Its 11 years old today and how time flys. Opening on April 22nd 1998 at the Walt Disney World resort Florida, Animal Kingdom was the first Disney Park to be completely themed and built with Animal conservation in mind. I believe it to be one of the best themed parks also. With areas like Asia and Africa themed to perfection. The attention to detail is superb and the animal exhibits are beautiful, you cant see cages or anything which you may expect from an animal park. As Disney themselves call the park "NAHTAZU" pronounced "not a zoo".
The park didn't have a smooth beginning though PETA (people for the ethical treatment of animals) and other local animal rights groups didn't like the idea of a "theme" park holding animals in captivity and battled with Disney, even before they had visited the park! On opening day there were infact over 150 police officers ready for a huge protest, luckily only 24 protesters showed up and were dealt with (probably waved off with a mickey glove). The park actually has exceeded normal standards of the Association of zoos and aquariums. But some people just want to cause trouble, Walt Disney was once quoted saying "I much prefer animals to people" when he came out of a difficult meeting.
The park has gone from strength to strength, most recently opening Expedition Everest, one of the best themed coasters in the world, with an amazing queue which I would call an attraction in itself. And the Mount Everest replica that was built for the ride is a sight to behold.
I'm sure that the park will grow in size and beauty in the future that lays before us!
Have a magical day!