1998: Animal Kingdom

Tree of Life

Kilimanjaro Safaris

Tree of Life

Expedition Everest

Discovery Island

Kilimanjaro Safaris



In 1998, Walt Disney World opened its fourth themepark, Disney's Aimal Kingdom, dedicated to the world of animals of the past and of the present. Disovery Island was closed and most of its animals were moved to Animal Kingdom.

Disney's Animal Kingdom is a theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort. The fourth park built at the resort, it opened on April 22, 1998, and it is the largest single Disney theme park in the world, covering more than 500 acres (2 km²). It is also the first Disney theme park to be themed entirely around animal conservation, a philosophy once pioneered by Walt Disney himself. Disney's Animal Kingdom is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, meaning they have met and exceeded the standards in Education, Conservation and Research.

Shortly after the park opened, Disney advertised the park using the fictional word "nahtazu". Pronounced "not a zoo," the word emphasized that the park was more than animal displays found in a typical city zoo. Disney stopped using the phrase in January 2006.

In 2007, the park hosted approximately 9.49 million guests, ranking it the fifth-most visited amusement park in the United States and eight-most visited in the world.

Welcome to a kingdom of animals... real, ancient and imagined: a kingdom ruled by lions, dinosaurs and dragons; a kingdom of balance, harmony and survival; a kingdom we enter to share in the wonder, gaze at the beauty, thrill at the drama, and learn.
Michael Eisner April 22, 1998