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Time-Lapse Video: Watch the Tree of Life Grow at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Jennifer Fickley-Baker

by , Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

With the 15th anniversary of Disney’s Animal Kingdom coming up next week (on April 22), we thought we’d share this visual treat with you early – it’s a look at the early construction of the park’s Tree of Life.

The Tree of Life is the centerpiece of Disney’s Animal Kingdom – and for me, it has always been one of the most visually stunning sights in the park. This 145-foot-tall masterpiece was designed as a symbol of the circle of life and features 325 animals sculpted into its roots, trunk and branches. No matter how many times I visit the park, I love to try to count how many different animals I can spot.

Check out this video, which shows the construction of the tree from ground up.

For more on what’s planned for the park’s anniversary, don’t miss our previous post.

To join the conversation about the park’s anniversary online, use the hashtag #DAK15 on Twitter.


  • I truly feel my heart skip a beat every time I see the Tree of Life. I LOVE to just explore the area surrounding the Tree of Life and find all the different animals carved into the “bark” of the Tree. I also enjoy seeing all the animals that call the Tree of Life Home!

  • Does anyone know what the helicopter is carrying? I cant imagine them using a helicopter to carry something from (behind?) the Magic Kingdom to AK 4+ miles away for the Tree of Life.

  • Jennifer-

    I will miss being there for this special anniversary, but maybe you can share something special with us at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration! Animal Kingdom is such an amazing place. The Tree of Life is the perfect focal point. I spent my last day at WDW Princess Half Marathon weekend at AK by myself. It was an incredible day. I even did character dining solo at Tusker House. The characters were fabulous! They spent time with me, took pictures and signed my runDisney character autograph book! I can’t wait to be back in May!

    for the love of Disney running

  • This is what I love about Disney, they are able to pour a massive amount of resources into constructing something like the Tree of Life for the primary purpose of giving a focal point. Any other company would have scrapped an idea like this but Disney is able to see the potential and then do what has to be done to make it reality. Then they take the time and effort to make every minute detail of the huge structure perfect, they make it so realistic and so grand in scale that you can’t help but believe its real.

  • Another question I had about the Tree of Life. The last time I was there, the views of the tree from the line for It’s Tough to Be a Bug were obscured by rope nets overhead that I did not remember seeing on prior trips. The Tree of Life is a masterpiece of art and it was harder to take great up-close pictures with the nets in the way. Any word as to why the nets were added?

  • Awesome video! Thank you for this. Really neat to see.

    Quick question, last week on your prior post about the 15th anniversary, Joe Rohde, WDI head of Animal Kingdom, was listed as attending the opening ceremony that day. I see he is no longer listed as being present. Any word why he is no longer coming?

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