The icon of Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the Tree of Life. It is often overlooked and other than getting a photo in front of it it is ignored. The Tree is an amazing structure filled with art and heart. Here are some fun facts about Disney’s Tree of Life including information and tips for Awakenings and A Bug’s Life.
Disney’s Tree of Life Fun Facts
Is it a Real Tree?
The tree is not real even though it sure looks like it. The tree is modeled after a baobob tree and the base is made from a reformed oil rig platform. The 145 foot tall Tree of Life is topped with more than 103,000 transparent, five-shades-of-green leaves that actually blow in the wind.
How Many Animals are on the Tree of Life?
There are 325 animal carvings on the tree. Ten artists and three Imagineers worked full-time for 18 months to create the 325 animal carvings. Sculptors had between six and 10 hours to create the finished image before the plaster hardened. The animals are a mix of extinct and existing animals. It is truly a work of art.
Nestled amid the burrowing roots at the base of the Tree of Life is a serene landscape of pools, meadows, and trees—home to a variety of live animals, including lemurs, flamingos, kangaroos and tortoises.
Want the best view of all the animal carvings? Stroll the picturesque Discovery Island Trails around the great tree for a close-up view of the animal carvings. You may even discover a famous mouse hiding among its branches! Yes, there is a Hidden Mickey!
Why the name Tree of Life?
The Tree of Life is inspired by a tree of the same name. The tree of life is part of mythology and religious traditions. For example, in Christianity, the tree is the Tree of Knowledge. The tree of knowledge, connecting to heaven and the underworld, and the tree of life, connecting all forms of creation, are both forms of the world tree or cosmic tree, and are portrayed in various religions and philosophies as the same tree. To read more about this tree in other cultures click here.
Tree of Life Awakenings
The theme park’s iconic Tree of Life undergoes extraordinary “awakenings” throughout the evening as the animal spirits are brought to life by magical fireflies that reveal colorful stories of wonder and enchantment. High-tech projections of nature scenes take on a magical quality as they appear to dramatically emanate from within the Tree of Life.
Four sets are featured throughout the evening, which have been given names on the Rivers of Light soundtrack release:
- Journey: A playful deer and a watchful hawk.
- Rendezvous: A hummingbird and flowers.
- Gift Giver: A red fox in a winter setting.
- Disney Medley: Animal imagery inspired by Pocahontas, Bambi, Dinosaur, Tarzan, Finding Nemo, Avatar, The Jungle Book, and The Lion King.
The best place to watch Awakenings is in the center. It is great to be near the front but the view is still good from the bridge.
A Bug’s Life Attraction
Can you go inside the Tree of Life? Yes! The Bug’s Life show is inside the tree’s base. This attraction is the least loved at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Not because it is not awesome, but because the effects are so good that the show is creepy. This 8-minute, 3D movie and multimedia show stars Flik and Hopper from the Disney·Pixar film A Bug’s Life.
It is a dark show and can be a little scary for little ones.
Pro Tip: If you don’t want to feel like bugs are crawling all over you, near the end of the show lift your bottom a little bit off the seat. They send vibrations through the benches it with the show it IS a bit creepy.
If you want to skip the show, you can still go through some of the queue to see the inside of the tree.
You can Get Married in Front of Disney’s Tree of Life
If you are not a castle princess, great news! You can now get married in front of the Tree of Life. It is one of the newest romantic venues available to happy couples looking to “tie the knot” at Walt Disney World Resort. If you have a large budget Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons can make your special day truly unforgettable.