PHOTOS and VIDEO - New roots expand the Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Feb 09, 2015 in "The Tree of Life"

Posted: Monday February 9, 2015 8:38am EST by WDWMAGIC Staff

The Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom has expanded its footprint with new roots expanding out in the former gardens area.

As part of the expansion of the central hub walkway, the gardens in-front of the Tree of Life have been reduced by around half to make-way for more walkway. The new roots now separate guests from what remains of the gardens.

Click the gallery for more photos and check out the walk-through video below.

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HauntedMansionFLAFeb 21, 2015

Love DAK - can't wait to see all of the new details. Hopefully this is the beginning of more great things for the park.

wdwdude1Feb 20, 2015

Disney did a great job with the roots!! I am excited to see them soon.

SnarkyMonkeyFeb 20, 2015

Exactly. When can we return to the original thread? My head is throbbing from all this. Well, mostly from the sound of the multi-quote feature crying loudly because of the neglect from @ford91exploder. :D

FigmentJediFeb 20, 2015

I really wish that "Journey to Sacred Lands" documentary they did of the Everest research trip had better internet circulation. There's multiple uploads of the special focused on the ride's construction floating around Youtube but none of that special. I'd watch a whole show about Joe Rohde going on adventures around the world.

jakemanFeb 20, 2015

No purely fictional creatures? Fanstasia? Bugs Life? Festival of the Lion King? How are those not fictional? How are those not contemporary storytelling? The more you post, the more it's obvious that this is your opinion based in very little fact. Let me drops something else on you. The original intent of the park was that the three areas were to be cordoned off. The northern section of the park for animals that are, Dinoland for were, and Beastly Kingdom for never will be. That was dropped when Beastly Kingdom fell through. It's a simple theme. "Animals that were, are, and never will be". There's none of this existential buffoonery you're assigning to it. It doesn't mean that Avatar fits or doesn't. I'm not saying one way or another. What I am saying is this nitpicking that you are doing about Beastly Kingdom being the European mythological demonstration of humans interaction with nature isn't supported by the facts we have. It's not even supported by the mythological creatures that were chosen. What I'm telling you is what I was trained on first hand by people passionate about the park and it's message at a time when Camp Minnie Mickey was still seen as a placeholder for Beastly Kingdom. You can either accept the information that I'm giving you as is, or you can continue to ignore it and proceed on this imaginative tirade where there is a deep significance that require leaps in logic. With that said, we are going around in circles, so I'm out. This was fun.

lazyboy97oFeb 20, 2015

It was demonstrated by engaging people in the mythology, just like at Expedition Everest. Themed entertainment is not a text book, it is not all spelled out. There are plenty of fictional animals, but there is one common strain through all of those chosen by the creative team that dreamed up the park. No aliens, no purely fictional creatures, no animals just made up for the park. All of the animals chosen are rooted in cultural understandings of the world: folklore, myth, legend; not contemporary story telling. Years of research and work go into a park. It was no accident that aliens were never part of the plan until chosen by financial executives. Rhoda's career is dominated by an obsession with research into places and topics, so much so though Disney decided that the best way to tease Pandora at the D23 Expo was to pretend that he had taken Imagineers on another research trip. Science fiction is just not the sort of thing Rohde has done in his career as a creative leader. You can't actually visit Pandora or do more than just talk to James Cameron, and as cools that may be it is not the same as trekking across the Himalayas to put research a fictional creature (to understand its cultural origins).

jakemanFeb 20, 2015

How was Beastly Kingdom going to demonstrate this? Again, simple placement doesn't constitute the motive you were subscribing to the land. How does the unicorn maze demonstrate a connection between the unicorn and and how Europeans used unicorn mythology to interact with their environment? Bottom line, you're thesis is too specific and based on the evidence available you can't demonstrate it's validity.

lazyboy97oFeb 20, 2015

Look at the origin of the fictional animals.

jakemanFeb 20, 2015

I'm not debating their origin but their placement does nothing to prove your thesis that their inclusion was to demonstrate interactions between humans and their natural environment. Mythical environment sure, the mere placement of the animals demonstrate that...natural environment, no. It's okay to just simply admit that the point you were trying to make was too specific for the evidence at hand. Again simply repeating over and over again that "European mythical creatures are European" doesn't show any relationship between said creatures and how humans interacted with their environment. As for looking at the concept art, I have looked at it. I've looked at enough that I can actually answer this question you proposed earlier: That would be the dancing hippo and gator from the proposed Fantasia boat ride.

lazyboy97oFeb 20, 2015

The dragon tease included charred European medieval armor. The dragon chosen was European dragon, not a Chinese dragon. The unicorn is European. Centaurs are European. Gothic and Romasesque architecture is European. All of the other lands look to a location. There is no obscurity in their origin. It seems you've never bothered to even look at the art that has been released or ever visited Merlinwood at Islands of Adventure.

HakunamatataFeb 19, 2015


note2001Feb 19, 2015

All in all, I think Animal Kingdom is the best thought out & themed amusement park of the 4 in WDW. I'm glad they needed to expand the pathway as it shows people are no longer looking at it as the last place to visit, if they have time. Even the addition of the new Pandora/Avatar area will be well done I'm sure. This needs one word added: "wins" :) It doesn't mean anyone will listen to it though.

WikklerFeb 19, 2015

Logic wins.

ford91exploderFeb 19, 2015

Personally I would have preferred an ANZAC land, plenty of myths from the lands down under from the Maori of New Zealand to the Aboriginal people of Oz. Lots of animals not seen anywhere else on earth and the great barrier reef as well. Instead we get blue cat people - simply because Iger saw OMG biggest box office ever let's put this thing in AK well, because BOX OFFICE.