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A Wild Animal Kingdom?
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When Disney's Animal Kingdom was first announced back in the early to mid
90's, the project had a different name and a slightly different feel to
it than it does now.
Called the Wild Animal Kingdom, the park was to be separated into three
separate lands rather than the five or six it is currently seperated into.
The three lands were to be themed around live animals, extinct animals,
and mythical animals. As the project continued, the live and extinct
portion of the park continued to flourish on the design board, but the
mythical portion began to dwindle more and more until it was cut completely
out of the plans for opening day. Some suggest that it will be added
at a later date, but currently it would seem as though that may not be
So, What Ever Happened to the Beastly Kingdom?
The Beastly Kingdom had a number of rides planned for it on opening day,
and would have been the thrill ride anchor for the park, (which currently
has only one thrill ride: Countdown to Extinction).
One of the early rides planned was to center around
the Hippo/Gator sequence from Fantasia.
Some say that a real ride was planned, while others say only a labyrinth
maze was to be made much like Alice's Maze in Disneyland.
Similar rumors came for a later planned ride called
Quest for the Unicorn. This too was rumored at one time to be only
a maze much like Alice in Disneyland. But recently I have been told
that a ride was planned that would have you search for, and encounter the
Unicorn, then be taken for an unbelievable ride through some of the most
beautiful scenes ever designed for a Disney ride. Most probably,
an combination of the two would have made sense, with the maze being a
'cover-up' for a serptine line, until you reached the Unicorn and then
were taken for a ride. Another account I have heard about the ride,
though, is that the Unicorn was to either turn out to be evil or save you
from some evil. Both of those accounts seem very possible, and would
have been very exciting. (Perhaps because they didn't build these
rides they decided to knock off the world Wild from the title.......Actually
I think they should add the word Tame to the title. Imagine Disney's
Tame Animal Kingdom, where no real thrill rides exist and animals die left
and right......just a thought.)
In addition, a rollercoaster was planned for this
land. Supposedly it was to have a dragon theme, and was to be the
first suspended coaster built in Disney history. The ride premise
is of particular interest. You would ride through a castle where
a Dragon dwells, eventually disturb him and have him chase after you breathing
fire at you. One possible reason why this ride was cancelled was
because of Universal's Dragon themed ride at Islands of Adventure.
At this point, it seems as though the only thing left of the Beastly
Kingdom is the dragon to be found on the Discovery River ride.
Speaking of Rollercoasters, did any of you notice the one picutre shown
in the new WDW book.....let me show you.
Is it just me, or is that a rollercoaster in the background......and a
wooden one at that.
Just a thought.