Daily DIZcovery
Disney DIZcovery

About the Column

Amanda is a rabid Disney World fan. I mean RABID! And in her many, many visits to the park, she's noticed some things that other visitors might have overlooked or just taken for granted. She's agreed to come on board with us here and share some of her experiences and observations. We're lucky to have her point of view. Be sure to comment.

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The Beastly Kingdom

Amanda continues her write up about Animal Kingdom and how beasts and dragons are such an integral part of the park.




I came to learn from my godmother that the animal kingdom was originally created to represent real, extinct and imaginary animals. The dinosaurs and their section represent the extinct animals bring attention to them and their past letting us learn about the animals that use to roam the World. The real animals are all over the park represented everywhere. And when Animal Kingdom was put up they knew that just the fact that there was a new park would draw the attention of people far and wide and bring millions more to see it. After building the parks and finishing the themed areas like Africa and Asia there was only enough money left for either the dinosaurs or the dragons. The dinosaurs won and the cheap temporary land of Camp Minnie Mickey was left in the park as filler until funding could be gained. Left unfinished Disney intended to bring to life the imaginary kingdom called the Beastly Kingdom at a later date to give a new life to the park and continue to draw in more people. My godmother found an old description that Disney had publicly announced of the Beastly Kingdom:


Beastly Kingdom is the realm of make believe animals, animals that don't really exist, out of legends, out of fairy tales, out of storybooks. Like our legends and fair tales about imaginary animals, this land is divided into realms of good and realms of evil.

The evil side is dominated by DRAGON'S TOWER, a burned, wrecked castle inhabited by a greedy, fire breathing dragon. He hordes a fabulous treasure in his tower chamber. The castle is also inhabited by bats who speak to us from their upside down perches. The bats have a plan. They enlist our help trying to rob the dragon and fly us off on a wild chase. At last, we meet the fire-breathing dragon himself and barely escape un-barbecued.

The good side of this land is ruled by QUEST OF THE UNICORN. An adventure which sends us through a maze of medieval mythological creatures to seek the hidden grotto where the unicorn lives. There is also FANTASIA GARDENS. A gentle musical boat ride through the animals from Disney's animated classic, 'Fantasia.' Both the crocodiles and hippos from 'Dance of the Hours' and the Pegasus, fauns and centaurs from Beethoven's 'Pastoral' are found here.

Surveys were done after the parks opened and even though the concept of the Beastly Kingdom surveyed well at the beginning studies found that the addition would not bring in enough funding to outweigh the cost. Because Everest brought the imaginary animals to the park without requiring any special area or themed land there was no need for anymore funding and the doors finally closed on the concept of the Beastly Kingdom when Disney opened Everest.  I personally think that the Beastly Kingdom would have been flipping awesome and now knowing what I know I am disappointed that Everest is suppose to weigh for the entire Beastly Kingdom. Thinking of an Animal Kingdom with dragons and unicorns and knights is amazing. So apparently forever and ever I will think of the dragon that could have been. I still have my McDonalds toy, and when I look at him I am sad now knowing what could have been. One thing I did learn is that most of the Disney imaginers who were hired to design the Beastly Kingdom were hired by Universal to create Isles of Adventure and their work can be seen in the Lost Continent.


 All the signs still remain and the next time you go to Animal Kingdom you can look around for them: from the dragon fountain, to the unicorn head, to the fire tunnel, and of course on the logo. Keep an eye out when you walk around the parks and see what you can find and uncover your own Disney mystery. My godmother did try to cheer me up and told me about the new section Disney is adding to Animal Kingdom that will represent the imagination side. It is really exciting to think it will be there (but honestly I would rather have Beastly Kingdom) and if you want to know what is to come to Animal Kingdom… I guess you will have to wait for my next blog!



Come back next time for another Disney DIZcovery!

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