BOA Alert: Disney's Animal Kingdom Animal Guide!

Everyone catches the Tree of Life, but few observe the Red Kangaroos underneath. While many have speculated that Australia would be a new addition to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, most don’t consider that kangaroos and wallabies are already on display.

I have an expression called BOA. It stands for Blinding Flash of the Obvious! It’s that moment when you go, “Duh…why didn’t they think of this before?”

We have a BOA alert today for Disney’s new Animal Kingdom Guide. Similar to the Times Guides guests receive throughout the park, this uniquely new guide notes all of the different animals there are to see at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Yes…it tells you what animals you can expect to see and where.

This would seem obvious in any zoo. After all, a zoo map would show you where to find given animals. And while there are paw prints on the guide map showing where animals can be seen, Disney really has told you little about what you would see. That has fluctuated from time to time. There was an earlier guide map that would highlight lions, tigers, elephants, and other major animals. But there has never been a complete listing until now.

Here are some interesting facts that come out of this new guide:

  • How many different types of animals do you generally see when you are going through a day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom? If you covered it all thoroughly, you should see some 104 animals, birds, lizards and other creatures. And no, that list does not include Flik or Hopper!
  • 32 animals highlighted on the guide are supported through programs provided by Disney’s Worldwide Conservation Fund.
  • One of the animals listed is dead! That distinction goes to a Tyrannosaurus Rex named Sue whose bones are on display as you approach the DINOSAUR attraction.
  • There are a lot of animals that you may not be familiar with, like Peninsula Cooters, Prehensile-tailed Skinks, Kunekune Pigs, and African Pancake Tortoises.
  • The land with the largest variety of animals is Africa, of course. The least is Dinoland with only two listed. The most surprising is Discovery Island itself, which offers some 15 different wildlife.Because they’re spread out, most guests probably don’t see more than 2-3 of the animals listed there.
  • There is one major exhibit not listed on the Animal Guide. Don’t forget that Rainforest Cafe has a beautiful exhibit of fish in its aquarium setting.

In speaking with a hostess at the tip board, she noted that the animal guides are brand new, and the response has been terrific. It has simplified her job of communicating to guests the abundant variety of animal life there is to see. Not having this listed, is a little bit like the old days of character appearances before they were shown on the map and listed in the Times Guide. You would usually have to just run into a Disney character. The same has actually been true of the animals here at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

In some ways, the animals are unfortunately the best kept secret about Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It’s great that the park has offered this, but I can easily see it becoming something much more like the colored guide map before too long. If they were smart, they’d offer a a pocket guide for sale that had interesting facts. Minimally, they would add such to the My Disney Experience app, which currently shows nothing! Communicating these offerings creates greater value to the park experience without having to build an additional ride or exhibit. Just simply let people know what you have to share!

We provide both sides of the guide below for your own review. Check it off for yourself. Have you seen them all? What do you want to catch on your next visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom?

J. Jeff Kober

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