Tree of Life (Disney)

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Tree of Life
Disney Animal Kingdom (27589660700).jpg
Disney's Animal Kingdom
AreaDiscovery Island
Opening dateApril 22, 1998
General statistics
DesignerWalt Disney Imagineering
Height145 ft (44.2 m)
Base width50 ft (15.2 m)
Handicapped/disabled access Wheelchair accessible

The Tree of Life is a 145-foot (44 m) sculpture of a baobab tree at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort. It has over 8,000 branches of very different sizes and about 102,000 leaves that were made by man. It debuted when the attraction opened on April 22, 1998.[1] Inspired by the tree of the same name, the Tree of Life features 325 carvings of existing and extinct animal species on its trunk and surrounding roots. In fact, after Jane Goodall's famous visit, her famous subject David Graybeard was carved into the tree. The Tree of Life did not happen overnight. This sculpture took 18 months to create. Animal Kingdom has millions of real life trees and greens and The Tree of Life is one of the few that is not real.

Engineered from a refitted oil platform and based on the natural forms of baobob trees, the Tree of Life is located on Discovery Island, roughly in the center of the park. The tree features over 100,000 leaves that are made out of thermoplastic kynar.[2][3] At the structure's interior base is a 428-seat theater that hosts It's Tough to Be a Bug!, a 3-D film attraction based on the 1998 Disney/Pixar film A Bug's Life.[1][4] There is also a secret path that park goers can walk up to take a close look at the sculpture.

Tree of Life Awakenings[edit]

Animal carvings found on trunk

The Tree of Life Awakenings is a series of projection mapping shows that debuted on May 27, 2016, as part of the park's new nighttime operating hours.[5] A media preview of the show was presented on April 19, 2016.[6] Four presentations are featured throughout the evening, which have been given names on the Rivers of Light soundtrack release:


  1. ^ a b Wright, Alex (2007). The Imagineering Field Guide to Disney's Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World. New York: Disney Editions. pp. 35–39. ISBN 978-14231-0320-2.
  2. ^ Malmberg, Melody (1998). The Making of Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park. New York: Hyperion Books. pp. 38–40. ISBN 0-7868-6402-8.
  3. ^ Pecho, Bruce (April 17, 2018). "20 things you may not know about Disney's Animal Kingdom, which turns 20 on Earth". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  4. ^ Niles, Robert. "Theme Park History: A short history of Disney's Animal Kingdom". Theme Park Insider. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  5. ^ Bevil, Dewayne (April 20, 2016). "Disney previews 'Rivers of Light,' announces 'Jungle Book' show". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  6. ^ "This Summer Magical New Experiences Will Debut Across All Four Walt Disney World Theme Parks" (Press release). PR Newswire. Lake Buena Vista, Florida: Walt Disney World Resort. April 20, 2016. Retrieved April 23, 2016.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 28°21′29″N 81°35′26″W / 28.357928°N 81.590540°W / 28.357928; -81.590540