Talk about an icon!! The Tree of Life is positively the first thing most people think about when Disney’s Animal Kingdom is mentioned. It is not just beautiful but it is an engineering marvel. There is a lot of information available about the Tree of Life but, as usual, I generally find the best information about all things Disney in the Imagineering Field Guides.
A lot of folks (me included) thought that the Tree of Life must have been modeled after a huge noble tree in some exotic locale. In reality, the first inspiration came from a bonsai tree spotted by the Imagineers at the International Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot. A tiny piece of gardening art turned into magnificent piece of Imagineering art.
There are gorgeous carvings of animals in the trunk. I have heard varying numbers but the source that seems the most trustworthy places the number at 325. Here are several close ups that demonstrate the beauty of these carvings (not taken with a telephoto) that I took in 2009:
I have more but this demonstrates the sheer beauty of the art work as well as the aim of the tree which seems to be to relate how life is co dependent and meant to interact for survival. I think you will agree that it is truly beautiful.
I know I have said that Animal Kingdom is not my favorite park but there are several things that draw me back, if only for a short time, on each visit to Walt Disney World. This is one of them. Next time you visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom don’t just rush past this icon to get to Expedition Everest, take the time to really look at it. As always, enjoy your visit to Walt Disney World!!
- Best Things I Love About Disney – The Imagineers (chipandco.com)