Monday, February 9, 2015

Amazing Roots of an Icon

For months we have been reporting on some work being done on the Tree of Life, the iconic symbol of Disney's Animal Kingdom. We assumed, as did most others, this work was nothing more then a paint job and some routine maintenance. But last week walls were removed to reveal something gorgeous and unexpected.

Artists and imagineers were actually adding to the already jaw-dropping beauty of the Tree by sculpting some additional roots around the outer reaches of the icon. New animals now adorn the roots, including this amazing tribute to the macaws now often found circling the park.

image copyright Disney
The Disney Parks Blog announced this change late last week and included some terrific photos, some of which we have posted here. But they have a few more as well. Just click here to head over and see their gallery of images.

image copyright Disney
Last week I criticized imagineers for the work they are doing on the new Starbucks location, feeling the new paint scheme was inappropriate for Discovery Island. But these roots have certainly restored my faith in the quality of the changes coming to the park.

Things like this are what really defines much of what a Joe Rohde designed park is all about. Adding these roots is completely unnecessary, and does nothing to excite the bean counters. But they look amazing, and therefore they enhance the guest experience.  And the realism within these sculptures is incredible.

image copyright Disney
And what I really love about these additions is the placement of them. All of what you see here are can be found right on top of the pathway, in the front of the park. You don't have to search for them, they are right there and they clearly make for one heck of a photo op. The website has their own gallery of photo and even a walk-through video which helps give you a better idea of where you can find these new roots.

image copyright Disney
We stand and applaud the imagineers for these additions. This is what the Animal Kingdom is all about. For the guests who visit the park in "commando" style, rushing around from one attraction to another, DAK may not be filled with dark rides and fireworks. But it is filled with amazing beauty and artistry, and now it has a bit more. Bravo WDI!

by Dave McBride (@RadioHarambe)

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