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Brian Bennett

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Tree of Life Photo Tour

Photos by Brian Bennett and Ian Parkinson

This will be a very unusual photo tour of the Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom.  "How can one take a tour of a tree?" is a reasonable question to ask.  However, when you consider the huge size of this tree, and realize the amazing details that have been fabricated-into this astonishing man-made tree, you'll see that the idea of a "tour" isn't so far-fetched.

At 145 feet tall, the Tree of Life is quite a bit shorter than Cinderella's Castle, Spaceship Earth, and the Tower of Terror, but fourteen and a half stories of tree is nothing to sneeze at (even though, since the Tree is man-made, it's not going to set off any allergies, either).  The thing that really makes the Tree stand out, though, is it's setting on Discovery Island (formerly Safari Village) with low-lying foliage all around it.

When you walk in from the park entrance through the Oasis area, the tree suddenly looms in front of you.  It's an awesome sight, and one that shows that, at least in 1998, the Walt Disney Company was still quite capable of creating magic.

Surrounding the Tree is the "Tree of Life Garden," with many meandering paths right around the base of the Tree.  In addition to the lovely plantings, several small birds and animals (including cranes, storks, flamingoes, tortoises and otters) can be seen here in enclosures that look like natural environments.  

What you can't see from far away when you're looking at the Tree, though, is the intricate carvings of over 300 creatures (yep, I chose that word intentionally... I'm a Baptist creationist after all).  In this close-up, you can see some of the carving work, but you'll have to get much closer (don't worry, we will!) to really see many of the carvings in detail.

This is one example, but there are many, many more!

The rest of the photo tour is a series of close-up pictures, taken by Ian Parkinson, of several of the creature carvings.  Enjoy!


Next time you visit Animal Kingdom, make sure to take some time to look over the Tree of Life and enjoy the tremendous work that went into it.  You'll certainly find it to be worth your while.

Return to Disney's Animal Kingdom Attractions Page.


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