Animal Kingdom just might be one of the best “themed” parks ever built. The attention to detail is phenomenal. One cannot help but feel transported into the exotic story that’s been built for us to explore. Animal Kingdom’s captivating narratives carry throughout the park, including attraction line queues. I want to examine each little artifact in the Expedition Everest queue. Every time I go through, I find something that I didn’t see before. Actually…I think every time I go to Animal Kingdom I see something I never noticed the last time I was there. The animals also contribute to making each visit a new experience.
One of my favorite stories to get pulled into is in the Maharajah Jungle Trek. The Maharajah Jungle Trek at Animal Kingdom tells the story of a hunting ground turned animal sanctuary. It’s located in the Asia area of the park, near Kali River Rapids. The story goes that a rich Maharajah built an opulent hunting enclosure. The walls are adorned with murals depicting the wealthy men hunting majestic beasts. Its palatial remnants are seen throughout the jungle trek.
Eventually, the area is returned to the animals and locals. The local village decides to live in harmony with the creatures who call it home instead of hunting them. What results from this is a lavish space that has been taken over by the wild. It appears as though palatial walls are crumbling as the greenery expands. I love this juxtaposition! I feel like I’m Indiana Jones exploring a lost city and getting up close to some beautiful beasts.
These beautiful beasts include; Asian tigers, a Komodo dragon, Gibbons, and various birds and bats. Each area has a unique space and plenty of knowledgeable explorers to give you more information about the animals. If you really want to learn more about them in a fun scavenger hunt (the only hunting I can get behind) kind of way, you can become a Wilderness Explorer and earn badges as you make your way through the self-guided trek.