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Discovery Island Shops at Animal Kingdom

Discovery Island at the Animal Kingdom acts like The Hub at the Magic Kingdom. It ties all of the outlying lands together in a harmonious manor. But rather than depict a real geographic location, Discovery Island uses humorous, almost cartoon-like representations of animals to create a whimsical locale that does not conflict with the other areas of the park.

Discovery Island is also home to four shops, Beastly Bazaar, Creature Comforts, Disney Outfitters, and Island Mercantile. Each of these shops has a subtle theme that is easily missed if you don't pay attention. In this blog I'm going to discuss these themes and present a few pictures.

Let's start with Beastly Bazaar.


Beastly Bazaar Sign


Beastly Bazaar is located on the northeast side of Discovery Island, just before you cross the bridge into Asia. The theme here is water animals. But not just fish, also included are amphibians and birds that make water their home or feeding ground. I'm not going to offer any descriptions here as the pictures are self explanatory.


Beastly Bazaar Seahorse

Beastly Bazaar Shrimp and Starfis

Beastly Bazaar Turtle and Eel

Beastly Bazaar Octopus

Beastly Bazaar Fish

Beastly Bazaar Bird

Beastly Bazaar Crab

Beastly Bazaar Fishes


The Creature Comforts shop is located on the northwest side of Discovery Island, before you cross the bridge into Africa. Here, all of the animals either have spots or stripes. Even the overhead light fixture and the lamppost out front carry out this theme.


Creature Comforts Sign

Creature Comforts Giraff

Creature Comforts Zebra

Creature Comforts Tiger

Creature Comforts Antelope

Creature Comforts Light Fixture

Creature Comforts Ladybug


Disney Outfitters is located due south of the Tree of Life. This shop has two themes. First, all of the animal featured here travel in herds. And second, the points of the compass are focal points.


Disney Outfitters Sign

Disney Outfitters North Compass

Disney Outfitters Compass Points


In the four corners of the main building are compass points for north, south, east, and west. These represent the four corners of Africa. Near each compass are beautifully carved posts featuring the animals of that region. Next time you're in this shop, it's worth your time to spend a few minutes admiring their beauty. It's interesting to note, the compass directions do not line up with the “real” world.


Disney Outfitters North Animals

Disney Outfitters East Animals

Disney Outfitters South Animals

Disney Outfitters West Animals


While in this shop, also pay attention to some of the lovely tapestries hanging from the ceiling.


Disney Outfitters Tapestries

Disney Outfitters Tapestries


The last store on Discovery Island is Island Mercantile and it is found to your immediate left after crossing the bridge from The Oasis into this land.


Island Mercantile Sign


Island Mercantile is all about animals that work. The shop's theme begins outdoors with elephants holding light fixtures in their trunks.


Island Mercantile Elephant


Inside we find beavers hard at work. Notice the counter with its gnawed log supports.


Island Mercantile Bevers


Island Mercantile Gnawed Log

Located throughout the rest of the store are beasts of burden and industrious creatures that work in groups.


Island Mercantile Camel

Island Mercantile Bees

Island Mercantile Ants


I know a lot of you think I know everything about Disney. But nothing could be further from the truth. I'm constantly learning new stuff. I only recently discovered that Island Mercantile and Creature Comforts had themes " and I learned this by reading other pages on Allears.net. But after acquiring this knowledge, I knew that if these two shops had themes, then the others on Discovery Island must as well. So I made a trip to the Animal Kingdom to see what I could find out.

I realize that a lot of the details I point out to you seem obvious, but they're not always. Sometimes I have to do research and ask questions. In this case, I couldn't figure out the theme of Disney Outfitters so I asked a cast member. And when that cast member didn't know, I asked another and another. So don't feel bad that you haven't noticed a particular detail, theme, or story. Just remember not to take things at face value and always be on the lookout for the magic the Imagineers have designed into everything.


The previous post in this blog was Ridemakerz.

The next post in this blog is Which Picture Doesn’t Belong #1 - The Quiz.

Comments (16)

Tim:

Jack

Another great blog. We have been through these stores several times on our last two trips and did not notice the themes. You conintue to inspire us to slow down and notice all the details that make the world magical.

Thanks again!

Tim

David Lizewski:

Walt Disney World is filled with so much, it's often easy to overlook some of the "little things." Thanks for taking the time to remind us that there is so much more to see and that we should take more time to check out these great details instead of worrying about how soon I can get back over to Camp Minnie-Micky to catch the Festival of the Lion King...

Andree Godin:

Wow! We hardly ever go into the stores because we simply are not shoppers, but let me tell you that NOW we will enter!!!! What great theming! Loved your article that was a fabulous little tour this morning, thank you so much!

John C. Lacasse:

Another great Blog!! I'm continually awed by the detail that exists in WDW and appalled at what I miss out on every time I visit. Oh well, it'll make me appreciate it all the more the next time I go.

Thanks.

David Santo:

Jack Jack,

I'm usually ducking into these shops for some air conditioning on a sweltering day. The wife gets to enjoy some "retail therapy" while I look around and cool off.

But then I find myself getting more and more immersed in the overall presentation and my curious looking around has prompted several cast members to ask me if I've lost something.

Great pics as usual.

Dave

Lynn Johnson:

Jack -
My friends are always asking, "Why do you continue to vacation at Disney World? Haven't you seem EVERYTHING by now?" Thanks for proving one more time that, no matter how many times you go, there is always something new to see AND learn! Great blog, Jack!

Josh:

hey jack
thanks once again for another great blog. I do enjoy going into shops now and again for some air conditioning and always finding myself looking at all of the little details that make up the shops. do you know if they have anything in the lines of artwork or pictures for sale at any of these shops? if you do please let me know. As always I can't wait for your next blog and keep up the great work.

Jack's Answer:

One section of Disney Outfitters does sell some Animal Kingdom art. There are some lithos and other limited edition artistic pieces. However, this high-end merchandise has been scaled back recently so the selection is smaller than it once was.

meg:

I hate to admit it but I've never gone into any of the stores here. Not sure why but I will next time.

Rob Dickinson:

Very Cool!! I had notice the theme before in Beastly Bazaar but can't say I have ventured into the other shops. I especially love the theme at Island Mercantile so I will be sure to check it out on my next visit. Thanks again Jack for another great Blog and always helping to add cool things to check out on my "to do list". Like they teach at the Disney Institute, you sure know how to "bump the lamp"! Thanks for always doing so!

Rob

Wendy Snelgrove:

Jack,

My understanding of the theme of the Disney Outfitters shop is predator/prey, not the four directions. I read this in An Imagineering Guide to Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park, I believe. Is my memory failing me?

Thanks, Wendy

Jack's Comment: After more research, I found that the Disney Outfitters shop features animal that travel in herds. I have updated my blog accordingly. Thanks for keeping me on my toes.

Danusia :

Wendy, its actually Flame Tree BBQ that has the Predator/Prey theme - a little apropos considering whats on the menu!

And Jack, another cool bit of Imagineering to check out is over at Pizzafari, where each room has a distinct theme. If memory serves, one room is for animals who hide, one for animals who hang, one for animals who carry their houses on their backs, and one for animals who come out at night. This is one of my favourite spots in WDW, I always try to show it off to first-timers!

Love your blog!
Danusia

Jack's Comment:

Thanks for the clarification about predatory/prey animals at the Flame Tree BBQ. I didn't know this.

I actually did a complete blog about the Pizzafari theming a couple of years ago and I recently told folks to check it out in my Lamppost Blog.

Jan:

It's amazing how much thought Disney has put into theming, artwork and imagineering. I have learned so much from reading these blogs. We have been going to Disney at least once a year since 1974 and we continue to learn more and more about little things we have never noticed. Now that we are older, the kids are grown, we are still enjoying all the parks have to offer. We will surely stop to notice more of the details you write about. Thanks for all the great info!

Cara Richards:

Awesome blog - Animal Kingdom is my favourite Disney park and I love learning new things about it's attractions and buildings. I knew about the spots and stripes theme for Creature Comforts, but not the others you wrote about - so thanks so much for that! I can't wait to share this with my hubby now, who's almost as Disney-mad as I am!!

Cara
Portsmouth, England

Debbie Bolen:

Thanks Jack for the great blog! Another reason why everyone should slow down and enjoy the details @ WDW....As many times as I have been there - I never noticed the specific themes per shop. I will next time! My list keeps growing....not sure I'll have time for rides, there is too much to enjoy otherwise. Maybe I need to plan on more then a week!
Thanks again!

michelle:

Hi Jack,
I love your blogs and the details you include. You make everything from the major attractions to lamp posts and shops interesting.
I really enjoy that you make me take notice of the details instead of just running from attraction to attraction. Which is sometimes hard with 2 litle boys only interested in the next ride.
Thanks for given me a bit of Disney while I am suck at home in Canada.
Michelle

Truly nice story u got here. It'd be really cool to read more concerning that theme. Thank you for sharing this information.

Olivia CLARK

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 28, 2010 5:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Ridemakerz.

The next post in this blog is Which Picture Doesn’t Belong #1 - The Quiz.

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