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32 Unique Animal Kingdom Secrets You Must Discover

Animal Kingdom Hidden Gems and Secrets

32 Unique Animal Kingdom Secrets You Must Discover

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Walt Disney World Secrets and Facts: Animal Kingdom Edition

Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened on Earth Day on April 22, 1998. That special day has led many exciting memories of the animal inhabitant theme park. You may think you see all that Animal Kingdom has to offer but, there are quite a few secrets you should remember for your next Walt Disney World vacation!

Animal Kingdom is located in the Orlando area and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and has more than 1700 animals on property.

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Top 10 BEST Disney's Animal Kingdom Secrets! | Walt Disney World


Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a great park to take your time, get lost, and discover so many different creatures of this world. There are so many unique hidden gems and facts that you’d love learning about as you walk through each highly themed area.


But first, don’t forget to grab your FREE Walt Disney World itinerary here.


Animal Kingdom Lands and Sections

  • Oasis
  • Discovery Island
  • Pandora – World of Avatar
  • Africa
  • Rafiki’s Planet Watch
  • Asia
  • Dinoland U.S.A

32 Animal Kingdom Secrets and Fun Facts

1 – Beastly Kingdom


Disney Animal Kingdom SOLO. #DisneyTips #DisneyWorld #AnimalKingdom #DisneyPlanning #SoloTravel #DisneySolo


As you approach Animal Kingdom you may notice in the parking lot that there are not just animal sections, but you also have a dinosaur and a unicorn section.

The reason why you may see a unicorn section or a dinosaur section is because the park was supposed to be called Beastly Kingdom.

Oasis Area – Animal Kingdom

2 – A Peaceful Oasis


There are no rides located in the Oasis area of Animal Kingdom, which is at the beginning of the park. This is done to show what little human impact has on the environment.



3– Moving Tree


DiVine at Disney's Animal Kingdom Park: Walk-Around Foliage Character, Walt Disney World


While you’re in the Oasis section of Animal Kingdom look for Divine. She is majestically draped in foliage and is definitely something you should see at the start of your Disney day.


4 – Recycle…Reuse…

All the benches and Disney’s Animal Kingdom are made of recycled milk jugs.

Discovery Island – Animal Kingdom



5 – The Original Discovery Island


Abandoned – Disney's Discovery Island


The Discovery Island section of Animal Kingdom is named after the original 11.5-acre Discovery Island attraction that was located on Bay Lake near the Magic Kingdom Theme Park.


6 – A Tree Filled with Life


Animal Kingdom Tree of Life

Animal Kingdom Tree of Life


The Tree of Life (the large tree that welcomes you in Animal Kingdom) is 145 feet tall, with 325 reptiles, mammals, and birds.


7 – More than Just a Tree

The Tree of Life houses a one-of-a-kind 4-D attraction. This attraction is call It’s Tough to Be A Bug and it’s hidden deep inside the roots of the Tree of Life.

DinoLand U.S.A. – Animal Kingdom


Dinoland USA | Full Tour in 4K | Disney's Animal Kingdom | 2017


8 – Boneyard Secrets

Discover Boneyard secrets by lifting the lid on the second crate in the play area. You should be able to hear something scary going on inside the crate.



9– Big Footprints to Fill


Step on the giant footprints on the ground inside DinoLand U.S.A. You should hear a growl and other sounds around in the Boneyard.



10– Milder Ride with Dinosaurs


The Theme Park History of Countdown to Extinction/Dinosaur (Disney's Animal Kingdom)


Countdown to Extinction is not the same ride it was when it originally opened. Today’s version is much milder than it originally was prior to 2000. The attraction was renamed Dinosaur! to go with the movie release of the same name in the year 2000.


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11 – Find a Live Dinosaur

Search DinoLand U.S.A. and find the life American crocodile sits next to the dig site and Dino Bites.



12– Learn the Secrets of the Paleontologist


Restaurantosaurus – Dining Review at Disney's Animal Kingdom


Inside a Restaurantosaurus just before you enter the Hip Joint section of the restaurant, go through the bookshelf. You’ll see many funny titled books that the paleontologists enjoy such as, Dino’s in Love and Captain Cretaceous.



13 – Encounter the Tyrannosaurus Rex


Don’t forget to check out the 40-foot long, 20-foot high Tyrannosaurus Rex as you make your way to Dinosaur!


14 – Scientific Demarcation Point


When you enter the Dino Institute (inside Dinosaur!) Look for the dark layer next to you. This dark area is the K-T boundary which is the time between the age of dinosaurs and the age of mammals.


15 – A Parking Lot Inside Animal Kingdom

Around the game area of DinoLand U.S.A. you can see some of the white parking space lines. Letting you know that this area was previously a parking lot in the storyline following Chester and Hester, the DinoLand mascots.




Asia – Animal Kingdom

Expedition Everest at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Who’s ready to find the Yeti?


16 – Prayer Flags in Asia

Look at the many colorful flags throughout Asia. These are called prayer flags and are found in Tibetan culture.


17 – Five Main Colors

In Asian culture the five color flags are shown in one order: yellow, green, red, white, and blue, signifying earth, water, fire, cloud, and sky.


18 – Expedition Everest Secret to Wealth


Notice all of the firewood on the roofs of the Expedition Everest attraction. Wood is sacred in the Mount Everest area. This means the more wood you have on the top of your roof, the more wealthy you are.


19 – Lots of Red Throughout Expedition Everest

Inside Expedition Everest you will notice lots of red coloring throughout the building. Red is thought to be a color of protection. It is also thought to keeps evil spirits away.


20 – Honor the Yeti

Check out the red mark on the forehead of the Yeti’s statue. It’s a symbol of honor and respect.


21 – A Classic Steam Train

Expedition Everest at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom


Note the old tea company steam train. Look carefully to see real steam coming from the train through the tracks below, right when the train takes off.


22 – Don’t Forget the Shrine



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The shrine next to the telescope in Asia is an outline of the mountain range across the lake. You can see the shrine right before you head towards Expedition Everest.


23 – Kali River Rapids

Kali is the Hindu goddess of “time end of the transformation that comes with death.” A violent interpretation of Mother Nature, which is why Kali River Rapids is an intense water-raft attraction.



24 – Royalty in Asia

Try to find the picture of the Royal Couple of Anandapur. You can see this in the shops around the Asian section of the park. This picture indicates how wealthy a shop owner is.

The bigger the picture, the wealthier the owner.


25 – Boat Tours in Animal Kingdom


Discovery River Boats (Disney's Animal Kingdom) Pt. 1 of 2

On the walk to Africa from Asia, you’ll notice a boat dock on the waterway to the left, right across from Flights of Wonder. Believe it or not, there was once a boat tour that you could take from one area of Animal Kingdom to the other when park originally opened.

Africa – Animal Kingdom

Africa Animal Kingdom Harambe Village #DisneyTips #AnimalKingdom #DisneySecrets


26 – Harambe Village


Harambe Village in the Africa section of the park is where you you’ll find lots of music, wildlife, and even more hidden gems.

Harambe is Swahili for “let us all pull together.”


27 – African Phone Booths

You will notice a phone booth near the restrooms across from Tusker House. This indicates the time period in which British ruled parts of east Africa.


28 – Kenya’s Independence

Around Harambe Village, look for signs with the year 1961.  This is the year the Republic of Kenya became an independent country.


29 – Kilimanjaro Safaris



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Morning safari 🐘🦏🐆 #AnimalKingdom #disney #wdw #WaltDisneyWorld #igers

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The jeeps used for the Safari operate on liquid propane. This keeps the emissions low around the wildlife.


30 – Hidden Wildlife Dividers

On Kilimanjaro Safari you cannot see the hidden barriers between you and the animals, because of human-made boundaries. These boundaries help you feel as if you’re right in the middle of a safari, while protecting both you and the animals.

Pandora: World of Avatar – Animal Kingdom


10 Hidden Details in Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom – HiPS Ep. 4


31 – In the Steps of the Navi People

Check out the large footprints on the ground in front of the Na’vi River Journey.


32 – Predatory Bats

Right before you enter the Avatar Flight of Passage caves, look towards your left to see sleeping stingbats.

Final Thoughts


Animal Kingdom Secrets in Africa at Disney #disneysecrets #disneyplanning

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There you have it!

Those are some of the best secrets for you to uncover on your Animal Kingdom trip. Let me know which Animal Kingdom secret surprised you the most in the comment section below.

If you’d like to read more Walt Disney World secrets, then purchase this amazing book The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World: Over 600 Secrets of the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom by Susan Veness.


Want more theme park tips? Check out the theme park tips page. If you’re thinking about going to Disney alone, then read the top 18 tips. Are you planning a Disney vacation soon? Read the Disney Vacation Planning Guide for your next dream trip!


Read More Disney Tips Below:

Don’t forget to discover the new magical and mysterious Disney adventure of Pandora – The World of Avatar at Animal Kingdom® Theme Park.

Now go out and have fun!

Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!



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JOIN NIKKYJ ON THIS SOLO THEME PARK JOURNEY NikkyJ is the author of The Solo Theme Park Traveler's Guide who loves ALL things amusement park related. She was born and raised in Florida which attributed to her passion for theme parks. Instead of rushing over to the thrill rides, like she used to, you may find her in the Italy Pavilion at Epcot enjoying a nice glass of Pinot Noir and a delightful book! NikkyJ enjoys traveling solo to theme parks and wants to show you how you can overcome any of your fears and TAKE THE SOLO THEME PARK CHALLENGE!

2 Comments so far

SamaraPosted on  7:47 pm - Apr 10, 2019

I didn’t know many of these! Animal Kingdom is such a unique park! One of my favourites.

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