the sense of story into Africa. On the right side of Africa, there is a path, leading along the back end of the park, traveling along Discovery Lake, leading towards the next land in the park. The pathway features a cluster of drums, as their rhythms sound throughout the entire land.

Just to the right as you enter is Tamu Tamu Refreshments, a quick-service location, offering drinks and a few dessert options. The location also features an outdoor seating area, which has seemingly fallen into disrepair, sheltered by worn rooftops and crumbled walls. Across the way is Tusker House, a sit-down restaurant located alongside Discovery Lake. The exterior of the building is made up of stone and brick accents, inspired by the architectural styles of Kenya. It is a top-notch dining experience featuring a greatly inspired African menu. The restaurant also features carved wooden features on the interior and an outdoor seating area under a thatched roof. The outdoor seating area is also a common location for a local live drum and performance troupe to perform. Nearby the restaurant is Dawa Bar, offering African beers.


Off to the right of the Tusker House, guests will find the Harambe Theatre, the home of Festival of the Lion King. As I am sure one can guess, since Camp Minnie-Mickey doesn’t open here in this Mirror universe, that means the Harambe Theatre opens not in 2014, but on Opening Day 1998. This wildly-popular show, often hailed as one of, if not the, best shows in all Walt Disney World, features the animals and creatures of the kingdom in a celebration of song and dance. Led by a troupe of four singers – Kiume, Nakawa, Kibibi and Zawadi – the show boasts one of the most talented casts in any Walt Disney World show, as both live performers and puppetry are integrated in the show. Naturally, the show features all of the film’s classic songs, each one set to a unique performance style. There is an opening stylized around “Circle of Life”, which is later reprised as a dance featuring the whole cast, a grand procession set to “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King”, a tumbling act by Timon and his Tumble Monkeys set to “Hakuna Matata”, a fire-dancer performing to “Be Prepared” and an aerial ballet set to “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” The show also features audience participation in multiple facets – each section gets to make a unique animal sound, and the children are invited to help with the finale. One thing is for sure: Festival of the Lion King is a roaring good time!

One can even meet Rafiki and Timon outside the theater; and also across the way from the theater is the Harbour of Harambe, serving as a dock for the Discovery Island Riverboats. More entertainment can be found in the village square of Harambe. There are many performers here, including the Burudika Band, the Tam Tam Drummers of Harambe, Kora Tinga Tinga and the Harambe Village Acrobats.


Continuing into the heart of Harambe, on the right, adjacent to Tamu Tamu Refreshments, guests will find Mombasa Marketplace and Ziwani Traders, an African marketplace and trading company, featuring many safaris merchandise, clothes, African wood carvings, a selection of fine wines, pottery, masks and musical instruments. Opposite of the store, guests will find the Kusafiri Coffee and Bake Shoppe, a perfect location to grab a pastry and a cup of coffee in the morning, in this quiet, tucked away corner of Harambe. Located to the right of the bakery, continuing to the back of the village, guests will find Duka La Filimu, a location for guests to find film equipment.


Right behind Mombasa Marketplace and Ziwani Traders is the Harambe Market area. The area is set up as an outdoor marketplace with five different walk up windows to order some delectable African-inspired food and drinks. First, you have Wanjohi Refreshments, the window for all your drinking needs. Here you can find specialty drinks in a souvenir mug, wine and beer. Kitamu Grill offers ground beef flatbread and grilled chicken skewers. Both entrees come with a tomato, broccoli and red onion salad in a spicy vinaigrette. Boerewors Famous Sausages features the interesting curry corn dog. The corn dog also comes with the broccoli, tomato and red onion salad. Chef Mwanga’s Ribs serves up a huge chunk of spice-rubbed ribs with a chickpea salad. Finally, we have Zuri’s Sweets Shop, which features all sorts of sweets, including decorative candy apples, uniquely flavored chocolate bars, African-spiced popcorn, animal-shaped lollipops, animal crackers, chocolate mini crocodiles and other treats. Zuri’s Sweets Shop also offer African spice rubs, a gourmet cocoa set and Flame Tree Barbecue sauce.


Next, we continue to the back end of Harambe Village, where guests come across Kilimanjaro Safaris, the staple attraction of Africa and one of the most popular in the entire park. It is one of the central elements to Africa, both story-wise and theme park-wise. In the attraction, the Harambe Wildlife Reserve welcomes the tourists of Africa to explore their preservation zones, where animals live their lives as they ordinarily would. The intent of Kilimanjaro Safaris is for guests to enter into a natural environment with animals living in their own world, not on display. The entire attraction is about 110 acres, about the same size of the Magic Kingdom. The Kilimanjaro Safaris takes guests through vast jungles, where life animals roam and anything can happen. The jungle vehicles travel through lagoons inhabited by hippos, crocodile bayous, an African savanna where giraffes, gazelles, ostriches and other types of non-carnivorous animals roam, a lion’s den, an elephant plain and a watering hole located by a set of zebras. However, not all is well on the savanna… poachers have invaded the preservation zone, and they’ve got their eyes on Big Red, a mother elephant! Can you stop the poachers before blood is shed?


In 2018, as part of Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s 20th anniversary, Kilimanjaro Safaris got an update. Since the ride was already one of Disney’s most cinematic rides to date, why not lean in and go full IMAX with it? In an idea thought up by S.W. Wilson, the flood control canal is re-shaped into a naturalistic “Masai River.” And beyond that, in the distance, are seen larger herds of elephants in what is currently the acclimatization paddock. Having large numbers of animals in the fore-, middle- and distant- ground makes for an awe-inspiring visual experience that one typically would only see in the real savanna.


At the exit of the attraction, towards the path leading south back down towards Harambe Village, guests will find the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail right at the exit of Kilimanjaro Safaris. The attraction is a walking trail, taking guests through a research training facility, where researchers and scientists are taught conservation techniques. It is a learning experience for the guests, learning more about the animals, the world and the way that they can make a difference. The trail features a gorilla exhibit, located throughout a series of cliffs. The exhibit can be seen from many different vantage points throughout the trail.


Back outside, leading back up the trail towards Harambe Village, on the left, guests will find the Harambe Railway Station, one of two dropping-off points for the Wildlife Express. Offering service to South America and North America, the Wildlife Express is the second major form of transportation around the park, after the Discovery Island Riverboats.


Nearby the station is a dense jungle forest, filled with bamboo thickets and dangling vines. Cascading waterfalls flow into pools of water nearby. The trail then empties out into an area themed around one of Disney’s most underrated classics: Tarzan. Entering the area, the first thing guests see is the campground, as seen in the film and more-so, inspired by the “Trashin’ the Camp” scene. The entire campground is filled with tons of interactive elements like instrumental clotheslines, spouting teapots, spinning globes, books, pots and pans, old record players, maps, projection slides and the like. And of course, we are invited to make some sweet rhythms and music with all this junk, just like Terk, Tantor and their gorilla buddies!

Right nearby is Tarzan’s Treehouse, a replica of the treehouse Tarzan was found in as a baby. Much like the attraction at Hong Kong Disneyland, this is a walk-through attraction where we can explore the tree up-close. However, unlike that treehouse, this one is far more interactive. There are screens that have guests try to catch fruit that is being dropped by monkeys, an easel that lets you draw with Jane, and read-aloud sections of the story narrated by Jane’s father, Professor Porter. There is even a vine-swinging experience that takes off from the highest level of the treehouse, and invites one and all to feel like the King of the Jungle! While this attraction is still, for all intents and purposes, a queue, it is now, at least, an interactive queue. Tarzan, Jane and Terk even have a meet ‘n’ greet location set up near the base of the treehouse.

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And there we have Africa! I must point out that the idea to make Tarzan's Treehouse more interactive comes from @PerGron, so credit goes out to him!

Now, the next post will come out on Wednesday, January 11, and we'll use that post to explore the mysterious jungles of Asia! See you then!


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Original Poster
Hello, everyone. Before we start this post, I just wanted to say that I'm sorry that I didn't get it out yesterday, as promised. I had a particularly busy day yesterday, and time just ran away from me. By the time I got home, I was absolutely exhausted. But nonetheless, here it is, one day late.

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Continuing on, we will arrive in Asia, one of the largest sections of the park. From Africa, a pathway leads through the jungles at the northern section of Discovery Lake, leading into this land. From here, guests will trek through the jungles and villages of Asia, to explore and discover the wonder and mystery that are yet to be seen. Guests enter into the village of Anandapur, located at the base and foothills of the Himalayan Mountains. The entire land is heavily inspired from Nepal, India, China and Thailand, using their influences to inspire a real-life experience.


On the outskirts of Anandapur is a crumbling stone temple, like the temple of King Louie. Passing over a small stream, we step inside the ancient ruins. A large “hole” is in one of the more prominent walls, leading out to the jungle (i;e the stage). Even the temple itself looks like the jungle has reclaimed some of it. There are vines and ivy going across the stone, and mysterious tracks running along the aisles. It’s obvious that this temple serves as a theater, and within this theater, we can take the Journey into the Jungle Book. In essence, this is a show that re-tells the story of Disney 19th animated feature, using unique sets and costumes, innovative puppetry, and of course, the classic characters and songs from the movie.

In 2008, just in time for the park’s 10th anniversary, the show got a retool. By that time, the Disney on Ice production Jungle Adventures had stopped performances, so Disney re-used a few assets from that show for the Animal Kingdom production. For example, the original bipedal designs for the elephants were swapped in favor of the massive two-person costumes the ice production utilized. With that, the Dawn Patrol saw its numbers shrink slightly, from seven to five. Rumors also circulated that Disney was intending to bring back the Vultures, but they proved to be false, as Disney thought the Vultures would interrupt the dramatic narrative of the show’s climax (which, if you are unfamiliar, goes straight from Mowgli running away upon hearing that Baloo has agreed to take him back to the Man-village to his confrontation with Shere Khan). They also reinstated the Kaa sequence that was originally going to be part of the show on Opening Day, but ended up getting cut.

The characters from The Jungle Book have often been known to meet guests right nearby the temple, particularly Mowgli, Baloo and King Louie, with rare appearances by Colonel Hathi and Shanti. Plus, I’ve heard that King Louie’s monkeys are often causing mischief along the path to Discovery Island, trying to entice guests to go see the show. Across the way from the temple is Upcountry Landing, the Asia dock for the Discovery Island Riverboats.


However, it is not only our Jungle Book friends we can meet here in Asia. Here, and roaming through Discovery Island is the famed stilt-walking living plant, DiVine. No matter where she is, it’s always a bit of a freaky surprise to stumble upon this silent giant maneuvering through the foliage.

Continuing up the edge past the crumbling temple, guests will enter into the central city of Anandapur, where guests can discover the wonderful sights that are yet to be held in Asia. On the immediate left, guests will find Yak and Yeti, a restaurant that operates as a table service restaurant, while also having a separate quick-service location, as well. Yak and Yeti specializes in Asian Fusion cuisine. Just outside of the restaurant, in the Anandapur Plaza, guests will find the Anandapur Baajaar, a circular, open-air marketplace which offers a wide variety of Asia-inspired merchandise, such as sushi plates and tea pots.


Continuing towards the back end of the Anandapur village, guests will come across three of Asia’s attractions at the northernmost end of Asia. On the left, guests will find the Maharajah Jungle Trek, a walking tour, taking guests far outside of the village of Anandapur and to the ruins of a former sultan’s palace. The walls have crumbled and broken, due to years and years of exposure to the weather. There are small towers and structures that have been clotted out by trees growing from within the former palace. This attraction is very similar to that of the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail, where guests experience real life animal exhibits, just feet away. Tigers make up a large part of the Maharajah Jungle Trek, being seen from three different locations, while traveling through the ruined palace chambers. Guests continue walking through the trek, discovering different types of reptiles, gazelles and colorful birds.

One of the original plans for Disney’s Animal Kingdom was a rapids ride called Tiger River Run, where guests would not only get involved in white-water excursion, but also sail past more types of Asian animals. However, those plans were put on the kibosh because Imagineers didn’t know how to separate the rafts from the animals, and feared for the worst. Plus, with the addition of Mammoth Falls to the park plans, the latter became the park’s main water thrill ride. What to do now?


Well, it was decided to take the Tiger River Run animal aesthetic and use it to make a smaller, but nonetheless impressive, safari attraction: Panda Valley. Taking guests aboard an old-fashioned Pan-Asia railway train, Panda Valley brings guests into the vast wilderness of China, giving them a glimpse at some of the most unique animals to come from the Middle Kingdom. From the snub-nosed monkey and the clouded leopard, to the water buffalo and spotted seal, to the Chinese water deer and the Pere David’s deer, and of course, the iconic giant pandas and red pandas, Panda Valley lets guests get a good view of tons of species that can be found in China.


In order to keep the natural theme going, a forest of bamboo and tall Chinese trees separate Panda Valley from Anandapur. It is almost as if you truly are stepping into another world. Returning to Anandapur, you will find that a temple marks the transition between India and China, inspired by Candi Plaosan and the Sewu Temple, both in Indonesia. This temple plays host to The Great Continent, a seamless CircleVision 360 film exploring the countless biomes and locations found throughout Asia. The film covers ground all across the continent, exploring the deserts of the Middle East, the Caucuses, the Himalayas, India’s Gir National Park, the jungles of Indonesia, the Philippine Islands, Russia’s Siberian taiga, the Mongolian steppe, the Gobi Desert, and more. This 15-minute film showcases the beauty and unique landscapes all across the continent of Asia. The film also showcases the wildlife of the continent, from species found at Disney’s Animal Kingdom like gibbons and tigers, as well as those you won't see at the park, including the incredibly rare saola, an animal that very little footage actually captures. This film is narrated by Sri Lankan activist and manager of the World Wildlife Fund’s Asian animal conservation team Nilanga Jayasinghe.


Every day, the center of Anandapur Plaza comes to life with the Anandapur Street Celebration, a streetmosphere experience featuring dancers, acrobats, and instruments all tied into Southeast Asia. This celebration incorporates elements from the Yi Peng Festival in Thailand, Ati-Atihan Festival in the Philippines, the Bom On Touk Festival in Cambodia, and the Bali Kite Festival in Indonesia. Inspirations from all these festivals lead to a unique twice-a-day experience featuring dancing, music, acrobats, water floats on Discovery Lake, and kites soaring through the air. Basically, think of this as a more elaborate and engaging version of the failed Disney KiteTails show that used to be here on Discovery Lake. It is an experience celebrating all of Southeast Asia and one you don’t want to miss at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Nearby the water’s edge where the festival occurs is Kites and Flights, a shop selling traditional Southeast Asian kites and other flying toys for people to purchase. All of these purchases can be sent to the front of the park for pickup at the end of the day, sent to your hotel if staying on property, or shipped home from the park depending on what you want to do, but none of the kites purchased here can be used within the park itself for the safety of the animals as well as out of respect for other guests. This concept is taken from the store of the same name in Yun Cheng at Disney’s Lost Kingdoms Park written by @Outbound so credit to them!

From here, guests then walk back south through the Anandapur Plaza, walking to the right, past a closed off temple, where monkeys are frequently spotted, swinging from the temple structures overhead. The path then curves to the left, leading alongside the Discovery Lake on the right. From here, Mount Everest begins to loom just overhead. Along the lake, a special temple had been built by the people of Anandapur, a possible shrine to show respect to the foreboding creatures of the region. The trail also features telescopes that helps guests receive a closer look at Mount Everest. The path then leads through a dense jungle, featuring small buildings offering some appetizer specials.


Guests then enter into the opposite side of Asia, the town of Serka Zong. Serka Zong is a small village located at the base of the mountain, heavily inspired by Nepalese environments. Serka Zong features one of Disney's Animal Kingdom's most prolific attractions, one of the most visually striking attractions in any of the Disney theme parks, Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden Mountain. The mountain completes the skyline of Disney's Animal Kingdom, while also completely fitting into its surroundings. The legend of a Yeti is one of the many folklore tales that travels through Nepal and India. These people believe that the Yeti is a real creature, capable of great destruction and terror. Guests board old tea trains, as they set up to scale Mount Everest. However, the sacred ground of Mount Everest is closely guarded by the watch of the Yeti. Our expedition may not be as simple as our tour guide would have us believe. Upon reaching the apex of the mountain, we find that the Yeti has torn the track apart, leaving the train to reverse through the cavernous chambers of the mountain, before taking a terrifying drop and coming face to face with the fierce Yeti, themselves. The attraction exits out into the Serka Zong Bazaar, a merchandise location specializing in Expedition Everest merchandise.


Along the banks of Serka Zong is an outdoor amphitheater. Every day, the Anandapur Street Celebration comes to this amphitheater, and every night, the Discovery Lake comes alive with the majesty of Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s nighttime spectacular: Journey. Journey is the brainchild of @PerGron, created for his excellent Disney’s Wild Kingdom. Now, in his concept, he did not state that Journey was the nighttime spectacular. But here at Mirror Disney’s Animal Kingdom, it is. He even went so far as to state that “Journey is sure to make you cry”, a sentiment shared with pretty much any other Disney nighttime spectacular – Happily Ever After, World of Color, IllumiNations, Fantasmic!, etc. Utilizing the same water-screen technology as World of Color and Fantasmic!, live musical accompaniment, unique floats, and even using projections on the Tree of Life, Journey is a perfect way to cap off any day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

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And there we have Asia! I should also point out that in addition to the aforementioned Journey, the ideas for The Great Continent and the Anandapur Street Celebration both come from @PerGron. Furthermore, the new addition of Panda Valley was inspired by two concepts: @PerGron and his Marco Polo Railway, and S.W. Wilson's Panda Valley animal trail that was devised for a hypothetical Parisian Animal Kingdom.

The next post will come out Monday, January 16, and in that post, we'll finally fill in that large plot of land that sits north of Asia, starting with a visit to North America! See you then!


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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North America


Passing underneath a train trestle that the Wildlife Express passes over, the dense savanna foliage of Africa has transformed into the tall pine trees, quaint waterfalls and rolling streams of a Pacific Northwest oasis. A rustic sign welcomes our transition into North America. North America is a rustic, “outdoorsy” reflection of the natural beauty of its home continent. As you can tell from the picture above, the land is based on a redwoods national park – a natural oasis of wood, rock and water. Although a wooden sign on the trestle names this land as “North America,” that welcome sign we passed by labels the area as Redwood Creek.

Apart from the tall pines and ferns, rolling green hills, gently-lapping rivers and red clay riverbanks, a number of blossoming apple trees line our entrance and exit into Redwood Creek. Naturally, we find this to be the location of Johnny Appleseed’s Fruit Cart. The makeshift merchant’s stall appears to have been built by Johnny himself…of course, with the help of his critter companions. Nearby, the Redwood Trading Post is an old wooden cabin with a “cobblestone” chimney and thick grass growing on the roof. The rustic shop is unique for its selection of Native American arts and crafts, including a large selection of pottery, turquoise jewelry, totems, and kachina dolls.


On the other side of the path, overlooking the quaint river, the Klondike Inn is perhaps Animal Kingdom’s best in immersive dining, being held within an intimate, dimly-lit cabin typical of the northern wilderness. Oil paintings, period lamps and stained glass are used in the decorating of this classy steakhouse, where surf ‘n’ turf and steak dinners, salads and desserts are out-of-this-world extraordinary in both flavor, size, and price. The Klondike Inn also boasts a beautiful patio right on the banks of the river, providing excellent views and a good spot for people-watching. Also within the Inn complex is a gift shop called The Naturalist’s Canvas. Here, guests can purchase books and poems, art pieces, field guides, maps, and more all related to the famous naturalists explored in the nearby attractions. Of course, copies of the famous works, such as John James Audubon’s “The Birds of America,” are featured here for purchase, among other souvenirs.


Across the way from the Klondike Inn is another rustic-looking building with a massive glass window looking out into the courtyard. This is the Yellow Mountain Coffee House, a traditional rustic coffee house that serves as one of the most relaxing places in the park. Here, guests can grab a couch or a stool at the bar and sip on coffee, eat a nice hot bowl of soup, or read a book from the large library collection. The books can be purchased or you can just read and put them back on the shelf at the end of your stint.

Out on the side of the coffee house is a small botanical garden walking loop. Here are bushes and trees found throughout North America. However, the key feature here is the collection of totem poles that stand within these gardens. The Totem Gardens features totem poles from different cultures all across North America, including the Pacific Northwest, Canada, Alaska, and even Hawai’i. The loop is short, but for guests who are looking to learn, each pole features a plaque telling the story that the pole is conveying.


The Totem Gardens provide a natural segue into the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. This elaborate play area features a network of trails simulating a trail in a redwood forest, a large network of stairs and rope bridges, a traverse rock climbing wall, a zip line, side-by-side slides, and an amphitheater, serving as the home of the Brother Bear Totem Ceremony, a small show / meet ‘n’ greet featuring the characters from Disney’s lesser-known 2003 animated feature. Explorers can also visit the “Spirit Cave” to find what spirit animal represents them – be it bear, wolf, eagle, moose, salmon, or skunk.

On a path nearby the Klondike Inn, we head down a forest trail past thundering waterfalls and crystal-clear streams. Rock formations in the shape of eagles, owls, and other “forest spirits” lay hidden among the falls, suggesting that, perhaps, magic lies deep within the earth. Totem poles appear on either side of the trail, the distant howl of a wolf setting an eerie tone. Down the trail, the drumming and chanting of the Native American people seems to grow louder and louder, until we finally find ourselves in front of a world seemingly untouched by modern man. Marked by grass, wildflowers and waterfalls, an old mine train stands ready to take us through Nature’s Wonderland.


In this updated take on a Disneyland classic, Nature’s Wonderland takes us past tableaus of North American wildlife...only here, the animals are real. The adventure sets off from a rustic old railroad station, and the attraction is narrated by an old animal expert. Making use of berms and rockwork to make sure no uninvited guests mess with the train, we glide past Beaver Valley, offering views of beavers making their dams; followed by passage through Bear Country, where majestic black bears swim and laze around. The forest gives way to deer, pronghorn and elk. A trip through the Living Desert offers views of coyotes, javelinas, prairie dogs, bobcats and snakes, as well as a trip past the mountain range, where the cougars roam. The adventure climaxes past a part of the desert reserved for the mighty bison, and a tunnel takes us back to the station.

It is also here along this path that we find the Redwood Creek Railroad Station, where the Wildlife Express makes its second stop. This stop, made to resemble the Santa Anita Train Depot in Arcadia, California, deposits us right next door to Nature’s Wonderland. Guests disembark the train from the second floor of the station, then walk to the attraction – which takes up the space that, in our real-life WDW, is occupied by Rafiki’s Planet Watch – from underneath a train trestle.

Right across the way from the path leading towards Nature’s Wonderland is the North American animal trail, the Redwood Creek Nature Path. This trail features some animals that are more familiar to American tourists, but can still be a good chance to learn more about the animal kingdom. A forest trail offers raccoons, opossums, ferrets, foxes, squirrels, rabbits and skunks; as well as a wolf cave. The bayous feature frogs and toads, fireflies and alligators. There’s even a bird habitat featuring species native to North America, and a habitat devoted to the grizzly bear.


In a secluded area of the deep redwood forest is a stage area, known as “Grandmother Willow’s Grove”, serving host to Pocahontas and Her Forest Friends. In this show, Pocahontas, Grandmother Willow and a little sapling named Sprig set out to find the fabled protector of the forest. As Pocahontas discovers the path she must take, she interacts with live trained animals such as rabbits, opossums, a skunk, a porcupine, a snake, and rats. All in all, the show is mainly about the importance of protecting and preserving our forests.

In addition to playing host to Pocahontas and Her Forest Friends, Grandmother Willow’s Grove also serves as a home for Our America, a stage show where people from different tribes come to pass down their ancestral stories and traditions and teach the world about our Indigenous peoples. This show has very few theatrics or effects, focusing instead on the storytellers and their tales. Sponsored by the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, this show’s intent is to educate as well as entertain, and enrich everyone in the lesser-known cultures found on the North American continent.

Of course, if you’re in the mood to meet up with Disney characters, North America is the place to go to not only meet Pocahontas herself, but also her faithful raccoon Meeko, as well as Kenai and Koda, Flik and Atta and Bernard and Bianca.


Speaking of Disney characters, among the wooden buildings of Redwood Creek, an old, rustic hunting lodge invites us to meet one of the most beloved of all Disney characters via Bambi: A Life in the Forest. This stylized dark ride marks the first major representation of Walt Disney's fifth animated feature in a Disney park. Inspired by the concept art of Tyrus Wong, Bambi: A Life in the Forest is unique from others due to its scarce reliance on dialogue, with an emphasis on music and an impressionist art driven narrative. The scenes flow together in a rhythmic harmony that illustrate Bambi’s maturation from a young fawn to the prince of the forest, told through several makeshift vignettes following the cycle of the seasons, from spring, to summer, autumn and winter, and back to spring again. Though fear and tragedy touch our journey, renewal and redemption always come with the dawn.

Naturally, one can also find Thumper, Miss Bunny and Flower here in North America, as well as the Young Prince himself. Using the old Lucky the Dinosaur technology (a free-roaming AA character), Bambi can be seen roaming through the land pulling a flower cart behind him.

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My biggest inspirations for North America came not only from @MANEATINGWREATH 's Folktale Forest concept for Mirror Disneyland, as well as his Frontierland for the 2016 Dream Resort thread (this is where the Klondike Inn and Johnny Appleseed stand came from), and @PerGron 's own North America from his Wild Kingdom (Naturalist's Canvas, Yellow Mountain Coffee House and Our America came from here). Plus, the "Bambi by way of Lucky" concept comes from an idea developed by @AceAstro for the 1986 Competition; and it was also @MANEATINGWREATH who suggested I do Nature's Wonderland for North America, so thank you very much for that suggestion!

The Bambi ride I have in mind is a combination of two sources, and from the description of the ride, one of them is @spacemt354 and the concept he devised for SYWTBAI. The other source will be duly credited when I post the ride-through later on down the line.


Well-Known Member

Nice, I think that Animal Kingdom could use a wilderness section. With my version I made it an UP section, but it could fit well with other IP's. Like I did with my Storybook Forest section in the Enchanted Kingdom park.
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Original Poster

Nice, I think that Animal Kingdom could use a wilderness section. With my version I made it an UP section, but it could fit well with other IP's. Like I did with my Storybook Forest section in the Enchanted Kingdom park.
Honestly, I always found it a bit weird that the park didn't touch upon the other continents of the world beyond Africa and Asia. That's why I gravitated towards the idea that many others have had: representing all continents (except Antarctica).

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South America


South America is home to one of the most famous natural landmarks in the world: the Amazon Rainforest. As such, between this and North America, South America takes up the most space solely to do justice to such an amazing locale. The lush tropical rainforests of South America lend themselves perfectly to creating a highly immersive land. Come walk through a dense jungle environment, filled with exotic flowers and plant life, past waterfalls and rivers.

Stepping inside the land, accessed to the east of North America, we enter Comunidade Terrestre – which is “Earthly Community” in Portuguese – a riverside village made up of a series of thatch-roofed buildings. Here, students from a local university have set-up camp to study the creatures and plant life of the rainforest as well as the negative effects of the logging companies that have been chopping down trees at an alarming rate. Thus, the message of conservation is very strongly tied with the attractions in this area. In fact, the Wildlife Express station in South America is known as the Estação Comunitária (Community Station), and within the story of Comunidade Terrestre, it is the station the denizens of the village take in order to get back to the mainland.

Among Comunidade Terrestre, we find quite a few shops and restaurants. The major shop here is Rainforest Outfitters. Here, you’ll find everything from character merchandise to South American-themed items to leather goods. A cool shop with some neat items you probably won't find elsewhere. The major restaurant here is the Yucatan Grill, which serves up a variety of barbecue-style dishes. Plus, it’s quite a good place to go if you want to enjoy some healthy food. There are also quite a few food trucks, decorated like they are set up by the university students in the village.

The mainland of the village also serves as a place to go for local entertainment. The Artists of the Amazon are a street band that play throughout the day, often joined by traditional South American dancers. Furthermore, a giant kapok tree in the middle of the village serves as the meeting place for another group from the university: the drama department, who have gathered to tell the story of The Great Kapok Tree. @PerGron was the one who came up with this excellent idea to utilize an adaptation of the classic Lynne Cherry book, and I thought it was too good not to use! The story of The Great Kapok Tree involves the animals who live in the titular tree visiting a sleeping man, who has been charged to cut it down, and listing off various reasons why he should leave the tree intact. Utilizing live actors, puppets and even live musicians, this outdoor presentation helps further speak to the area’s themes of rainforest conservation.


Comunidade Terrestre is the embarkation point for five attractions. Turn to the left, and you’ll find a full-blown replica of Shanghai Disneyland’s Camp Discovery. At Camp Discovery, you can choose from a variety of expeditions to uncover the wonders of the Amazon Rainforest. You can climb on elevated rope courses to survey the stunning terrain of the rainforest’s mountains, hike through the breathtaking scenery or work inside a dig zone to unearth ancient artifacts.

There are three unique elevated rope courses, known as the Challenge Trails that traverse the terrain—taking adventurers over river gorges, waterfalls and sheer cliffs, through stunning terrain and into spectacular caverns.

  • Hidden Falls Chamber – Journey behind a waterfall and deep into the jungle to a mystical cavern, home to the glittering gem-encrusted Temple of the Milky Way.
  • Echo Cavern – Wind along a perilous river gorge, discover magnificent rock carvings and cave paintings, and hear for yourself how Echo Canyon got its name.
  • House of the Ancients – Trek to the site of an in-progress excavation, where the university archaeologists are unearthing an ancient trading center.
If you don't want to climb the ropes, you can traverse the Vista Trail. Vista Trail is a beautifully landscaped walkway that provides all adventurers with the opportunity to explore the wonders of the ropes courses at ground level, where the ageless beauty of the Amazon Rainforest is revealed in photo opportunities around every bend—including a trio of large, hemispheric “humming stones”, also known as the “Mmm stones”, which emit a nearly inaudible hum heard only by the most nature-attuned individuals. A llama exhibit is set up right nearby the camp.


Nearby the settlement, you can explore the lush tropical rainforests of South America yourself, by way of the Amazon River Expedition. As Disney was planning out the South American section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, they decided to return to the abandoned Tiger Rapids Run concept. After all, what better way to immerse guests in the Amazon than to simulate a trek down the Amazon River?

The trek starts out innocently enough. Guests start by gently floating down the Amazon River, passing by a wide variety of animals, such as two-toed and three-toed sloths, giant anteaters, cotton-top and golden lion tamarins, howler monkeys and capybaras. However, guests soon discover a portion of forest that has been illegally logged. And from there, things only get worse… A lift-hill takes us up past the mountains, where the water turns into raging rapids. It’s a mad dash as we bob and weave past oncoming rocks and low-hanging branches, try to outrun a piranha attack and ultimately fall down a 40-foot waterfall!


But that’s not all: To fully capture the grandeur of the Amazon Rainforest, there is Amazonia, an animal exhibit designed by @tcool123 held within the mountain range, specifically designed to mimic the ecological layout of the real Amazon Rainforest. A mix of indoor and outdoor exhibits offer a taste of the various fauna that inhabit the rainforest. The Forest Floor, the first floor, features an otter exhibit, a jaguar exhibit, a bat tunnel, an agouti exhibit, a frog and reptile exhibit and a walk-in aviary. The jaguar exhibit and aviary actually take up two floors, visible from both the Forest Floor and the Understory/Canopy. Also on this second level are spider monkeys, harpy eagles and macaws, all of which can be seen on the third floor, the Emergent Layer. Also within Amazonia is an exhibit detailing conservation attempts in the Amazon Rainforest, showcasing how logging, beef production and the effects of climate change are hurting the rainforest and of what we can do to help curb such terrible things.


The fourth major attraction here in South America is Amazonian Aviators, an honest-to-God zip-line experience through the canopy of the rainforest. Taking off from a ledge on the mountains, we glide over the rivers of Camp Discovery, and through the trees of the Amazon River Expedition, thus giving the sense of zip-lining through the Amazon Rainforest. This would give a whole new kind of experience not only to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, but to Walt Disney World in general.


But that’s not all: Among the buildings of Comunidade Terrestre is none other than the house of one Carl Fredericksen. And while Carl might be looking for peace and quiet in this little hamlet, Russell and his accompanying Wilderness Explorer compadres see this trip as the perfect chance to secure their final merit badge: Bird-watching.

Balloon-borne floating clubhouses are waiting to whisk guests up into the skies and down into the jungles of South America on an UP Snapshot Safari! On this vigorous venture, created by @D Hulk for his incredible DisneySky, guests will soar in the clouds. They will encounter countless brightly-colored bird species. And with the help of trusty cameras at the ready, guests can document their “snapshot safari,” earn their badges, and return home with a memorable tale of fun and merriment!

UP Snapshot Safari fuses many different winning Disney dark ride formulas. Suspended vehicles create a gentle flying sensation...and with seven decades of technological progress, we can overcome the capacity issues of Peter Pan’s Flight over in Disneyland. The on-ride cameras provide a fun interactive component...but without the gun-based violence inherent in shooter dark rides. Well-maintained, high-quality scenery - beautiful jungle vistas, expressively lifelike animatronics - recall the best dark ride efforts of Tokyo Disneyland. UP Snapshot Safari is one of the biggest draws for children here at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. After all, “Adventure is out there!”

Naturally, one can meet Russell, Dug, Carl, and even Kevin, throughout the day here in Comunidade Terrestre.

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Two more lands left to go here at Disney's Animal Kingdom! I'm quite excited to wrap things up here at this park; because we are gradually inching closer and closer to exploring the fourth park of MWDW! But for now, expect the next post to come on Friday, January 20. In that post, it's off to the land down under to see the animals -- both landbound and seabound -- of Australia!

Also, I should mention that another @PerGron idea was utilized for South America; specifically, his incredible Amazon River Expedition! Credit for that ride goes out to him!


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Original Poster
I'm glad to see you are still hard at work on your projects, @DisneyManOne! I do hope that one day I will return to work on my Mirror Disneyland project, but it's just so hard to fully commit to one nowadays. Keep up the good work.
Thank you very much, MEW!

I love doing projects like this. I'm even considering doing a mini-thread about how some of the other resorts -- particularly Paris and Hong Kong -- would change in this Mirror universe; and even using this thread to do a "detour" post about how Universal Orlando in a universe where Disney-Universal Studios (as you brought to life in MDL 3.0) exists would be arranged. I don't know if Disney-Universal Studios will still be a thing if you ever return to Mirror Disneyland, but frankly, if not, I really like the idea of working with a WDW where Disney's Hollywood Studios never existed. I think DHS is the weakest of all four WDW parks; so I'm more than happy to take the best elements of it and put them into one land in the Magic Kingdom.

And I know I said this is the "definitive" version of MWDW, but let's face it, as things keep changing in the parks, I'm sure that I'll keep on updating things here and there. Maybe I'll be doing MWDW 4.0 in a few years, who knows?


Active Member
Thank you very much, MEW!

I love doing projects like this. I'm even considering doing a mini-thread about how some of the other resorts -- particularly Paris and Hong Kong -- would change in this Mirror universe; and even using this thread to do a "detour" post about how Universal Orlando in a universe where Disney-Universal Studios (as you brought to life in MDL 3.0) exists would be arranged. I don't know if Disney-Universal Studios will still be a thing if you ever return to Mirror Disneyland, but frankly, if not, I really like the idea of working with a WDW where Disney's Hollywood Studios never existed. I think DHS is the weakest of all four WDW parks; so I'm more than happy to take the best elements of it and put them into one land in the Magic Kingdom.

And I know I said this is the "definitive" version of MWDW, but let's face it, as things keep changing in the parks, I'm sure that I'll keep on updating things here and there. Maybe I'll be doing MWDW 4.0 in a few years, who knows?
I would love to see both ideas!


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Original Poster
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Australia is quite possibly the home of some of the world’s most unique animals, and they will be represented here at Disney’s Animal Kingdom quite well. Heading to your left, past Expedition Everest, you’ll find yourself in the glory of the Land Down Under’s vast wilderness. Australia is a vivid depiction of one of the world’s most naturally beautiful areas, as well as its Aboriginal culture and traditions.


A small, sun-beat village known as Alkawari greets us as we enter, offering a host of shops and restaurants. Directly to our right as we enter is The Yowling Yowie, a quick-service eatery themed to that of a roadside restaurant in the middle of absolutely nowhere, named for Australia’s own Sasquatch, the Yowie. Unlike the Yeti of Expedition Everest, the Yowie is nowhere to be seen, only represented through decorative newspaper trimmings and its chef hat-wearing silhouette utilized in nearly all of the decorating. What’s on the menu? Fish and chips, meat pies, “chicken parmi,” vegemite, sausage rolls, emu, several variants on coffee, Australian twists on the classic hamburger, etc. The Outback Showbag next door is a remote gift shop selling souvenirs and trinkets unique to what one would find in the Australian Outback. For those of us not accustomed to life “down under”, gifts strictly unique to Australia are also sold here (i.e. “license plates”, keychains, mugs, etc.) in addition to boomerangs (which are not to be thrown in the park) and didgeridoos.

For a table-service treat, head on down to the Harbourside Inn. Harbourside Inn, which sits on the edge of Discovery River, offers upscale takes on famous Australian cuisine – seafood, chicken, lamb, vegetables and desserts featuring prominent Australian fruits, in addition to lamington and pavlova. It’s also a good place to watch Journey at night. Other shops here in Alkawari include Crocodile Mercantile, an Outback-themed shop offering bush hats, boomerangs and anything else needed to survive in the wild; while The Golden Wattle provides goods from all across Australia, including authentic Aboriginal collectibles.

Neighboring the Outback Showbag is Platypus Point, which is just a short walk from the edge of the crocodile pool, resembles that of a roadside food stand, this time selling...wait for it...wait for it...gelato and jerky! But REALLY unique gelato and jerky. Some of the gelato flavors include vegemite, coffee, and an unspecified “mystery flavor”, while jerky-types include emu, kangaroo, crocodile, and animals non-native to Australia, such as alligator and ostrich.

Bugandi can be found performing in a small arena crafted from the desert terrain. “Bugandi,” which translates to “to sing” in the Aboriginal language, is a small group of Aboriginal performers who put on displays of traditional Aboriginal song and dance, didgeridoos and all. A nearby Museum of Aboriginal History offers a complete and comprehensive history of the Aboriginal peoples of Australia.


Beneath the scorching desert sun we find ourselves peering into a remote mud hole, almost an oasis of sorts. However, this oasis is barred-off and ridden with caution signs as it plays home to a family of actual saltwater crocodiles, or “salties” as the locals refer to them. This mini-zoo sits near the entrance to the Steve Irwin Conservation Centre, an oddity amid the Disney theme park setting. As a “satellite extension” of the Australia Zoo, the conservation center is dedicated to Steve Irwin, more famously known as the “Crocodile Hunter”, who was there alongside his family to cut the ribbon when Australia opened in 2005*. In this well-sized building, we are invited to step inside and learn about Australia’s vast collection of colorful wildlife, as well as other wildlife around the world, whether they're endangered or not. Here we learn of the Australia Zoo and Disney’s Animal Kingdom and their efforts to conserve and protect the creatures of the planet as illustrated through demonstrations, videos, and exhibits. Several varieties of insects and reptiles are kept here in enclosures, allowing an up close and personal glimpse at potentially-deadly creatures.

* Just like with Jim Henson, Steve Irwin does not die in this Mirror universe. That stingray does not claim his life too soon.

As mentioned before, the crocodiles in the “mud hole” outside the Conservation Centre are in fact living, breathing creatures. Zookeepers trained through the proper channels at the Australia Zoo are on duty at the Conservation Centre, doubling as hosts at the center and as the keepers of the salties. These same keepers also perform daily demonstrations of crocodile safety and upkeep, as well as a showcase of several birds native to Australia, including the ever-famous kookaburra. This demonstration is appropriately called Australian Animals.


Appropriately enough, the land’s animal trail is located right across the way from the Conservation Centre: the Aussie Adventure Trails. This trail puts you right in the middle of the verdant Australian Outback marked by verdant fields of grass and gum trees, dominated by a replica of Uluru, the mighty sandstone rock formation sacred to the Anagu, the Aboriginal people of the area. Along the trails, guests can encounter a variety of animals such as emus, platypus, galahs, kookaburras, dingoes, black-necked storks, kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, Tasmanian devils, and koalas.


At the end of the village street is a small gorge with a stream running down from it and forming a small river that runs through the land. A dock and a large boat sit next to this stream, marking the entrance to a reef area, where the waves crash upon the sand. Since Australia is home to the legendary Great Barrier Reef, it makes sense to devote some space to honor such a location. Plus, this area will also serve well to introduce animals from the ocean into the park, as the current version of the park does not. This way, the park will fully feature animals from the ocean, sea and sky.

This “Great Barrier Reef” area is contained within the interior confines of a massive oceanic rock covered in kelp, seaweed, coral, and other aquatic matter. The salty waves of the tide crash up against the base of the massive rock. Before we enter through a cavernous hole crafted into the side of the rock, we hear the nearby cawing of some beady-eyed seagulls perched upon a smaller rock, famously shrieking “MINE! MINE! MINE!”


Entering the Great Barrier Reef is almost like entering an aquatic dreamworld of sorts...in a mere matter of seconds, the atmosphere around us has been transformed into a near-exact replica of one of Australia’s many natural wonders...giant coral, oversized anemones, and the shimmering sunlight reflecting upon the visible oceanic surface above our heads, accomplished via clever lighting, projections, and a rather convincing scrim...luscious orchestrations taken straight from the films provide an ambient environment of realistic fantasy...the silhouettes of passing fish and other sea creatures are cast upon the rocks, hinting at an unseen community of wildlife beyond the limits of our own imaginations...every so often, a boat, otherwise referred to by younger fish as a “butt” can be seen treading water on the waves above, causing the aforementioned silhouettes to scatter and hide until the “butt” is well out of sight. Our adventure has begun.

Most of the attractions here would be smaller and nothing really groundbreaking in terms of new technology, but they would be fun options for children. Taking inspiration from Mermaid Lagoon at Tokyo DisneySea, this area features Jumping Jellyfish, a version of the classic parachute attraction. Boarding a large seashell (clutched by jellyfish tentacles), one of several oversized jellyfish pulls us up and down at varying speeds for a “jumpin’” good time, providing stunning views of the aquatic sub-area in the process, not to mention simulating one of the most memorable scenes from Finding Nemo. Another attraction is the Blowfish Balloon Race, a gondola-style spinner attraction. Hopping inside a hollowed-out seashell, an overhead blowfish grabs ahold of us via four strands of seaweed and takes us on an “airborne” spin through the “skies” of the colorful reef. Finally, we have The Whirlpool, a variation on the teacups. While these attractions may not be anything special, it is the highly immersive theming and detail of the area that would really be the main draw.

Nearby Blowfish Balloon Race, embedded into a large volcanic rock, is a screen that plays films about preserving Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and all the oceanic wildlife that inhabit it, warning of the dangers of pollution and the motto of “all drains lead to the ocean.” This little area is known as the Junior Explorer Academy, managed and operated by Mr. Ray. Built right nearby is a circular cove, surrounded by think rocky moss formations and coral. The entire area seems like an aquatic grove with a rocky sand sketched floor bottom. Upon entering the great mossy rock, guests will enter into the Undersea Life Exhibits, a great aquarium featuring numerous aquatic animals; schools of numerous different types of fish, sharks and stingrays, mainly the breeds and types represented in Finding Nemo and Finding Dory, all of them finding a home here. Cast Members located throughout the great exhibit grounds offer more information on the animals found within.

The Humpback Whale serves as the resident Finding Nemo superstore, strangely held inside the pink bowels of a humpback whale with its mouth agape. You can bet that all the cast members here say “thank you” in the exotic whale language, up until now thought to only be known to whales and Dory. Dory’s Tidepool, found just a short distance away, is an indoor-water playground utilizing spitting fish, spinning seashells, and lots and lots of puddles...underwater…


A cavernous grotto serves as the home of Finding Nemo: The Musical. In this innovative production, which has delighted guests of Disney's Animal Kingdom since 2007, the story of father and son lost and re-united is brought to life through the music of Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, best known for their work on Frozen and Winnie the Pooh, as well as for writing the Oscar-winning “Remember Me” from Coco. (And among the Broadway circuit, Robert is known for co-writing Avenue Q and The Book of Mormon.) An update to the show in 2020 retooled the story slightly; with a framing device involving the Tank Gang at the Marine Life Institute, telling the story of the little clownfish who helped them escape from the office of one Phillip Sherman. The show is lush with large sets and unique projections and an entire ensemble of characters, utilizing puppetry to portray the memorable characters from the Pixar film.


On the other side of this indoor reef, you may notice a large turtle shell careening in and out of a canyon wall. Well, my friends, that's because this side of the rock is home to Crush’s Coaster. This attraction is one of the most popular at Disney Studios Paris and provides some mild thrills. Guests ride in a turtle shell through elaborate show scenes depicting different events from the movie before going on a high-speed spin through the EAC where the turtle shell itself starts to spin as it moves along the track. Of course, the whole “studio” aspect Paris has will be scrapped, so the queue and exterior will be themed around meandering catacombs located deep beneath the ocean’s floor. We can even talk to the “totally sweet” sea turtle at Turtle Talk with Crush. Here, we step inside a “human tank” and get up close and personal with the righteous dude who always goes with the flow. In this interactive experience, we’re invited to ask Crush questions about the fish world, and answer his questions about the human world.

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My biggest inspiration for this land came from @MANEATINGWREATH and two of his concepts: the Badlands and the "Great Barrier Reef" sub-area of Pixar Place, both from his 2016 Dream Resort thread. Also, I must credit @PerGron for the name of the village, "Alkawari."

Well, we've only one more land to go before we finish Animal Kingdom; and on Sunday, January 22, I'll post the final land of the park: Dinoland, U.S.A.! See you then!


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
And now, here's the final land of Disney's Animal Kingdom!

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Dinoland, U.S.A.


In 1947, the quaint American smalltown of Diggs County was just that: quaint. Nothing much happened there. But one day, the town’s sand and gravel company made a shocking discovery. As workers were digging up sand to load into a waiting dump truck, they uncovered a massive dinosaur bone. All were amazed at this revelation, and with eager hearts, they kept digging around the site to find not just a wealth of bones, but a plethora of perfectly-intact dinosaur skeletons! This piqued the interest of one of the workers, an amateur fossil-hunter, and he soon teamed up with fellow scientists to buy up the property where the bones were found. On that property, they established the Dino Institute, a research and study center for all paleontologists. The property itself was soon affectionately dubbed “Dinoland, U.S.A.” by the scientists who worked at the Institute.

One of those scientists was a wealthy benefactor who became obsessed with why so many perfectly preserved dinosaur skeletons could be found in this one spot. The only way to solve this particular mystery was to travel back in time and then attempt to observe whatever it was that actually caused this massive dinosaur extinction. The wealthy benefactor thus helped pour billions into the creation and funding of the Dino Institute, whose research resulted in the invention of the CTX Time Rover. To this very day, Dinoland, U.S.A. invites one and all to come and explore at their perpetual Open House, so that they may see the latest and greatest in what the Institute is learning about these prehistoric beasts.

The atmosphere in Dinoland is bustling with discovery and fun. Excavation gear is found almost everywhere. Flyers and posters advertise the latest goings-on at the Institute. The sounds of excavation can be heard for miles. And speaking of sounds, the Institute even has its own radio station, where the two DJs, Digger and Bonehead, plays a wide variety of tunes about dinosaurs, bones, digging and anything with even the vaguest of connections to the Institute’s line of work. For example, you can expect to hear “Grazing in the Grass” by Friends of Distinction, “It’s the End of the World As We Know It (and I Feel Fine)” by R.E.M., “I Feel the Earth Move” by Carole King, “Bad to the Bone” by George Thorogood and the Destroyers, and of course, “Walk the Dinosaur” by Was (Not Was). Oh, and that song featured at the start of this post? That is an original piece made specifically for Dinoland!


The site where the dinosaur bones were found has been turned into a full-blown excavation site, dubbed “The Boneyard” by the paleontologists. The Boneyard is an open-air playground made to look like an archaeological dig site. In fact, in addition to the usual slides, rope bridges, caves and other playground detritus, there’s also a large dig site, with the bones of a Columbian mammoth, a Triceratops and a Tyrannosaurus rex buried beneath the sand. The Boneyard is marked by a bridge from which stands the skeleton of a proud Brachiosaurus.

It seems only fitting that The Excavator take up residence right nearby this dig site. Back in the days when Dinoland was nothing more than a dig site for Diggs County’s sand and gravel company, the Excavator was a pivotal piece of machinery: a series of ore cars that had once been used to haul materials up out of the heart of this pit to the area where the dump trucks got loaded up. Over time, due to over-digging and as the sand in the pit began to shift, the Excavator became unsafe to operate. The sand and gravel company then shut down the ore cars and the Excavator stood empty and abandoned for a few years, becoming even more rickety and unsafe. Then, when the Dino Institute was set up, the wealthy benefactor sent in groups of college students to work on the site. These college students then decided to put this old and unsafe piece of mining equipment back to work again, allowing them to use the old, rusty ore cars to haul some of the larger dinosaur bones that they’ve discovered. If only they could take the time to fix up the rusty old thing…

As guests move through the queue for this attraction towards the load area, they walk past dozens of “Condemned” signs in addition to all sorts of safety barriers that the sand and gravel pit’s workmen had set up that the college students have recently pulled down. The ride itself is a wooden roller coaster that takes guests past antiquated pieces of mining equipment, dodging around massive dinosaur bones and fossils, giant dinosaurs made out of metal and discarded machinery, and careening through unstable mine shafts that could collapse at any moment. This wild and crazy ride is similar to that of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train or Thunder Mesa Railroad over at the Magic Kingdom, or Big Grizzly Mountain over at Hong Kong Disneyland.


Not too far from The Excavator is a large rocky mountain, covered in snow. At the top of this mountain, the rockwork is carved in the shape of the front half of a wooly mammoth; its trunk raised up triumphantly toward the sky. A cavern is found within this mastodon formation, with a roaring waterfall spilling out of the cavern and into an icy lake below. Within this mountain is Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s secondary water thrill ride: Mammoth Falls. In this ride, we glide back in time, to the world that once was; a world that trembles beneath giant feet. Strange mammals and hulking creatures thrive among the subtle populace of early man. Sabre-toothed cats and monstrous wolves stalk their prey. The mammoth, mastodon, ground sloth and wooly rhinoceros graze amidst the frozen tundra. It all climaxes with a dramatic, 50-foot plunge into the lake! And if that wasn’t enough, in a style similar to Shipwreck Falls at Six Flags parks around the world, the splashdown causes a wall of water to shoot up into the air, absolutely drenching guests…and anyone foolish enough to be standing nearby!

Across the street from these three attractions, almost hidden behind the trees, guests will come across Restaurantosaurus, which serves as the mess hall for the workers at the Institute. The restaurant is noted for its décor, as it features skeletal replicas of several dinosaurs and mosaics of every era of the dinosaurs along the walls of the restaurant.


Further down the path is a special animal exhibit set up by the Dino Institute, highlighting a few special animals… Modern Dinosaurs. The animals presented here are animals who may be descended from the dinosaurs, as well as animals who are in grave danger of ending up like the dinosaurs… extinct. First, we have the American crocodile, who is vulnerable to endangerment. The American crocodile exhibit will be designed with inspiration taken from the Floridian mangrove forests found within its natural range. Guests will be able to see the crocodile swim throughout its exhibit or sunbathe on either land or upon the artificial tree branches submerged within the exhibit’s pool. The dense foliage will transport guests into the mangrove forests, and the sounds of other native animals are heard in the distance as if the guests really stumbled onto a pond in the wilderness. Guests will be able to see a small research area comparing crocodiles, alligators, and their ancient ancestors to each other.


Next, we have the Southern cassowary, a creature at least concern for endangerment. Although the Southern cassowary seems gentle, watch out! Much like their velociraptor ancestors a swipe from their claws will leave any foe dead. These birds are truly descendants of the mighty dinosaur. The exhibit for this bird will be designed as a thick Australian rainforest with various fruit trees planted within the exhibit providing the animal with an authentic cycle of fruits throughout the year. This exhibit will accommodate the cassowaries’ unique defensive maneuvers. The viewing area will be housed within a research camp with glass walls separating the guests from the bird safely. This research camp theme will provide for various learning experiences to be housed such as a cassowary claw and dinosaur claws being on display highlighting their similarities.

Housed within the same exhibit are two different animals. First is the Abdim stork, which is at least concern for endangerment, and then, we have the critically-endangered Asian brown tortoise. The reason why they share the same exhibit is because their space will come with a display demonstrating how birds are more related to dinosaurs than reptiles.

As part of this new exhibit space, the crocodile exhibit will be moved to a bigger, more expansive space, as detailed above. As for the old space, that has been converted into an exhibit for the shoebill, a creature vulnerable to endangerment. The shoebill is a carnivore, eating mostly fish; it is diurnal, and its natural range is throughout Central Africa. It is an unusual looking bird, and even more unusual is the sound that it produces, reminiscent of that of what dinosaurs have been believed to sound like. Similar to the rest of exhibits within the land there will be a comparison to an extinct species. The head of a shoebill and phorusrhacid will be on display to highlight both the differences and similarities of the two different yet similar looking species.


And now, of course, we come to Dinoland’s signature attraction: Countdown to Extinction! On Countdown to Extinction, guests enter the headquarters of the Dino Institute, where its current head, Dr. Helen Marsh (played by Phylicia Rashad), promises a calm ride through the early Cretaceous Period aboard the Institute’s fleet of Time Rovers. However, her associate, the eccentric Dr. Grant Seeker (Wallace Langham), has hijacked the plans and wants to use our journey to rescue an Iguanodon from extinction. Oh, and did I mention the timeframe he’s sending us into is right before the meteor hits?

The trip takes guests on a frantic chase through dense prehistoric jungles, forests and swamps, as they catch glimpses of broad displays of different dinosaur species, most of which get in near misses with the Time Rovers. For example, guests deal with a Pterodactyl swooping down at the Time Rover and a Compsognathus leaping over the vehicle as it passes by. And that’s not even considering that we have to deal with volcanic eruptions, feasting Alioramus and attacking Velociraptors! If that’s not enough, guests also have to deal with crashing meteors and several encounters with a Carnotaurus, who sees the guests as his prey.


Countdown to Extinction was made in the wake of the resounding success of the Indiana Jones Adventure EMV at Disneyland; and its subsequent arrival in the Magic Kingdom. Tasked with going above and beyond the lofty standards of Indy, the Imagineers succeeded immensely. Just as Indiana Jones places us in the midst of a temple fraught with booby traps, Countdown to Extinction takes us into the twilight of the Age of the Dinosaurs, where danger and peril is around every corner! Making full use of unique lighting, smoke, some of the roughest EMV moment in any theme park attraction, a unique soundtrack and some of the scariest and advanced Audio-Animatronics in Disney history, Countdown to Extinction is an E-ticket, and then some!

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And thus, we have Dinoland, U.S.A.! Our main walkthrough of Disney's Animal Kingdom is over! The recap post will be out tomorrow, as well as a post detailing how many animals one can find here at the park!

I should point out that "Modern Dinosaurs" came from an idea for the One Little Spark Competition back in 2019, created by
@kmbmw777, @Miru, @NateD1226, @Pi on my Cake, @tcool123 and @AceAstro. Likewise, the idea to include Mammoth Falls came from S.W. Wilson's parallel Ideal Buildout concept and the description was borrowed from @MANEATINGWREATH's description of the "Ice Age" railroad diorama from his 2017 Dream Resort thread.

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