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Tree of Life Grows New Roots at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Jennifer Fickley-Baker

by , Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the park’s iconic Tree of Life has been growing some new roots.


Tree of Life Grows New Roots at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Tree of Life Grows New Roots at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Construction walls were just removed early this morning to reveal how the tree’s roots have expanded into the central hub area. Within those roots, guests will discover carvings of new animals that make up the circle of life, from tiny bugs to large crocodiles and more. In addition to offering guests a wonderful view of The Tree of Life, the expanded roots will also offer a widened walkway for guests visiting Discovery Island.

The Tree of Life originally debuted as the park’s icon at the park’s opening in 1998, after 12 months of construction. The 145-foot tall structure is covered in more than 103,000 leaves and originally featured more than 325 animal carvings.

What do you think of the enhancements? Tell us in the comments section below!


  • We loved viewing the enhancements to the Tree of Life. Does anyone know why the trails around the Tree are mostly closed and does anyone know if and when they will be reopened? Opening them again would truly enhance the experience.

  • That is beautiful, can’t wait to see it again when I visit next time

    • 🙂

  • This excites me to no end! My favorite thing to do is wander the trails in search of the hidden animals. Has the vegetation been trimmed back a bit around the old trails so we can see the ones that have been covered or obscured for the past few years? The leaping salmon have been hard to spot lately. I can’t wait to see what’s been added. Glad the walls are finally coming down!!!

    • Wow, sounds like you know the Tree in detail! Give us an update on your new favorite sights next time you visit!

  • Looks great! So glad to see AK is finally getting all this love, all over the park.

  • We love family photos in front of the tree, looks like this will make for a special photo-op. Can’t wait to see in May!!

    • I think the new roots will make great close-up photo ops.

  • Looks like some really nice new details! Does this replace the cotton-top tamarin and ring-tailed lemur exhibits? Have those habitats been moved elsewhere in the park? I hope that the new roots didn’t come at the expense of a real animal encounter

    • The enhancements did not take away any of the animal viewing opportunities, although some have moved to other areas within the park.

  • I can’t wait to visit and see the enhancements. Our last trip, we had a terrific time exploring the Tree of Life. We never before had a chance to spend an extended amount of time there. We were so glad we finally did and now there’ll be new animals to explore!

    • I hope you enjoy them, Karen. The photos look beautiful.

  • I love looking for animal carvings in the Tree of Life. I find new animals even after many visits, and am REALLY looking forward to these.

    • I can’t wait to see them in person, too!

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