Fun Find Friday
April 1, 2011
Disney's Animal Kingdom
When it comes to Disney, story
is everything! The Imagineers plan out a story
for every attraction, land, resort, park, etc.
years before a guest can even experience it. As
time goes on the story begins to change. One of
the biggest changes that occurred in a Disney
theme park story was in Asia. As we all know,
five years ago Expedition Everest opened up, and
with it a brand new story unfolded before our
eyes. However, what was the story of the famed
Anandapur before the Yeti made his home here?
Luckily, there are bits and
pieces of that story still lurking around every
corner, but nothing shouts on the past quite
like the map of the Anandapur Township.
While walking towards Kali River
Rapids you can find this map on your right hand
side and most guests never notice that it is
there. Others think it is a map of the Asia
section of Disney's Animal Kingdom. Us Disney
nerds see it as a piece of history.
||Let's begin by taking a look at the
map itself. You will notice that the
bridge that crosses the river in the
lower left corner is the actual bridge
we cross to enter Asia from Discover
Island. However, if you followed the
trail that follows that river past 6 it
comes to an abrupt stop. Why is that?
Well, when this portion of the park
first opened the trail didn't lead to
Expedition Everest, but to nothing at
all. In fact, you would walk down the
path and go literally nowhere.
On the left side of the map you will
notice some train tracks. These train
tracks show exactly where the Eastern
Star Railroad (aka, the Wildlife Express
to Rafiki's Planet Watch) goes.
Number 4 represents the Maharajah Jungle
Trek while number 16 doesn't even have a
label! That's because these are the
ruins we walk through while in the tiger
area of the
My favorite fun find on this map is
actually number 5. Seven Summits Mt.
Trekking is a fictional company that
doesn't have a home just in Anandapur,
but over on Main Street, USA as well
(however there it's named Seven Summits
So what exactly is Seven Summits
Expeditions? Back in the 1980's, Disney
brought a man named Frank Wells to join
the company as the President and Chief
Operating Officer alongside Michael
Eisner. The man was a financial genius
(much like Roy O. Disney), but more
importantly, was an adventurer!
He had a goal of climbing all seven
summits in the world (the highest peak
in each continent) and successfully
climbed all but Everest.
His window on Main Street is on
the third story (the highest point you can
reach) in honor of his quest to climb the seven
summits around the world. Frank obviously
realized that Anandapur would someday be a
popular travel destination for daredevils
attempting to reach the peak of Everest and set
up another Seven Summits shop here in Anandapur!
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