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Wild By Design!

I took the Wild By Design Tour at Disney's Animal Kingdom in May 2004. I found the tour to be a nice counterpart to the Backstage Safari. This tour focuses on the onstage elements of the park along with some of the back stories and history of the attractions and the park as a whole. I thought overall we spent too much time in Asia, and not enough in the other areas of the park, and we did not even go to Dinoland or Camp Minnie Mickey.... I think they could expand the tour and include those as well as a Safari trip.

The tour was broken into two parts, the first half was the entrance and Asia. Then something to eat, followed by Africa and the Tree of Life. The tour started before the park opens and its great to walk around with no other guests (note: you can usually have a similar experience right before closing, especially when the park is open late). The "snack" was great and came at a good time. You had your choice of large beverage (hot or cold) and then they brought out two huge platters, one of fruits and the other of pastries. The six(5 guests + 1 CM guide) of us could barely manage to get through half of it.

One addition this tour had that no others we have been on did were wireless headphones so you could here the guide at all times. This was great as we entered the more crowded areas of the park, but seemed overkill and many in the group had them off while in the still closed areas. Our group was small so that may be why.

As with all the tours now a days it closed with a survey and you receive a commemorative pin.


Note: This tour involves a lot of walking and standing. There is no transportation except yourself.

Tour Log (5/2004)
  • Gathered outside the park to the left around 8:30
  • Since we were all there we entered the park at 8:45ish
  • Walked to the dedication plaque
  • Then to Discovery Island and out to Asia
  • Talked to a keeper by the Gibbons
  • Then spent quite a bit of time on the queue to Kali River followed by a walk through the Jungle Trek
  • Then off to Tusker House for our snack
  • Walked through Africa and Pangani
  • Then the trails around the Tree of Life
  • Finished up in the Flame Tree BBQ dining area along the river




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