Discovery Island Fun Facts

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  1. Discovery Island originally was named Safari Village
  2. E. B. Effects created most of the great marquee's and signs on Discovery Island. Checkout some of their work in front of their garage door
    REPORTED: anon 14 MAY 01


  1. On of the most fascinating live animal/human performances ever in the Artimals!


  1. Red kangaroos are the size of a lima bean when they're born.
  2. There are over 4,000 varieties of trees and plants in Disney's Animal KingdomĘ Theme Park. The Park has recruited the top talent from 83 accredited institutions who bring to Disney over 2,000 years of professional experience.

Tree of Life

  1. Tree's concept come from the Indoneasian Island of Bali. Balinese artists carve animal figures into truncks and branches of dead trees on the island.
  2. A giant spear of ''broccoli,'' actually a tree encased in a dome and covered with fake plants, was one of the many ideas discarded by Disney during the creation of what ultimately became its Animal Kingdom icon: the Tree of Life.
  3. Zsolt Hormay was the chief sculptor.
  4. Animal Kingdom's Tree of Life took two years to grow. The cement foundation was poured in the fall of 1995. A team of sculptors from around the world working six days a week rain or shine for a year completed the exterior carvings October 1997.
  5. Over 325 animals, ranging from a grasshopper to a lion, are carved on the Tree of Life and over 103,000 leaves were individually placed on the branches. The tree is 145 feet tall and its trunk is 50 feet wide. The tree and its roots spread out 170 feet.
    CONFIRMED: Jason Dixon 24 MAR 00
  6. Only two of the animals carved are not made from cement. A river otter and a moray eel were made from foam because they sit on branches high up in the tree, and the branches might not have supported the weight of concrete.
  7. The tree is built with concrete cladding over an oil derrick and resembles an oversized cross between a baobab and a banyan. Disney went to Houston to hire an oilfield contractor to modify an oil rig for the tree's frame, providing the steel-reinforced strength needed for such an enormous structure.
  8. Story of the tree is that an ant had a magic seed and planted it for the other animals to come and take shade under. The Tree grew with animals on it. They were not carved; they just appeared
  9. You can see the Tree of Life at the Animal Kingdom from the top of Mount Gushmore at Blizzard Beach. It is 14 stories tall, almost the height of Spaceship Earth and more than 50 feet wide.
    REPORTED: Josh Jacobs 05 SEP 96
    CONFIRMED: jeffrey adam 20 OCT 96
    Just to let you know that you can have a very neat view over the Animal Kingdom park from the top of Blizzard Beach
    CONFIRMED: Philip Montgomery 04 NOV 96
    CONFIRMED: TR Shaw 27 DEC 96
    You can also see it from the California Grill (if you face the right direction).
    CONFIRMED: Melanie Emmons 23 APR 97
    You can see the tree of life from my old apartment building in the western end of Kissimmee.
    CONFIRMED: EPCOTgirl 04 OCT 00
  10. Did you notice that when you go through some of the roots you see insects in one area and dinosaurs/extinct animals in another? I think there was also a mole near the insects.
    REPORTED: Melanie Emmons 25 SEP 98
    I'm confirming the sightings of different bugs and a mole under the roots of the Tree of Life! I saw them too! The mole suprised me and I showed my mother, she saw it too! But to see it, you actually have to look for it. My uncle told me it was there and I didnt believe him. But sure enough, it was there!
    CONFIRMED: Katie 10 MAY 02
  11. There are approximately 1,032,000 animal species know to science, of which 750,000 are insects. This number only represents those species that have been discovered. The number of living species of all kinds of organisms currently known on earth is 1.4 million. A large number of new species turn up every year, therefore the total number of organisms could be close to 10 million or as high as 100 million.
  12. There is a 430-seat theater inside the tree. The show in the Tree of Life is a 3-D movie, "It's Tough To Be A Bug," featuring the characters from "A Bug's Life" and feature a whole new arsenal of in house effects along with the effects from Pixar. This will mark the first time a Theme Park Attraction has been released before the film.
    REPORTED: Kevin D 22 MAR 97
    It is the most 4D Disney movie ever. They show butterflies flying around the theatre.
    UPDATE: Ghost Host 13 JAN 98
    The first was Sleeping Beauty Castle in 1955 before the movie in 1959.
    CONFIRMED: DisneyMan 23 JUL 98
  13. All of the Disney 3D Adventure Shows, such as Muppet Vision 4D, and Honey I Shrunk the Audience, It's Tough To Be A Bug, as well as the since past show Magic Journeys all use the same principle of presentation. Unlike normal 3D show (red/blue lenses) these film use a process of reverse polorization every other frame. The clear glasses are reversed polorized which allow your eyes to detect the difference of angle between the two frames - this method is cheap for filming, and it can be added after filming is done. It also adds a higher degree of control on the 3D effects.
    REPORTED: Kenneth Klingensmith 25 JUN 98
  14. Muppet Vision 3-D is the only 3-D attraction at the Walt Disney World resort that the 3-D glasses are actually called 3-D glasses. At It's tough to be a Bug they are called Bug Eyes, at Honey, I Shrunk the Audience they are called Safety Goggles.
    REPORTED: joey 11 MAY 01
  15. The only "real" attraction shown is the Tree of Life. The voice-overs are by Joe Rohde and another Imagineer named Bob Shaw.
    REPORTED: Ghost Host 13 JAN 98
  16. It's Tough To Be A Bug has two famous people doing voice overs. Dave Foley (NesRadio) does Flik, (the blue ant) Kevin Spacey (L.A. confidential) does Hopper (the grasshopper)
    REPORTED: anon 11 NOV 98
    CHEECH MARIN is the voice of the poisen-thorn-shooting-tarantula in the "It's Tough to be a Bug" show
    UPDATE: Danny 04 JAN 99
    the voice of the unnamed insect who catches the acorn and runs into the flower is done by Jason Alexander (George form Seinfeld)
    UPDATE: anon 02 MAY 01
  17. In the "It's Tough to be a Bug" show, after the termite-ator comes out and sprays tose flees, Disney pipes in the sound of a baby crying. It's right before the termite says "Intruders." Listen for it, it's there every time.
    REPORTED: Jonathan Zielinski 03 FEB 99
    In reference to the baby crying in "It's Tough to be a Bug!" Originally after the soldier termite has sprayed the flea, there was a sound of a coke bottle being knocked over. It was decided that because no food or drink is allowed in the theater (which only seats 428, not 430) there wouldn't be a coke bottle to have been kicked over. So it was decided to put a baby crying instead. According to one of the show designers, they put the sound effect (be it a baby or a coke bottle) in, apparently coming from the audience, so that they could change the focus of the termite's attention to the audience.
    CONFIRMED: Ben Tolman 07 FEB 00
  18. Hopper is the most sophisticated Audio Animatronic device yet created by Disney
    REPORTED: Tom & Renée Shaw 10 JAN 00
    Hopper as the most sophisticated animatronic yet built. This is true. Hopper has 72 "functions" (movement centers), which is the biggest yet. Also, his four arms' range of motion is within range of each of the other arms--which is to say he can hit himself with his arms (which has happened). That is a first for animatronics as well.
    CONFIRMED: Ben Tolman 07 FEB 00
    The Hopper Animatronic is worth approximatly $1.5 million
    UPDATE: anon 02 MAY 01
  19. There are also no hidden Mickeys inside the movie itself because that was done by Pixar entertainment, NOT walt disney world imagineers.
    REPORTED: anon 29 OCT 00
    Note: There are documented hidden Mickeys in Pixar films
  20. At "Its Tough to be a Bug", the "unnamed insect" who shoots acorns at you and runs into the flower is actually a weevil. It says on the posters right before you enter the tree and get your bug eyes.
    REPORTED: Honey Bear 18 OCT 01
  21. Characters: Terk is seen occasionally by First Aid, and the Chipmunks are seen regularly across from Pizzafari. Princess Anna and Flik come out to play by the Tree of Life on special occasions.
    REPORTED: Jeff 09 JAN 01
  22. I'm not sure if this constitutes as a "Fun Fact of the Animal Kingdom" or not . . . but I was at Animal Kingdom over New Year's, and I overheard a guest ask a CM whether the Tree of Life was real. The CM replied, "Yes . . . it's a real Disney tree." I chuckled.
    REPORTED: Justin 20 FEB 01

Tree of Life's Facts and Figures








145 feet


50 feet wide

Root Spread

170 feet

Canopy Spread

160 feet


> 8,000



Leaf quarantee

20 years


Concrete Plaster

Animal Carvings



420-seat theater plus 8 wheelchairs and 2 cast members
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