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Florida Guide > Disney Parks

Asia has to be my favourite area within Disney’s Animal Kingdom, especially now they have opened Expedition Everest. You are transported to a mythical kingdom, Anandapur, which translates as ‘Place of all Delights’. The setting is based on various cultures Disney Imagineers visited during the construction of Animal Kingdom. According to Disney history, Anadapur was a Royal hunting reserve founded in 1544 which the current Royal Family has converted into a conservation area.

Expedition Everest is the latest and biggest mountain to open at Walt Disney World. Other attractions within Asia include the Maharajah Jungle Trek, Kali River Rapids and a bird show, Flight of Wonder.

Before Expedition Everest opened my favourite area was the tiger enclosure within the Maharajah Jungle Trek. This walking tour takes you through the crumbling decay of the hunting lodge. As you enter make sure you collect a brochure of the animals inside. You will first come across the Komodo Dragon, the world’s largest lizard which can be found lazing amongst the rocks and rushing water fall. The next creature will be the Malayan Tapir, a large black and white creature and relative to both the horse and rhinoceros. Following the Tapir you will come across a brightly painted hut serving as the viewing area for the bats. Here you will find 32 bats of the Rodrigues Fruit and Malayan Flying Fox species’.

Next is the tiger enclosure where you can see the magnificent Asian Tigers which are so graceful. The first time we saw them one of the tigers was wading through the water with a snack - a sight that I will remember forever. There are three areas so if the first is busy move to another - they all offer brilliant views if the tigers are there. They are more active in the morning. After the tigers you will come across a grazing area for Blackbuck and Elder Deers. The final part of the tour is an aviary containing many species of birds mainly found in Asia.

For bird lovers there is another great attraction, Flight of Wonder. The show lasts approximately 25 minutes and features more than 20 species of free-flying exotic birds including Harris Hawks (which swoop over the audience), Barbary Falcons, Macaws, Ibis and Amazon Parrots.

If you want to cool off and get wet – sorry, I mean very wet - then the Kali River Rapids is the place for you. Each car seats 12 with space to stow camera equipment which is covered with plastic to offer some protection. The attraction lasts for 4 minutes and carries a height restriction of 42 inches. A great tip is to get a Fast Pass first before you take in the Maharajah Jungle Trek.

Now for the latest attraction - Expedition Everest. This ride is awesome. A quick overview of the ride is if you combine the other mountains and Magic Kingdom, this how the ride feels. Your journey begins by boarding a train designed for two riders to sit side by side. As you journey towards Mount Everest you pass through forests and glaciers. Before you realise the track ahead is wrecked and you hurtle backwards and forwards through the dark caves of the Himalayas with drops and twist and turns you never know what is coming next.

I will not tell you about all the surprises as the effort and imagination of the Disney Imagineers would be spoilt but this ride really is awesome and a great addition to Animal Kingdom.

The ride lasts for approximately 3 minutes and there is a height restriction of 44 inches. Fast Passes are available.

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Page added on: 1 February 2007
Viewed 7344 times since 1 September 2008.

The following photos have been submitted by our villa owners for this article.

Kali River Rapids "Are you wet yet"

Animal Kingdom view
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