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  1. #1

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    Will Animal kingdom ever get new animal experiences?

    After visiting Animal Kingdom last week I found myself most enjoying the animal experience attractions in the park: Kilimanjaro Safaris and both the African and Asian treks. The enclosures and experiences were unlike anything I had ever seen at a conventional zoo and it was the perfect blend of Disney-quality themed experience and animal encounters (though I do miss the Kilimanjaro poacher storyline).

    However, most of these exhibits are original to the park and new additions like Expedition Everest have not really brought new animal experiences to the park. Avatar likely also won't incorporate animals. Sea World's new penguin attraction seems to prove that animal based attractions can still be developed in ways that are entertaining, story-driven and have the ability to present effective animal encounters. So my question is: will we ever see new animal experiences incorporated into the park or is Animal Kingdom slowly being steered in a different direction?
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  2. #2

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    Re: Will Animal kingdom ever get new animal experiences?

    I think you left out IMO the best of all these areas, the Oasis and the discovery island trails. I agree though, I think that should be the primary direction AK should go in the future. I'm really hoping the terrible Avatar concept is cancelled and we can see the development of an Australia or America's land.

  3. #3

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    Re: Will Animal kingdom ever get new animal experiences?

    I hope so. There's plenty of room for expansion. I'd love to see experiences based on Australia. Different environment and unique animals would be a great fit for the park.

    Hopefully the sea world additions will show its not just thril rides which bring people to the parks

  4. #4

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    Re: Will Animal kingdom ever get new animal experiences?

    I may be wrong, but I really think they'd be somewhat hesitant to add more live animals. Live animals means lots more hassle for them, such as additional regulations for taking care of the animals, veterinary expenses, maintenance issues, etc. with all the penny pinching that seems to go on in the company, live exhibits would not be the way to go.
    again, I could be wrong.

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    Re: Will Animal kingdom ever get new animal experiences?

    We must also remember that even though its been 15 years, Disney is still new to the animal park business. They've succeeded in attractions that tell a story, that sell a product, that put a person within a storybook on a ride. But to incorporate live animals into it was a new venture for them. I am a big fan of Disney, but out of all 4 of the parks here, AK is my least favorite. I am a pass holder and I feel no need to go there unless its for Everest or the desire to spend half a morning there. Because I could easily spend a few hours and be done with the park for a couple of months, unlike MK or Epcot which is my favorite of the 4. Though I do have the desire to see AK at night so I may do that in the fall once the weather cools down. I'm from Southern California, born & raised. So I've been to the San Diego Zoo & San Diego Wild Animal Park numerous times, as well as the LA Zoo. So when it comes to zoos or an animal park, Disney for once has a standard to live up to that they haven't met in my eyes. Its the other way around for them when it comes to that. Especially since my most favorite zoo in the country is the National Zoo in DC. It has everything I love. An awesome Reptile House, other animal exhibits and a "think tank" on one side of the zoo connected to the Ape & Primate House on the other side by a suspended cable line that the apes use to transport between the two buildings above the patrons below. I know of no other zoo or animal park that has that. And most of all, the admission to the National Zoo is free because its part of the Smithsonian. So you can walk in anytime off the street. I have yet to see Disney beat that. Attractions/rides or not.
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  6. #6

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    Re: Will Animal kingdom ever get new animal experiences?

    Animals aren't "Disney" so I would not except any new animal exhibits any time soon.

  7. #7

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    Re: Will Animal kingdom ever get new animal experiences?

    Quote Originally Posted by lazyboy97O View Post
    Animals aren't "Disney" so I would not except any new animal exhibits any time soon.
    I'm sorry but I am a little confused. Do you mean except/accept or expect? (Expect I presume. But not trying be the grammar police. I truly am a little bit confused.)
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  8. #8

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    Re: Will Animal kingdom ever get new animal experiences?

    I think Disney is moving away from live animals. Too expensive in upkeep.
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    Re: Will Animal kingdom ever get new animal experiences?

    That's the whole point of the park though.
    "Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children." - Walter Elias Disney

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    Re: Will Animal kingdom ever get new animal experiences?

    And this is why Busch Gardens will always trump DAK in my opinion. Busch has some really amazing animal exhibits/encounters you can't find in many other animal parks or even zoos! Where else can you hand feed and pet kangaroos and wallabys besides in Australia? I also love how you can get so close to many of the other animals. The thrill of standing right next to a lion, tiger, cheetah or gorilla with only a (really thick) pane of glass between you is pretty incredible.

  11. #11

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    Re: Will Animal kingdom ever get new animal experiences?

    Quote Originally Posted by aimster View Post
    And this is why Busch Gardens will always trump DAK in my opinion. Busch has some really amazing animal exhibits/encounters you can't find in many other animal parks or even zoos! Where else can you hand feed and pet kangaroos and wallabys besides in Australia? I also love how you can get so close to many of the other animals. The thrill of standing right next to a lion, tiger, cheetah or gorilla with only a (really thick) pane of glass between you is pretty incredible.
    The thick pane of glass feature is becoming quite common. You know of the ones at DAK with the primates. They also exist at the Chimp exhibits and the Gorilla exhibits at the LA Zoo. As for lions, visit the MGM Lion encounter at the MGM Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. A huge enclosed Lion habitat complete with pools, a waterfall, and an inner corridor that guests can walk through to be right up next to the lions. They do not live in this habitat, they are brought in from an outside disconnected property elsewhere in the area. Speaking of Vegas, even though there aren't any thick panes of glass, the Secret Garden at the Mirage is also SIMPLY AMAZING!! There's not many places in the world where you can see not only albino white tigers, but white lions as well. Completely gorgeous!!

    One of the first times I went in there was shortly after the first Narnia film came out and I was able to get a shot of one of the white male lions walking towards me. When I first saw him, it was like looking at Aslan. BREATH TAKING!!!
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    Re: Will Animal kingdom ever get new animal experiences?

    Quote Originally Posted by stitchfanocala View Post
    The thick pane of glass feature is becoming quite common. You know of the ones at DAK with the primates. They also exist at the Chimp exhibits and the Gorilla exhibits at the LA Zoo. As for lions, visit the MGM Lion encounter at the MGM Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. A huge enclosed Lion habitat complete with pools, a waterfall, and an inner corridor that guests can walk through to be right up next to the lions. They do not live in this habitat, they are brought in from an outside disconnected property elsewhere in the area. Speaking of Vegas, even though there aren't any thick panes of glass, the Secret Garden at the Mirage is also SIMPLY AMAZING!! There's not many places in the world where you can see not only albino white tigers, but white lions as well. Completely gorgeous!!
    The MGM lion exhibit has been closed for over a year now (unless they opened something new?).

    And sorry to be pedantic, but the white tigers are not albino. They are a recessive mutant Bengal tiger, and often severely inbred.

  13. #13

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    Re: Will Animal kingdom ever get new animal experiences?

    Its been closed for over a year now? Wow, didn't know that being that I live in Florida now. Wow, I wonder why they did that.
    "Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children." - Walter Elias Disney

  14. #14

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    Re: Will Animal kingdom ever get new animal experiences?

    Quote Originally Posted by aimster View Post
    Where else can you hand feed and pet kangaroos and wallabys besides in Australia? I also love how you can get so close to many of the other animals. The thrill of standing right next to a lion, tiger, cheetah or gorilla with only a (really thick) pane of glass between you is pretty incredible.
    The Australia exhibit at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo offers the same kangaroo experience. They have many other close encounters through out the zoo like hand feeding a giraffe or lorikeets. They have an amazing aquarium, home to many rescued manatees. The giant veiwing windows offer an up close encounter with these friendly giants. They also have daily shows which are entertaining and educational. The price for admission is the most attractive to me at this attraction, under $20 for adults, under $10 for kids. If you visit Tampa, or central Florida in general, and want an incredible animal encounter, check out Lowry Park Zoo. You won't be disappointed.

  15. #15

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    Re: Will Animal kingdom ever get new animal experiences?

    Interesting observation. I wonder if this is in part due to all the criticism the park received when it opened, with people claiming it was an overpriced zoo, and now Disney has (over?) compensated by building more attractions. Although to be honest, Disney really has only built Everest and Chester & Hester's Cheap-o-Rama (do those count as attractions?) since the 1990s, so it's not like they've exactly been swinging for the fences with attraction expansions.

    Quote Originally Posted by lazyboy97O View Post
    Animals aren't "Disney" so I would not except any new animal exhibits any time soon.
    Yep. It's hard to tie live animals to any recent Pixar movie, so no animals for the time being.

    Quote Originally Posted by stitchfanocala View Post
    That's the whole point of the park though.

    Very true. But the point of Epcot was to be a living blueprint of the future, and the original point of of DHS was to showcase live film production. Disney abandoning the original ideas of their theme parks is nothing new.
    Last edited by MarkTwain; 05-26-2013 at 12:38 AM.


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