The Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom
You are about to embark upon a journey of adventure and exploration; where, amongst the worlds greatest thrill seeking adventures, you can capture the essence of inner beauty, harmony and peace. With that in mind, I'd like to welcome you to join me, as I walk with you to explore the world's largest animal kingdom theme park.
Located on Discovery Island in the heart of Walt Disney World is Disney's fourth theme park, known as Animal Kingdom. The theme of Animal Kingdom was based upon the inspiration of Humankind's enduring love for animals. The park resides on 500 rolling acres with over 1700 animals and 4 million trees and shrubs.
journey begins at the entrance through the pathways of the Oasis; lined with cobble stone walls
and walkways surrounded by an array of tropical plants and lush green, thick vegetation.
Imagine if you will, walking slowly, turning your head from side to side trying to take in all there is to see. Your body is awakened by the sensations of the morning mist as it ever so softly sweeps over your skin.
Like a guided meditation, stopping for a moment, you close
your eyes. Taking a deep breath, your
chest expands, as the sweet aroma of the hibiscus blends with the
surrounding flora of jasmine and plumeria, creating an aromatic essence
with each inhalation.
Exhaling slowly, the worries and stress of the hustles and bustles that often times accompany family vacations slowly dissipates. A feeling of inner calmness and total relaxation ensues. Your awareness is heightened to a new level. Opening your eyes slowly, taking one step in front of the other, you come to a wooden footbridge. The stream beneath you meanders on its own path; slowly trickling over the rocks, you hear and feel its presence like ripples of the heart.
Sounds of nature resonate, from the waterfalls off in the distance. Birds sing, calling out as if to say, "hello" as they sense your presence. Like a melodic chorus, dancing with your spirit you become attuned to the harmonious flow.
Your heart is open. You feel centered as if your mind, body and soul have been rejuvenated; you have just arrived in Paradise.
Wildlife, on the Island Trails
As you journey further along on the Island Trails you are able to view and observe much wildlife from a wide variety of exotic animals such as, galapagos tortoises, lemurs wallabies, cockatoos, monkeys and kangaroos.
You may also encounter observation areas that are glassed in where you can watch river otters floating on their backs as they frolic above and underneath the water. As well, a hippopotamus is swimming under water while large porcupines are munching on an afternoon snack of fresh vegetables.
Suddenly there is a clearing, and then, as if out of nowhere, there she is! Standing erect with her 50 foot wide swirling branches reaching up as if to hug the sky. Fourteen stories high she stands. With a brilliant green canopy of umbrella like leaves gracefully swaying, like silent whispers she speaks to your spirit and welcomes you home.
Gasping for air you can't imagine for one moment the inspirational feeling of being one with all that touches and awakens your soul. She provides an interconnectedness like no other. She is,"The Tree of Life."
The Icon of Animal Kingdom -"The Tree of Life"
The Tree of Life Video
Disney has always been known as the Magical Kingdom, where story telling comes to life.
The “Tree of Life,” at Animal Kingdom branches outwardly, going beyond the ever so aspiring magical feeling. The swirling symbolic tapestry, encompassing over 325 hand sculpted animal carvings is an astounding tribute to the 10 artisans and 3 "imagineers".
These creative minds and artistic hands spent 18 months, working together to create this magnificent awe inspiring masterpiece.
Its’ gnarled roots of animal carvings goes deep into the earth where they blend into the lush landscape of flora and fauna. Brooks trickle through, waterfalls cascade down, forming small pools of water and deep green vines draping down graciously over the edges. It all blends together, creating a natural habitat to the various species that share this inspiring kingdom.
The swirling interconnectedness of the animal sculpted
carvings is symbolic to the meaning of the tree of life. It's all about humanity with it's beauty coming together in a celebration of the heart to worship the fact that we are all one, connected to each other in one way or another.
A deep loving presence, bonds us all, through an interconnectedness to the animal world and all of the natural habitat on our planet Earth. The effect is to not only bring this concept to life but to provided an amazing emotional impact as you stand beneath this ever inspiring masterpiece, Hence her title, "The Tree of Life."
A Family Vacation of a Lifetime!
Getting back to the Magical part of Disney, in the base of this tree exists a movie theater where you can watch Disney's movie, "A Bug's Life" in 3D. Don't be surprised if you feel cockroaches "crawling" under your seat or get "squirted" in the face. These crazy "bugs" have been cooped up a long time and love a great audience.
There are many other adventures and thrill seeking rides at Disney's Animal Kingdom You won't want to miss the Kilimanjaro Safaris, where you climb aboard a rugged open sided safari vehicle. You’re off on a bumpy ride through Harambe Wildlife Reserve where you will see sightings of various animals such as antelope, white rhinos, cheetahs, giraffes and many more.
Expedition Everest is another thrill seeker that you won't want to miss, a high speed roller coaster ride with hairpin turns soaring through Mt. Everest.
There is something for everyone of every age and far too many spectacular fun filled events to see. I mainly focused on the Tree of Life, as this was the most sensational highlight of my journey to Animal Kingdom. If you haven't been there yet, put it on your list. It's a win - win vacation for every member of your family.
Reflections - "It's not the destination, it's the journey."
As every journey must come to an end, I have one thing left that I'd like to say. Standing in front of the "Tree of Life", drawing my hands together as if in prayer, I bow my head and say.
Article(C)2010 Sage Williams. All rights reserved.
The copyright to this article is owned by Sage Williams. Permission to republish this article in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.
- Blessings in Disguise are Gifts from the Soul
"Delicately intricate, they were unique gifts; like threads of gold, interwoven through a tapestry of the heart. Unique gifts that will be cherished forever, as blessings in disguise or what I refer to as, 'Gifts from the soul'.â by Sage Williams - 4 weeks ago
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