VIDEO - The Tree of Life Awakenings at Disney's Animal Kingdom

May 30, 2016 in "The Tree of Life"

Tree of Life Awakens
Posted: Monday May 30, 2016 8:20am EDT by WDWMAGIC Staff

The Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom takes on new life after dark with the Tree of Life Awakenings.

Beginning each night at Sunset, the animal carvings on the Tree of Life come to life.

The projections begin prior to sunset, making the transition from daylight to nighttime seamless. Most of the time, the tree is in a subtle "standby" mode, where the animals will occasionally take a stretch, or swish a tail. You have to watch closely, but gasps from the crowd are usually a good indication that something just moved.

Every 15 - 20 mins, the Tree will go into a full animated sequence complete with music. There are four sequences like this, taking inspiration from some of Disney's classic animated movies. The sequences run for around 5 minutes.

Then finally, there are a couple of short animated sequences not accompanied by music, such as grass growing as tall as the tree and snowfall.

The Tree of Life uses projection mapping, similar to Celebrate the Magic at the Magic Kingdom. At Animal Kingdom, there is also a clever lighting package inside the canopy of the tree, make the effect appear to emanate from inside the tree itself.

Viewing for the awakenings is only possible from the front of the tree, so you will need to be positioned along the walkway in front of the Tree of Life. It can get busy there, particularly when people are exiting. Although the animated sequences play randomly, standing in the area for an hour should allow you to see most of them. During the summer months, the first animated sequence should start around 9pm.

We've got video of all of the animated sequences, along with a look at some of the more subtle animal movements in the video below.

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LAKid53Jun 01, 2017

I was referring to the market area in the Africa section, not the gorilla.... :rolleyes: However, yes, the killing of that beautiful animal was a tragedy...and totally unnecessary.

riorizJun 01, 2017

And they have to cost less than the fireworks

No NameJun 01, 2017

This past Sunday marked exactly one year since the death of Harambe. I'm appalled at the lack of remembrance on here.

BaconJun 01, 2017

Too soon

StevekMay 29, 2017

I'm in the US as well. Weird.

MisterPenguinMay 29, 2017

Blocked for me in the US.

StevekMay 29, 2017

anyone else getting a block on this due to copyright issues?

TTA94May 28, 2017

I may be wrong but I think the biggest issue they faced with the floating lanterns was the water current knocked them around to much and they couldn't control their direction along with the lotus and animal floats.

mickhyperionMay 28, 2017

It's curious that they can effortlessly control airborne drones, yet not floating lanterns.

TTA94May 28, 2017

I did not take any unfortunately. They must have been just installed since I have not seen them before. Also the back of the ToL now has projections with random moving animals... but I don't think the actual shows are taking place on the back yet, if they will at all.

cjkeatingMay 28, 2017

Any pictures? I hadn't heard anything else about these.

TTA94May 28, 2017

So does anyone know what's going on with the newly installed aerial tree "firefly" lighting around the park? The exit of Pandora (By FOTLK) had lasers shining up at some of the trees and the backside of the ToL they have both lasers and steady on yellowish lights in some of the trees.... It almost appears as they might not be fully finished installing them since it was only a few random trees?

Kman101May 26, 2017

I doubt we see it again (the drones), they gotta make everything all special for media days.

DABIGCHEEZMay 26, 2017

OK... not really needed though IMO.