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WDW Theme Parks Discuss Old Animal Kingdom Article in the Vacation Planning forums; I found this article in an old (circa '98) issue of Disney Adventures magazine and thought that DWT might be interested, so i'll type it up here! Extra-interesting parts are ...
  1. #1
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    Exclamation Old Animal Kingdom Article

    I found this article in an old (circa '98) issue of Disney Adventures magazine and thought that DWT might be interested, so i'll type it up here! Extra-interesting parts are highlighted in red.

    Enjoy!

    Call Of The Wild

    Disney's brand-new theme park explores the wild world of animals.

    Roaring. Soaring. Exploring. And never boring! It's Animal Kingdom! Walt Disney World's newest theme park,opening April 22, celebrates animals ranging from dinos to rhinos. You can safari through Africa, where you'll spot real animals like lions, giraffes and zebras running wild. Then, as you cruise Discovery River, watch out for the fire-breathing dragon. And when you stop at Conservation Station, you'll learn how you can help save endangered animals. [Disney Adventures] went behind the scenes to check out our favorite spots. Ready to explore? Keep reading!

    Dino-mite

    DinoLand U.S.A. boasts the fast and fun thrill ride Countdown To Extinction.

    What better way to enter DinoLand U.S.A. than by walking under a 50-foot tall Brachiosaurus skeleton called Olden Gate Bridge? In this area of the park, you can visit a dinosaur dig site, unearth a dino skeleton and crawl thrugh fascinating fossils. Next, explore the Cretaceous Trail, to see live survivors from the dino age like soft-shelled turtles and Chinese alligators. Just when you think this prehistoric place can't get any cooler, you board an exciting, high-speed adventure ride. Countdown to Extinction takes you back 65 million years on a quest to save the endangered dino from a deadly asteroid. Ride designer Paul Torrigino describes the dinos you'll see as you twist, turn and tilt through the Cretaceous Period.

    Name: Carnotaurus
    Eating Habits: Carnivore (meat-eater)
    Claim to Fame: It's big, bad head boasted two horns, similar to a bull's horns (no wonder it's name means "meat bull").
    Most Likely To: Tear other animals in half with its powerful jaw and sharp teeth.
    Weird Science: "These dinos have tiny forearms, and the paleontologists are still debating how these were used," says Paul.
    Ride Role: Carnotaurus, the baddest of the bad guys, bullies the ride's passengers (the designers gave him a reddish color to make him scarier). This deadly dino chases its unwelcome visitors through a prehistoric forest, destroying whatever crosses its path. Let's just hope it's not the passengers!

    Name: Raptor
    Eating Habits: Carnivore
    Claim to Fame: The "killer claw," a 5- to 7-inch claw on each foot, helped the raptor rip into the body of its enemies. Ooouch!!!
    Most likely to: Win the "best weapons" award for its extra-sharp teeth, strong hands and Freddy Krueger-like claws.
    Weird Science: Paleontologists found a hinge behind the raptor's eyes that they think kept this beast's brain in place when it bit down hard on something.
    Ride Role: Passengers experience a close call with the raptor. "The raptor spots the passengers and wants to attack them," Paul says, "but the ride vehicle short circuits and scares thedino away."

    Tree-mendous

    Animal Kingdom's towering tree soars to life.

    You can see it from miles away, yet when you walk through the entrance to Animal Kingdom, it's nowhere to be found. As you walk further into the park, you continue your search, wondering if it even exists. Then, as you turn the corner into Safari Village, you see it-a tree, 14 stories high! It's the Tree Of Life, a 145-foot-tall fake tree smack dab in the middle of Animal Kingdom. This amazing piece of art has 325 carvings of animals sculpted into its roots, trunk, and branches. A movie theater is tucked inside the tree's tremendous trunk. It's currently showing It's Tough To Be A Bug, a 3-D film about the creepy, crawly, slimy, squishy world of insects.

    It took 12 months for the sculptors to hand-carve the 325 animals into the Tree Of Life.
    there's nothing to get hung about

  2. #2
    HauntedGabe's Avatar
    HauntedGabe is offline Where'd she go???
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    I remember the hype, we went there the first month it opened. A few fun things but overall a horrible experience. Hot, hardly any A/C anywhere. My DH got heat stroke. Down for 2 days. I just ran across some old pictures last week that had the open air gift shops. It really has changed in the past ten years.
    By the time we got there a month after opening the Cruise boat ride was already shuttered.

  3. #3
    DocTerminus's Avatar
    DocTerminus is offline A-Ticket holder
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    I attended Animal Kingdom opening week. My take on the park was a bit different than yours. I didn't hear much HYPE... For me all I heard going in was negative stuff from press and naysayers. Upon opening, it felt like a new park and for me, much of it felt experimental. Like the Imagineers were trying different things the same way they have with all their parks beginning with Disneyland's Magic Kingdom.

    Sure, it was hot temperature-wise. But living in Florida, this was certainly my expectation - especially considering the park wasn't there long enough for the trees to grow in. "Ride"-attractions were scarce at that time... Dinosaur (Countdown to Extinction) did not open with the park, Everest and the River Rapids hadn't even broken ground.

    The shows were still in their infancy, but were unique and made for an enjoyable experience. The Jungle Book show was a nice precursor to Nemo.

    The cast members upon opening were already top-notch and food offerings were still nice for any amusement park.

    The animals were aplenty upon opening and the park, at a leisurely pace filled the day nicely.

    So, my take was different from all the complainers on the news and on the internet. Their opinions were loud and printed in bold type on the front of the paper. There complaints were totally valid for them, I just didn't see how they applied to everyone else.

    Overall, my girlfriend and I really enjoyed ourselves. We would consider ourselves fortunate to have 1 good Disney Park within driving distance. To have 4 is truly a blessing.
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