Kill Refurb Marry: Animal Kingdom Park

animal kingdom appreciation: celebrating the wonderful walt disney theme park

Nothing like ripping apart a park the week of its 15th birthday. But hey, that’s the way we roll sometimes. You know that I love Animal Kingdom quite a bit but I’m here once again to make some tough decisions when it comes to the park. Kill, Refurb, Marry — by now you know the drill. Gosh, I can only imagine some of the answers people could come up to this one.

(Sidenote: My Kill Refurb Marry partner-in-crime, Melissa @ Mouse on the Mind, has her own AK-themed post today… the eateries!)

Here are my thoughts:


Camp Minnie Mickey Anmal Kingdom Decor

Camp Minnie Mickey. It pains me to say this because I think the area has a ton of potential, but folks… they took the sign down that points this spot out. I also know with Festival of the Lion King moving back to Africa, this area is basically a bathroom and a stroller queue. The proposed spot for Avatarland, too. Do I want to see Avatarland happen? Not really. I wasn’t a fan of the movie, and I don’t think the franchise is going to have the longevity that the company is going to want. Either way, Camp Minnie Mickey might as well say its goodbyes now. It needs some life, some meaning, and really – some attractions!

(Am I cheating with this one?)


Conservation Station Animal Kingdom

Conservation Station. I haven’t hung out at Conservation Station for 2 years, and before that, it had been probably five or so. With character meet and greets, some rainforest sounds, a petting zoo, and an animal hospital — it’s still not enough to make it a “must do” for me every time I visit the park. I wish Disney would focus on its own conservation efforts and maybe even explain more about how the animals are taken care of in the park. For once, I’d really like to WANT to get on a train to CS and not just do it because I’ve done everything else or it’s been a few years and I might as well give it a shot.

(Second and third choices? It’s Tough to Be a Bug 3D Show + the Jammin Jungle parade.)


Harambe Africa Animal Kingdom

The safari, Dawa Bar, Tusker House, Pangani Trail, and the introduction of Festival of the Lion King in the near future? I think Africa is the most put together part of the entire Animal Kingdom theme park. After 15 years, it just feels complete. There’s a ton to see and do, experience and listen to, and I could go back to Africa various times during a day at the park and still not experience it all. Africa should be the area that other zones of the park aspire to be.

So what do you think? What would you kill, refurb, and marry at Animal Kingdom?

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A book publicist who loves writing about Disney and books, and sometimes Disney books.

6 thoughts on “Kill Refurb Marry: Animal Kingdom Park

  1. Hmm, interesting. Thankfully the first choice is an easy one here:

    Kill – Chester and Hester’s Dinorama. I mean, really, if you pick anything else here, you are objectively wrong. I’ve heard that Dinorama just *looks* like a bunch of cheap-looking stuff thrown together at the last minute (this is actually the case with Camp Minnie-Mickey), and that fact never fails to blow my mind every time I walk through the damned thing. If you’re going to drop something that looks for all the world like the Yarmouth Clam Festival in the middle of your Disney theme park, and ever since then you have to be like, “No, see, there’s a backstory! See there was this old couple who lived next door to a huge fossil bed and blah blah blah…” to people who don’t like it, that means there was something fundamentally wrong with the concept in the first place.

    Refurb – Dinoland USA in general. Sweet mother of Robert T. Bakker, what the hell even is this? Think of the potential of a Mesozoic-themed area in a Disney theme park dedicated to animals and nature and our fascination with same, now look at the reality. It looks as though the most thought they put into it was, “Well, gee, Universal has that ‘Jurassic Park’ section so we gotta have something just like it!” Start by moving “Flights of Wonder” over here, at least; blow a few kids’ minds.

    Marry – Is that even legal in Florida? Okay, really, all the live animal exhibits. ALL of them. They are the one thing that makes Animal Kingdom truly unique and I honestly would not mind if there were more of them. There should even be some in Pandora-Landora; show off the real creatures that inspired the ones in the film.

  2. Marry: Maharajah Jungle Trek, I had a lot of choices here like Dinoland, Africa, the Safari, etc. All awesome. But the Jungle trek is the perfect blend of animals, design and theming

    Refurb: Conservation Station is an excellent choice. It needs a little something more. But I’m gonna pick Everest. The queue and ride are awesome, but with a lengthy refurb they could fix the Yeti once and for all.

    Kill: DeVine. She is nothing more than a bad stripper that block the path from Africa to Asia. I dont get the appeal at all

  3. Kill- I second Camp Minnie Mickey (though the point may be moot now, with its coming demise). This was always a wasted opportunity & wasted space for me. I wish it were Beastly Kingdom…

    Refurb- I have to go with the elephant- err, Yeti- in the room. Fix the Yeti. The ride will be down for a long time. I’m ok with that.

    Marry- I want to marry DiVine. I know it’s not legal in Florida, but I want to do it anyway.

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