Animal Kingdom's dedication was read by Michael
Eisner on April 22, 1998
Welcome to a kingdom of animals . . . real, ancient and imagined:
A kingdom ruled by lions, dinosaurs and dragons; A kingdom of balance,
harmony and survival; A kingdom we enter to share in the wonder,
gaze at the beauty, thrill at the drama . . . and learn
recent slogan of the park is "Nahtazu!". I agree Disney's
Animal Kingdom is not a zoo. That is my conclusion after going to
the park several times. Many people say the park is just a glorified
zoo. I think that it only thing it has in common with a regular
zoo are animals. Everything else is quite different and very Disney.
The park has a little bit of everything in it. It has parts that
are close to a wild animal park, parts that are like other Disney
themeparks, parts that are like a botanical garden, and parts that
are unlike anything you have seen before. If you go into the park
with an open mind and take a relaxing walk through and try to just
experience the park you will have a very enjoyable visit. If you
"attack" this park like a traditional Disney park you will probably
have a good time, but you will miss out on what makes this park
so great. I just hope that Disney will continue to expand on this
idea, verses getting sucked in with more "rides" mindset like they
did at the Studios.
My first experience at Disney's Animal Kingdom
started with a 6:20am bus ride from the Yacht Club resort to the
Animal Kingdom. It was a foggy December morning. Pulling up to the
park was weird in the fog. You could not see exactly what lies ahead
or on the sides. You would get brief glimpses of what is to come.
After departing the bus and starting to walk to the main gate, something
weird occurred. Disney was passing out FREE hot chocolate, Tea,
or Coffee to anyone who wanted it. I could not believe my eyes.
It was almost as if the fog had taken us into the twilight zone
I was immediately struck by the vast amounts
of green. I had seen the park on TV and in pictures, but I was not
prepared for the scope and density of it. As you cross the bridge
to enter the park you get your first view of the Tree of Life. This
structure is incredibly detailed and amazing to look at. The rest
of the park carries out the grand look. I was really impressed by
the entire park. Disney had done their normal, outstanding, job
of adding detail and character to the park.