Animal Kingdom's Tree of Life: Everything You Need to Know
Located in the center of the park, the 145-foot Animal Kingdom Tree of Life is impossible to miss.
In this page, we'll explain what makes this tree so special, the shows available inside and outside of the tree, and the trails offered to tour the tree.
What is Animal Kingdom's Tree of Life?
As you walk closer to the tree, you'll begin to make out shapes of different animals, which are perfectly carved on the actual tree.
An astounding close to 400 types of animals are carved on this giant tree and showcases the talent of the team of artisans who came together to create this icon of the park.
These carvings extend from the roots of the tree up to the branches.
The goal of this tree was to make a large enough tree that could withstand hurricane winds, while at the same time giving it a realistic look.
The realistic look is something they focused on heavily, as you'll notice that the carvings of each animal aren't true to size, but rather flow into one another.
Additional goals with the tree were to show how all animals are connected, bring awareness to different types of species, and show the beauty of the several types of unknown species.
Featuring 102,000+ artificial leaves and 8,000+ branches, this massive project took only 18 months to complete.
The Tree of Life debuted the same day that Animal Kingdom did (April 22, 1998), meaning that this Tree is as old as the park itself.
It's Tough to Be a Bug Show Takes Place Inside the Tree
Many visitors are shocked to know that inside of the Tree of Life, there's a 400-seat arena where visitors can watch the ultra-popular It's Tough to be a Bug show at Animal Kingdom.
This 3D live show is hands down one of the best shows in all of the Disney parks.
Visitors will sit inside an extremely realistic environment that simulates the home of an ant.
The show is very popular with both kids and adults as visitors will wear 3D glasses while the bugs perform a show for their "Honorary Bugs", feel cold breezes that simulate a solider termite, and even take a whiff of the stink bug mechanism.
The 3D glasses along with the feeling of bugs moving around your seats, bring a very fun experience for all ages.
Tree of Life Awakenings Show
Tree of Life Awakenings is an amazing nighttime show where a different series of projections are mapped onto a tree to display stories.
It will feel like you're watching a movie from the side of the tree, as different animals appear and move including primates, giraffes, and even schools of fish that move in different shapes.
Similar to how different advanced displays are shown on the Magic Kingdom castle during the fireworks celebration, you'll see beautiful projections that are animal-based.
Trails Around the Tree of Life
Discovery Island Trails is a trail where visitors will be able to explore the 'wild side' of this massive tree.
Visitors will encounter different types of animals including flamingos, lemurs, porcupines, and tortoises, a beautiful waterfall, and a glimpse of the swampy environment nearby.
The coolest part of this in our opinion however, is being able to see all of the carvings up close, as you'll get a great feel for the intricate detail of each design.
Every so often Flik roams around this trail, so if you're lucky, you may even take a picture with him.