Terrific Tuesdays: The Magnificent Tree of Life

I think the Imagineers did a fantastic job when they developed the idea of the iconic Tree of Life for Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park.  It is magnificent and a great area to explore while at the park.I wanted to share some information about the Tree of Life like major points, fun facts and touring tips.

Major points

  • The tree is located on Discovery Island and serves as the centerpiece of the park
  • Not really a tree, the trunk and branches are made of fiberglass and the inner part is made from steel framework. The leaves are made from polyvinylidene fluoride.
  • It is 14 stories (145 ft) tall and 50 ft wide
  • It took 10 artists and 3 Imagineers 18 months of full-time work to create it
  • There are 325 animal carvings on The Tree of Life (fish, snakes, deer, eagle, rhino, pelican, and the list goes on and on)
  • The branches span 165 feet across
  • There are over 100,000 leaves on the tree
  • There is a 430-seat theater housed inside the Tree of Life root system where the show, It’s Tough to be a Bug! is performed. This 8-minute, 3D movie and multimedia show is based on the Disney-Pixar film, A Bug’s Life.

Fun Facts

  • Paths known as Discovery Island Trails weave around and through the tree. Take a walk down the trails to see the spectacle of the tapestry of all the animals carved into the bark.
  • Jane Goodall was invited to come and see the Animal Kingdom Park during its construction in 1997. When she came to the Tree of Life, Michael Eisner asked her what she thought about the animals being carved into the tree and she asked, “Where is the chimpanzee going?” After conferring with the chief sculptor, Zsolt Hormay, Mr. Eisner embarrassingly admitted that there was not one included in the choices of animals. He then told Miss Goodall to pick a place on the tree and one would be sculpted wherever she wished. She chose the entrance outside of It’s Tough To Be A Bug! so everyone would be able to see David Greybeard; the first chimp she ever observed. You can’t help but notice him as he is much more detailed than the other animals, and there is a plaque next to his image describing him.
  • You might see a famous mouse hiding among its branches

Tips

  • View the Tree of Life at different times during the day. As the sun moves and shadows change you will see different animals appear.
  • When you walk down the path to the Tree of Life there are places where you will walk through tunnels. If you look up at the ceilings, you can see a lot of different types of animals and species up there. Just look up when you go through those arches.
  • Look for DiVine to be hanging around near or behind the Tree of Life.
  • Be sure to walk through the Tree of Life Garden because there is great plant life and real animals that are part of the landscape. There are even cast members present to discuss the various animals, their origins and characteristics.

The Tree of Life is a very unique part of the Animal Kingdom Park; don’t miss it. I hope you will spend some time really exploring this wonderful attraction during your next visit as kids usually love it and it is a great educational tool as well.

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Brenda is a native Texan born and raised on the Gulf Coast. She visited Disney World twice as a teenager and always dreamed of growing her family Disney. She took her first-timer husband and their three children to Disney World in 2000 and they now spend every Thanksgiving there. Brenda writes with a comedic twist on various Disney topics. She will be sharing tips she has learned during her travels and also hopes to enlighten people on little-known freebies that Disney has to offer. She wishes she could have met Walt Disney and considers herself to be a student of Walt. In parallel to his dream it is her wish that everyone would take at least one trip to Disney World in order to share in its magic with their families.

Find out how the FREE services of a Disney World travel agent can make planning your Disney vacation simple and STRESS FREE! And for a limited time only, receive a FREE Disney gift card for qualifying Disney vacation packages! Ask for details!

Brenda is a native Texan born and raised on the Gulf Coast. She visited Disney World twice as a teenager and always dreamed of growing her family Disney. She took her first-timer husband and their three children to Disney World in 2000 and they now spend every Thanksgiving there. Brenda writes with a comedic twist on various Disney topics. She will be sharing tips she has learned during her travels and also hopes to enlighten people on little-known freebies that Disney has to offer. She wishes she could have met Walt Disney and considers herself to be a student of Walt. In parallel to his dream it is her wish that everyone would take at least one trip to Disney World in order to share in its magic with their families.

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Related posts:

  1. Terrific Tuesdays: Animal Kingdom’s Tree of Life
  2. Terrific Tuesdays: The Tree of Life
  3. Terrific Tuesdays: Tree of Life
  4. Wordless Wednesday: The Tree of Life
  5. Terrific Tuesdays: Disney’s Kilimanjaro Safari
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