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Tree of Life
The Tree of Life is Animal Kingdom's primary weenie, taking the role of Cinderella's Castle at the Magic Kingdom. However, it's primary appeal is the intricate "carving" work on the trunk and roots, depicting 315 different animals. At least that's what Disney claims - I haven't yet counted them all. Inside the Tree of Life is the 3-D movie It's Tough to be a Bug!.
In the original park concept, the weenie was to be a multi-level carousel that looked something like a fountain ringed by animals. The ride had three tiers, the top of which was a hub-and-spoke ride like TriceraTop Spin. A picture can be found in The Imagineering Field Guide to the Animal Kingdom as well as at Walt Dated World.
Maybe it's just us, but the picture brings to mind the big elephant act in Dumbo.
The Tree of Life is yet another Imagineering marvel that could consume a large
amount of time, but usually doesn't because people are rushing from one side of
the park to the next. Still, while going through the Discovery Island trails,
it is well worth taking some extra time to look at the animals. Some of the
most impressive carvings are the horse, the owl, the tortoise, the elephant, the
shark (up high), and the bat.
There's no one way to see the Tree of Life, so a walkthrough is not really useful. At some point we will post a more-or-less detailed map of the Tree, and maybe then all 315 animals that the Imagineers created can be identified.
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