Disney's Animal Kingdom celebrates its 15th birthday -- so what should the park do next?
Disney's Animal Kingdom celebrates its 15th birthday today -- the park opened on Earth Day, April 22, 1998. Today, the park is the fourth most-visited theme park in America and third among the Walt Disney World theme parks, trailing the Magic Kingdom and Epcot but placing ahead of Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Theme Park Insider fans love the park for its Festival of the Lion King show, Kilimanjaro Safaris ride and the Expedition Everest roller coaster, despite the animatronic Yeti that's been frozen in place for years, due to a broken support structure.
If you've visited Animal Kingdom recently, please consider yourself invited to rate and review its attractions and dining facilities on our Disney's Animal Kingdom listings page. But let's also talk about the future of this theme park, the youngest park at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Animal Kingdom will be the home to the new Avatar project, currently underway with an opening date yet to be announced. But Animal Kingdom's been the subject of many other Disney plans and fan rumors over the years.
Looking ahead to Animal Kingdom's 20 anniversary in 2018, what would you most want to see the park have opened by then? Would you like to see the Yeti repaired? Or would you rather Disney focus on Avatar? What about adding a new continent, such as Australia, America, or -- to match SeaWorld Orlando's upcoming attraction -- Antarctica? What about those Beastly Kingdom plans that were once supposed to be included in the park? And now, some fans are talking about Animal Kingdom as a good home for a stateside version of the Mystic Manor ride that just debuted to wildly enthusiastic reviews at Hong Kong Disneyland.
You can't choose "all of the above." To see where's fans' priorities lie, please select the option that's your top pick for this park.
Happy birthday, Animal Kingdom!
Mystic Manor. Mystic Manor. Mystic Manor.
Animal Kingdom is my wife and I's favorite park at the Walt Disney World Resort, and a lot of that has to do with the way it is currently set up. I love how different it is/feels from the other Disney parks, it feels very authentic and real (with the exception of that god-awful dinosaur themed area). There was a time when I was dying for a "Beastly Kingdom" type area to happen, but now...I'm glad they didn't pull the trigger.
How come there no option for Eworks village. Now that Disney owns Lucasfilms, they can put Indy ride & exhibit there. Or tour Endor moon on one of those chicken walkers in that forest planet. Also, it's Disney own they get all the money.
I voted for Mystic Manor, though all would be great options.
First things first: FIX THE &^%#$#@ YETI!!!!!
Avatar is a movie. If only disney owned a park devoted to movies where they could put a themed world from a movie.
Mystic Manor is my choice. This park is much too hot. It needs indoor rides for people to escape from the heat.
Mystic Manor looks absolutely incredible, but I can't see how it would mesh with Animal Kingdom- at all. I'm voting Beastly Kingdom!
Build some Fantasyland style dark rides based on Bambi, the Jungle Book and the Lion King.
Avatar. Avatar. Avatar. And do it right!
What is with all you and Dinoland USA. I love Dinoland USA along with everything else in Animal Kingdom. I voted for Beastly Kingdom, although I could go with almost anything, as long as they do some good things to add to what is already at AK.
I really think Animal Kingdom should add an Australia "continent" and allow park visitors to see Kangaroos up close and personal, as well as Koalas and other animals we don't normally get to see. It'd be better than an Australia pavilion at EPCOT (they should add Russia, anyway).
Gabriel Scholl writes: "Give up on Avatar. It's not going to happen."
Fix the yeti.
I'd add another continent, or more appropriately, a subcontinent. India-based attractions, proximate to Expedition Everest with a tie in to the Jungle Book seems like a natural. A Bollywood show would be a hoot.
It absolutely shocks me that Disney hasn't cut the cord on this Avatar project. Just because it was a successful movie doesn't guarantee success at a theme park. Disney would be MUCH MUCH MUCH better off adding 1 of the 3 following attractions in Animal Kingdom and it would be an instant success.
I would love either an Indiana Jones Ride, Beastly Kingdom, or a Mystic Manor! Or all of the above!... But NO AVATAR!
I've never been to Animal Kingdom, but from the map it seems like they could stick a new area in between Africa and Asia by removing Rafiki's Planet Watch. Thus, my first choice would be a new continent located between those two.
I have no issues with Avatar coming to AK. The movie preaches very strong ideological views of living harmoniously with the world you are presented, and being at one with nature. How is this not a fit for many of the concepts already expressed in this park. Seeing what Disney has done recently with Carsland, New Fantasy Land, Mystic Manor and Grizzly Gulch, I'm all in on letting the Imagineers conjure up a world class E-ticket based off of this property. Plus, with Cameron on board, you know he will not settle for a sub par experience, so whether you liked the movie(s) or not, there is a high probability of you being wowed by the finished product regardless.
Why not create "Australia" and morph it with Beastly Kingdom? Stop creating rides based on movies. We have many mythical beasts from the "Australian Dreamtime" - this name fits perfectly with Disney! How about a water ride based on Tiddalik the Frog? Google this story! Or a coaster based on the story of the Rainbow Serpent? A fantastic theme for a Mystic Manor could be based on the scary Australian monster, the Bunyip! or the Yara-ma-yha-who! Really, so many great ideas for attractions with just these four Australian creatures! I'd love to hear some ideas of rides from you all based on these! Then of course, Wallabies, Koalas, Emus, Wombats, Echidnas, Platypus', so many fantastic animals, most which you can touch, feed and cuddle :) I think this would be AMAZING :)
BRING BACK TARZAN ROCKS!
I have two things that I want to see happen: add the continent of Australia and also create an attraction based on Mystic Manor (but slightly different). What I propose is this:
I voted something like Mystic Manor, because I considered Journey something like it (A fabulous overseas ride with stateside rumors). In reality, if we're talking first thing they should do, it's the yeti no doubt. But that's not a long term project or adding anything new, so it's not what most people are voting for. The average man will say "fix that **** yeti, then give us Australia/overseas ride/Beastly Kingdom".
I'd love to see AK live up to the original vision. It's still a great(half) day park, but there's no getting away from the feeling that you're in a park that's been compromised. When you see the original plans it's hard not to feel short changed e.g. Kali could have been great, but the budget offering we got is an extremely dull affair - which further suffers from effects being turned off or not working.
I voted for Avatar land because I love to see Disney fail again and again. We know it'll have a e-ticket ride no one will care for like Epcot's Mission: SPACE. We know they'll cut costs somewhere so a part would look like an amazing compliment to DinoLand U.S.A. and we know they'll probably put something in there that is talked up by Disney but brake's down sooner or later and that would fit The Tree Of Life and the Yeti.
Regarding the addition of an 'Avatar' attraction to Disney's Animal Kingdom, the anonymous poster (^) writes: "We know it'll have a e-ticket ride no one will care for like Epcot's Mission: SPACE."
For everyone calling for Beastly Kingdom--if you read up on your Disney history--the imagineers that designed Beastly Kingdom were let go from Imagineering and took their ideas to Universal/IOA. One of the main attrations planned for Beastly Kingdom was a rollercoaster through a ruined castle inhabited by a Dragon--this became the old Dueling Dragons coaser at IOA. I dont the Beastly Kingdom will ever see the light of day
I'll bet the Yeti will be up and running in time for the 50th Anniversary in 2021.
I chose Beastly Kingdom, because they will complete Avatar anyway. As for Everest, the current situation is unacceptable, even if the ride is still fun. I would be in favor of them closing it for however long it takes to bring the Yeti back to his A game.
Let's get the remaining contients that the equator crosses their own sections at Animal Kingdom, namely South America and Oceania (Australia/New Zealand/South Pacific).
I want them to do something with the 10,000 league vehicles, but with real animals somehow safely involved since the park is animal themed.
"10,000 league vehicles"?!
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