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The Oasis – Disney's Animal Kingdom

The Oasis is that area located between the Animal Kingdom turnstiles and the bridge that spans Discovery River on the way to Discovery Island. The Oasis is equivalent to Main Street at the Magic Kingdom. It was the Imagineers intention that this area be used as a decompression spot – an area where guests could transition between the real world and the world of nature and animals. Rockwork, waterfalls, plants, and animals were employed to help you forget the vast parking lot you crossed just moments earlier.

The Oasis - Map

Unfortunately, The Oasis succeeds almost too well. Its understated beauty and lack of any real attractions encourages guests to race through this area on their way to Expedition Everest and Kilimanjaro Safaris. And I totally understand this. I too hurry first-time visitors through The Oasis so we can minimize our wait times for the more flashy rides. But this is a shame. Like everything at Disney, even the unassuming attractions hold magic.

It always bothers me when I hear people say that the Animal Kingdom is a half-day park. This is ridiculous. It’s only a half-day park if you skip half the attractions. It is extremely difficult to see all the rides and shows, plus walk the nature trails, in less than a full day. The Animal Kingdom is meant to be savored. If all you care about is “thrill” rides, then go to Universal. But take your time when visiting the Animal Kingdom. Relish each sight and sound. This park is packed with details. Discoveries are everywhere if you just take the time to look – and this includes The Oasis.

So here’s my thought about seeing The Oasis. If you arrive within the first hour of the Animal Kingdom’s opening, skip this area in favor of getting on the prime attractions with little or no wait. But be sure to budget some time and visit this land in detail when exiting. However, if you arrive at the Animal Kingdom any time after 10am, then slow down and enjoy this area. The lines for Everest and Dinosaur are already long by this time. Spending a few extra minutes decompressing in The Oasis won’t make a lot of difference and it will definitely put you in a better frame of mind.

The only structures in The Oasis are located near the turnstiles. This was done intentionally to minimize man’s impact on the sights and sounds that lie ahead. In addition, the Arts and Crafts style of architecture was used for these structures. This design uses natural building materials that blend well with nature.

On the left you’ll find Guest Relations. It’s here all your questions and needs can be attended to. Whether it’s dining reservations or language assistance, these cast members have the answers.

Guest Relations

Guest Relations

Next to Guest Relations are the restrooms. At nearby Expedition Storage, large and small lockers can be rented. A deposit is required and is refunded when the key is returned. Lockers can be accessed as often as you like during the day.


Locker Rental

Locker Rental

Rainforest Café can also be accessed from this area. Large signs mark the way. Make sure to hang onto your ticket as you will need it for reentry into the park.

Rainforest Cafe Entrance

Rainforest Cafe Entrance

On the right side of the courtyard you’ll find stroller and wheelchair rentals and Garden Gate Gifts. This shop offers a few basic souvenirs and camera supplies.

Stroller Rental

Garden Gate Gifts

Even if you’re a regular visitor, be sure to pick up a guide map. You never know what might have changed or been added since your last visit. Besides English maps, Japanese, German, Spanish, French, and Portuguese maps are available. Times Guides are also invaluable for scheduling your day and seeing the shows.

Guide Maps

Directly opposite the turnstile and across the courtyard, almost hidden by foliage, is the Animal Kingdom’s dedication plaque. Take a moment to find and read it.

Dedication Plaque

Dedication Plaque

For those of you who can’t make out the words on the above picture it says:

“Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Welcome to the kingdom of animals…real, ancient and imagined
a kingdom ruled by lions, dinosaurs and dragons;
a kingdom of balance, harmony and survival;
a kingdom we enter to share in the wonder,
gaze at the beauty, thrill at the drama
and learn.

Dedicated this 22nd day of April, 1998

Michael D. Eisner”

If you arrive before opening, a cute preshow is presented in The Oasis. A safari truck rolls in with Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto onboard. They welcome everyone to the park and give us a few tips for enjoying the day. To see the complete three minute show, check out my video.

Opening Show

The first animals you’ll encounter are the Roseate and African Spoonbills.

Spoonbill Plaque

The Roseate Spoonbill is native to Central and South America. It feeds in shallow fresh or coastal waters. Their beautiful coloring comes from a diet rich in shrimp. They also eat beetles, bugs, frogs, newts, and small fish other birds ignore.

Roseate Spoonbill

The African Spoonbill can be found in Central and Southern Africa and in Madagasgar. They feed by sweeping their long bills back and forth in the water, capturing small fish and other aquatic creatures. When I was visiting, the spoonbills were busy with their nests which typically include two to five eggs. If you look closely in the second picture, you can see several eggs. The black stripe was placed on the eggs by the Disney veterinarians to monitor the hatching progress.

African Spoonbill

African Spoonbill with Eggs

Found near the spoonbills is the Black Swan which is native to Australia. They were also found in New Zealand but hunted to extinction. Fortunately, they were reintroduced and are making a comeback. Black Swans mate for life and share hatching responsibilities.

Black Swan Plaque

Black Swan

Besides the animals, be sure to notice the landscaping. The tropical forest is magnificent and transports your mind to far off places.

Oasis Landscaping

Oasis Landscaping

Oasis Landscaping

Oasis Landscaping

And don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers.


There are two trails through The Oasis (left and right) and the animals encountered are different on each side. Try to enter the park via one trail and exit by the other. Another “Main Street” element can be found along these passageways. Rock tunnels mark the way to your upcoming adventure in the same way as passing beneath the Train Station does at the Magic Kingdom.

Rock Tunnel

Several species of macaws make The Oasis their home. The Scarlet Macaw is native to humid evergreen forests in the American tropics. It uses tree cavities to nest and usually lays two to three eggs. The Imagineers have recreated these nesting environments throughout the area.

Scarlet Macaw Plaque

Scarlet Macaw Nest

Scarlet Macaw

The Military Macaw’s beak is strong and can crack the toughest seeds and nuts. In addition, they eat fruits, berries, and other vegetation found in the forest. Military Macaws live in large flocks and have a lifespan of 50 to 60 years in the wild.

Military Macaw Plaque

Military Macaw

Birds aren’t the only animals found in The Oasis. Mammals and reptiles also call this spot home. On the right trail you’ll find a Babirusa which means “pig-deer.” This name refers to the antler-like tusks of the male. However, evidence suggests the animal is more closely related to the hippopotamus than the pig.

Babirusa Plaque


The Rhinoceros Iguana spends his day sunning on a large rock. His name comes from the horn-like scales on its snout. He eats plants, fruits, vegetables, insects, and rodents.

Rhinoceros Iguana Plaque

Rhinoceros Iguana

But the star of The Oasis is the Southern Giant Anteater. Found from Honduras to northern Argentina, this largest of the four species of anteater uses its long sticky tongue to slurp up as many as 30,000 bugs a day.

Southern Giant Anteater Plaque

Southern Giant Anteater

Other animals found in The Oasis include the Indian Spotted Duck, Swamp Wallaby, Reeve’s Muntjac, Chiloe Wigeon, Black Neck Swan, and Patagonian Cavy. Please remember while viewing these wonderful creatures, “Our yummies are bad for their tummies.”

Don't Feed the Animals

Near the north end of The Oasis is a delightful suspension bridge and cave worthy of Tom Sawyer Island. Overlooked by most visitors, this is a great spot for youngsters.

Bridge and Cave

Bridge and Cave



As you traverse The Oasis from the entrance to its north edge, you climb nearly twenty feet. This was done intentionally so that when you reach Discovery Island you have an unobstructed view of the Tree of Life.

Discovery Island and the Tree of Life

When you return home from your vacation and are recounting your Disney World adventures, no one is going to ask you, “So tell me, what did you think of The Oasis?” In the scheme of things, this land is not as memorable as some of the other attractions Disney has to offer. But on the other hand, simple things can be everlasting. I suspect if you stopped and thought about it, some of your most cherished Disney memories are not about riding Splash Mountain or Tower of Terror, but rather a “moment” when magic happened at an unexpected time. I can’t promise that you’ll create a lasting memory in The Oasis, but there is magic here if you take the time to look.

The previous post in this blog was Where’s the Fire? Epcot's Innoventions.

The next post in this blog is Columbia Harbour House.

Comments (53)

Jenny Sperandeo:

Hi Jack! When my twins were little and we were visiting AK, I found The Oasis to be the perfect spot to let them "take a break." They enjoyed looking at all the animals in a quieter setting, and the shade from the trees provided some much needed comfort from the hot, Florida sun.

Now that they are older, we still enjoy The Oasis. Of course, after the opening ceremony, we all rush off to the thrill rides (like you mentioned), but we always come back at some point during the day.

I agree, AK is not a half day park. There is so much to do and see here. Another one of my favorites is stopping by to view the gorillas. They are my husband's favorite animals, and we have always enjoyed watching them.

Thanks again for another great memory.


I used to be one of those people who said it was only a half day park. However, a few years ago I found this amazing website ( and started reading about all the wonderful elements at Animal Kingdom including the Oasis that I missed. Now its a day and 1/2 park for me. I love walking around and finding new things that I didn't see on my last trip. Give this park a chance you never know what you might see or find. Looking for a camera case in Africa got my mother and I asked to be part of the Mickey's Jammin Jungle Parade a memory that will never be forgotten. Thanks for all your blogs Jack!

Laura Blume:

Another great article, Jack! We have loved Animal Kingdom from our very first visit! I am always disappointed when I hear people say it is a half-day park or, even worse, they just skip it because they "have a zoo close to home". It is our favorite park with Kilimanjaro Safaris being our favorite attraction in all of Disney World. The theming throughout the park is so beautiful. We love to wander around & take in the sights.


As always, loved you report. We always take a break from the crowd and enjoy this area with the animals. I have been to Animal Kingdom 5 times and I have never seen the Plaque. Next visit I will have to pay more attention.... It makes me wonder even more why Mr. Eisner mentioned dragons...If Beastly Kingdom was never to be why mention it? But that;s another story:)

Jack's Comment:

Beastly Kingdom was definitely supposed to happen. It would take the place of Camp Minnie-Mickey (a temporary land). But because of budget restraints, Beastly Kingdom became a phase two project. Then Universal opened Islands of Adventures with the Lost Continent land that mimicked Beastly Kingdom. Festival of the Lion King was only supposed to be a temporary show but became a phenomenon that can't be removed.


Looking forward to more information about Animal Kingdom!
We loved Animal Kingdom. We stayed a full day and we were unable to see everything! Everyone has to remember that Disney is not all about the rides but the theming. You have to take your time to really enjoy and soak up the atmosphere! We look forward to returning.

Hermes Chiong:

Great blog, just looking at the pictures makes me feel peaceful and refreshed!


Another great report Jack. But for us Animal Kingdom is still a half-day park. It just gets too hot in the summer when we have been going. Plus, we have a family mamber in a wheelchair and the bumpy paths can only be tolerated for so long. Both sitting and pushing.

Di Berry:

I always give a little "Yay"! when I see you've posted another of your reports. They're always so well thought out and presented and so full of details. We've visited AK many times but have never appreciated the Oasis before - we will now! Many thanks as always Jack.

Samantha French:


I'm so glad you did an article on the beauty of this park! The first time I went to AK, I went with family that deems it a half day park, which I believe tainted my view. Then, when I started going to WDW with my husband, we really started to appreciate the beauty and serenity that can be found in this park. We now intentionally book our days to AK in the middle of our WDW trip to give us a day or two that are more mellow and relaxing than the days at the other three parks. :)

Now, if I could just get me some of those hanging lanterns at AK, or the ones that are in Adventureland in Disneyland (the giraffe print ones around the middle of the path, I think there's an oval bench area or something there), I'd be one happy girl!!!

Greg Highfill:

Hi Jack,

Disney’s Animal Kingdom will always be special to me because it fulfilled a long-held fantasy of mine. I was able to be there on “opening” day, and I have the t-shirt and lithograph to prove it. ;-) I made it in about 10 minutes before they closed the park, since they weren’t sure what the capacity was going to be. That day turned out to be well below capacity, and it was a fantastic day.

Since I didn’t really know what to expect, other than the tree of life, I spent time in The Oasis, taking in all the birds, other animals and flowers in the dense tropical jungle-like atmosphere. I particularly remember the anteater and the sloth.

So much has been added to the park, but even on opening day, I didn’t consider it a half-day park, and I didn’t even see everything that was there that first day and still haven’t seen everything.

I’m so glad that you decided to showcase this often rushed through part of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Guests really should slow down and enjoy the transition to the rest of the park. It really is a wonderful way to decompress from the rush to get there.



hey jack
I am indeed one of those people who just skips the oasis and heads straight for the bigger attractions, however around th middle of the day I always stop, slow down, and take a look at all the wonder that the oasis offers. I also visit the area as I am leaving the park and almost always see something that I missed the first time around. Can't wait for your next blog and as always keep up the great work.

David Seymour:

Thanks for another good article. I had to stop reading for a while because it made me want to go back too much after visiting last year. Maybe I missed it in the article but I seem to recall cast members showing off different animals in the oasis when we arrived. Not sure if they still do this or what the schedule was.
Thanks again!

Jack's Comment:

You're absolutely correct. Cast members are on hand in the morning displaying small creatures. But on the day I took my pictures, I didn't show up until after noon. Since I didn't take any pictures of these cast members, I chose not to include this bit of information -- but I probably should have. :-)

Jill Hogg:

Hi Jack!

The reason why Animal Kingdom wound up being a half-day park for me is perhaps because they made it a little too realistic. The walkways are very uneven and hard to walk on and somewhat narrow, giving the feeling of being very crowded. This combination wears me out after a relatively short time. Maybe next visit, I'll spend more time sitting and enjoying the views, rather than hiking to the next adventure! Thanks for the insight!

Jack's Comment:

I have no problem if someone leaves the Animal Kingdom early for physical reasons or exhaustion. My complaint is with people who say there isn't enough to see and do to fill an entire day. This simply is not true. The Animal Kingdom offers plenty of activities to fill eight or nine hours or more.


I have always loved the Oasis and feel guilty for running through it in the morning. On one trip we went to the AK after our afternoon break when it had late magic hours. It was so nice to just stroll up the hill and look at all the different animals. AK is a true treasure for all animal lovers.

Joshua Olive:


Another wonderful look at something people tend to pass over or, in this case, through. I've long been an apologist for Disney's Animal Kingdom, and I'm always happy to see it get some positive attention.

As for your point about this being at least an all day experience, it's not uncommon for my wife and I to spend 3 full days at Animal Kingdom during our trips to the World, and that's usually without ever setting foot in DinoLand. It's all about the animals and the setting for us - although the excellent food doesn't hurt either. Flame Tree Barbeque is an absolute must!

Cara Richards:

Hi Jack

AK is my favourite of all the Disney Parks and it frustrates me no-end when people say there is not enough to do there. The landscaping and detail is fantastic and I have in the past spent 2-full days and still not seen all there is to see. Another thing that I like about the Oasis is that first thing in the morning, there are often CMs stood to greet guests, with tanks containing exotic animals which you can admire up close. Definitely take the time and appreciate EVERYTHING here, as it's a beautiful park and deserves to be enjoyed by everybody.

Cara Richards
Portsmouth, England

Adam Grun:

Great blog! I am the same way. I hate when people say that it is a half day park and just talk about riding the big rides and leaving. People should really appreciate the smaller things. Some of the most fun I have ever had there is sitting with my 2 year old daughter watching the otters play in the water. Not the time that I walked right on Everest (don't get me wrong that is awesome). And I have to admit I have looked at everything on one side of the Oasis but not the other side. I always try and find something that I have not done when I go to a park and this is definitely one that I will be doing. Thank you for the great blog.


Hi Jack! I loved your blog! Even if I'm not a early Oasis person (I'm part of the group that walk as fast as possible to reach Kilimanjaro), but I leave the best for the end! I always enjoy to spent more than a few minutes in the oasis..I even found a waterfall! For the photos spot lovers you can find several good ones...
Don't forget to mention that in the morning when you walk through the oasis you can find several CM with other animals or insects and you can ask about them...once I found a compatriot: an "arana pollito" or chilean tarantula...=P


How have we not seen the anteater!! Definitely going to look for her/him next time we're there. They are so cute!

Katie Caruso:

Hi Jack!
I always love your blogs, and Animal Kingdom is my favorite park and it is definitely not a "half day park"!!! Thanks for the great description!!

Mike Scilingo:


Very nice blog post about the Oasis. I was wondering if you've ever seen this phenomenon: As we were crossing the bridge from Discovery Island to the Oasis at night, the trees along the river on the Oasis side were literally FILLED with white birds presumably settling in for the night. It was quite an a amazing sight to see! We couldn't figure out what type of birds they were and where they all came from. Just one of those little magical moments you're talking about.

Jack's Answer: Yes. I have seen this at the AK. In fact, I took a picture of it I was so facinated.

DonnaLee Yeatts:

When entering the AK park, you need to walk up the left side of the Oasis to see the Anteater. I had the fortunate opportunity to see the anteater take a shower on one of my trips. That was such a great rememberance because it was funny to us. I love to look for all the animals in the Oasis because I feel as though they deserve to be seen. Sometimes I even say good-bye to the animals when I leave and always let them know I'll be back to see them again soon.

Jennifer McCurry:

I completely agree! Although we didn't spend a whole day in the park due to young kids who wear out and need a nap, we visited Animal Kingdom 4 times during our last visit. Although we did ride all the rides (except Kali - too cold), some of the best memories were made just sitting and watching the animals. The "oh wow" look on a 6 year old's face as a tiger walks up to the glass or the who can find the animal sibling rivalry is just priceless. Animal Kingdom is and will continue to be a family favorite.

Crystal :

Thank's for highlighting The Oasis. I loved looking at the animals and flowers last year. My kids ran through with grandparents and didn't look. In June I'll have them slow down and discover the great animals.


We didn't catch the new opening show when we at Animal Kingdom last month, so I appreciate getting a chance to catch it here.

That said, I miss the old opening show that took place at Discovery Island. Having Mickey pop up all the way out by the Tree of Life was one of those great Disney "plus" moments that it's unfortunate to see that go. Any word on why they changed the show?

Wendy Crober:

Hi Jack,

Thanks for another wonderful blog. The OASIS is beautiful but you're right it is very easy to rush by. We're more likely to enjoy it later in the day.

We have always gone to Animal Kingdom when they have Extra Magic Hours in the evening because its so pretty at night and we can't get it all done in a normal we love Expedition Everest at night!

I agree with the comment about the white birds settling in for the night, it's spectacular.



Hi Jack,

I thoroughly enjoyed your article about the Oasis! One of the best things that happened to me once is that I experience WDW while pregnant. I did exactly as you described - I slowed down and took in many more sights than I normally do since I could not ride everything. From now on, I plan to build in time for this - no matter if I am back to being on Expedition Everest or not.

Another sensory experience that I adore about Animal Kingdom and all of WDW is the sound. Walking into the Oasis - the noise of the outside world ceases. The birds make such beautiful music. And speaking of music - the music throughout the rest of AK is wonderful. I love the Tree of Life music played (not sure of the actual title) but have it on CD. It is like a morning in nature awakening. Finally, the music played throughout Africa is incredible. Walking throughout the village without taking in the music, either live music or what is playing in the background would be missing half of the experience. So much of WDW can be described this way, but since we are specifically talking about AK, I thought it was worth mentioning.


Mary Stratton:

Jack-another great post-thanks! I agree that AK requires a full day (if not more) to really experience the sights and sounds. Disney's usual attention to detail is (I think) most striking in this park! From the embossed walkways to the statuary and flags and plant life throughout, I was amazed at how realistic and beautiful the areas of the park were! Absolutely NOT a half-day run for my family--can't wait to return!!


..."The Animal Kingdom is meant to be savored. If all you care about is “thrill” rides, then go to Universal."...


That line really stuck me and I agree completely, but I'm not so sure Disney feels this way anymore. They appear to be choosing thrill rides over the more classic Disney rides. I emailed Disney recently about the closure of Snow White's Scary Adventures and replacing it with a "thrill" ride. Here is what I emailed:

I urge Disney to reconsider the closure of Snow White's Scary Adventures. It's important to remember what has made and continues to make Disney great. Disney did not become what it is by being an amusement park full of roller coasters, but rather classic rides such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, Haunted Mansion, and the Fantasyland dark rides.
Disney can not be all things to all people, and as such should focus on it's target audience, the guests with a deep love for what sets Disney
apart from all other parks. Don't try and become like the other parks, but embrace the uniqueness that is Disney. I do think the Fantasyland
expansion will be a good thing, but remember it's an expansion, not a replacement project. Snow White's Scary Adventures is one of my family's favorites, removing it will be like removing a bit of the Disney magic.


What another wonderful blog! The Oasis is an area my husband and I love to wander through slowly... It has always amazed us how many people just rush right through! Thanks so much! :)

Toni Norton:

I have always enjoyed AK but had visited it many times before I was finally there at night and saw the birds settling in for the night. We originally thought they were lights and we were so amazed when we realized they were birds. My friend (there for the first time) says this is her favorite memory since it was so different from anything she had seen. I believe the birds are the little white birds that all over the park during the day.

Adam August:

One of our best memories of AK was a young Indonesian cast member who was so enthusiastic about the Komodo dragon lizard (from his homeland) he spent at least 10 minutes telling us about it. The cast members there from Africa and Asia are some of the friendliest we've met in the parks.

The white birds several posters have mentioned roosting in the trees at night are the white ibises (curved red beaks) one sees begging for handouts everywhere guests dine outdoors.

Joanne Jones:

Just reading your words and enjoying the photos relaxed me! I find one day at the AK is just right for us. There is a lot of walking here so taking your time and looking "up" is always worth it. I would have missed DeVine the last time we visited if we had been rushing! I always come home with more photos of this park than any other - everything is just so beautiful! AK will always hold a special place for me as we were chosen to ride on the car with Mickey (yes, MICKEY!) in the MJJJP!

Tina O:

I very recently posted on a WDW chat forum that the people who posted there should not dismiss Dinoland & should read your blog before doing so! I had wanted to visit WDW as a child because I had a Disneyland coloring book (didn't know the difference). When I finally went to the Magic Kingdom at 17 years old for 1 day with my parents & sisters 19 years ago, I was so excited (much more than the others) to see lots of the things that I had dreamed about as a child. Believe me, I had really studied those pictues. I am finally going back to WDW in 2 & 1/2 weeks with my husband and kids who have never been. I wish I still had that coloring book but your blog has done the same for me- transported me to this magical place through my imagination and your storytelling & pictures. I'm sure I'll be remembering things you've described as I walk through the 4 parks this time. Thanks for all of your help & allears in general, with planning my family's vacation!!!

Jillian Secord:

In 2007, we were leaving the park at the end of extra magic hours and it was dark and peaceful, though we were soaked from Kali River Rapids. In the Oasis, a cast member was standing in shadow with a large lizard perched on his arm and he was petting it and talking to it soothingly, and the lizard was looking around at everything with dark beady eyes. We had seen other cast members earlier in the day with other animals but there were too many other guests for us, but this man was alone with the lizard. He saw us stop and beckoned us over to take a closer look and visit, thought it was too dark to make out much detail on the lizard. We were a bit hesitant as the lizard was on the large side but gradually as the cast member told us more about him, where he was from, and what he ate, I grew bold enough to stroke him on the forehead. I haven't handled many reptiles in my life, so I remarked on how smooth and soft he was, and when the cast member broke into a large grin and started to chuckle, we realized we'd been had. He was holding a large stuffed lizard from the gift shop and with practised care was manipulating him with one hand so it looked like his head was really moving.

It was a priceless moment and one I'll never forget. This is just one of the hundreds of things that make AK my favourite park. Thanks for the blog, Jack.


I enjoyed this review of the Oasis! We can easily make Animal Kingdom a 2+ day park. There is so much to see and do there, and it is indeed a place to be savored. You never have the same experience twice because of animal behavior when you walk the trails. One of our favorite features of the Oasis are the cast members who hold small cages with animals. They are always glad to show you their animal and share their knowledge.


Jack! Great indepth fun article that really took alot of work to produce. Wanted you to know we appreciate your hard work and wonderful pictures very much. The Oasis is a favorite photo spot for us. My hubby takes pics of the animals, especially the parrots, for our walls at home. We love the Oasis and spend time there when we first arrive and when we are ready to leave (well, we're never really READY to leave!) It's a great stress-reliving area & the animals are always interesting. Thanks again!


i'm going to disney next week and will definetly pay more attention to the oasis !

June Simpson:

I love Animal Kingdom, it is such a beautiful place. I especially love the Oasis, we always take time to walk around the oasis, photograph the animals/birds and just enjoy the relative peace and quiet there.

Danielle Harmon:


Wonderful blog as usual! We tend to hit AK when it has morning EMH and leave about 3pm. The Oasis is a godsend in the early afternoon when it is steaming. I do have to agree that the park seems to be a bit overcrowded, even when it isn't, due to the paths, etc...but a full day at least is a must.

Thanks again for a great insight to an oft overlooked "attraction."

Eileen Miller:

What another wonderful article! The Oasis is one of our favorite spots - in fact, my husband LOVES the anteater - he nicknamed him "Larry" (why, we don't know). My son & I even had a mug made for him years ago with a photo I took of "Larry". We really enjoy the entire Oasis area - and like you, get peeved when people refer to the AK as a 1/2 day park. The walking trails, Discovery Island, Flights of Wonder, even just hanging out by the howler monkeys or gorillas - such a wonderful, peaceful park. We're going back in less than 4 weeks and I can't wait!

And I had to laugh at the "white birds in the trees" - we overheard one mother tell her little boy they were Snowy Owls nesting for the night. Not sure why she thought those would be in central FL,and we always wondered if she just never noticed the hundreds of white Ibis wandering through the park during the day...


I always make sure we stop and check out the Oasis each trip to Animal Kingdom! It is one of my favorite spots to stop. My son and I love looking for the animals on each side, some are quite elusive. It seems much quieter than the rest of the park and is a great spot to get out of the sun as not many people stop. One time at the begining of the Oasis there were cast members with show boxes of different animal skeletons. A little game to see if my son (4 years) could tell what animal/reptile it was. It was a neat little educational part to start the adventure. We love the Animal Kingdom and love that you have to take it slow to really appreciate what it has to give. Thanks for this great article! Looking forward to the next :)


I advise all my friends and family not to overlook the Oasis!! I find it to be so sad that so many people rush through this area (as well as the Tree of Life).
However, at the same time, I thoroughly enjoy the solitude of this area. My kids (14, 7, 5) now make the request to go on the 'hidden' trails ... away from the crowds, the heat!! We spend the time to just take it--the true gem of Walt Disney World!

Ron Stalsberg Jr:

I love the Animal Kingdom. It seems like the more trips we take to WDW the Animal Kingdom just grows on us more. I can spend a big share of every day just walking the trails and the oasis ( in fact we do). Those that say the park is only worth part of one day need to do more exploring. I even played in the boneyard with my Grandson in January. We both had a great time. Thanks Jack for another great blog.

Heidi Stuck:

Thank you for your article! I admit that I don't take a lot of time in this area but I will next visit! Your comments really hit home since so many friends say it's a half day park and I spend a lot of time defending AKP telling them how special this place really is. I have been to WDW over 25 visits now and many many years and AK is my favorite park. There is so much to see and do and so different then the other parks. I look forward to more of your articles! I'm headed back in October and will definitely take time out in the Oasis area!

mary heckley:

Animal Kingdom is our favorite park and we could spend days on end there.There truly is a lot to see!The ones who think AK is a half day park must be the same ones who call Epcot boring.

Zonnya Carpenter:

We always linger in the Oasis on our way out of the park. My kids love the suspension bridge! We get a picture there every time. It is so peaceful & beautiful that I really don't want to leave for the parking lot :)

Gary Richards:

I suppose we, who consider the Animal Kingdom a full-day park, should be glad there are many people who consider Animal Kingdom a 1/2 day park--it will allow more room for us full-day visitors to enjoy the details such as The Oasis...
Keep up your wonderful reviews of the Disney Details...

Ashley Carnes:

Great article! I'd been to AK the year it opened and was only partially finished as well as several times after that but it wasn't until 2004 when I went with my now husband that I realized how much I loved it. For some reason we had the most fun at AK. Since then it has grown to be our favorite park. We used to book enough days to visit each park once with an extra day to park hop or visit a favorite park for the 2nd time. The favorite park growing up used to be MK for me but now it is AK. We have a blast spending all day at AK from the rides, shows, sights, sounds, food...then we do it all again later in our week! :) We love to see who can find the animals in the Oasis first (we're a lil competitive, hehe) and then we usually have lunch.
Reading about the Oasis is making me miss my AK and I can't wait until I can get back "home"!


Hi Jack,

On the days the AK has the extra morning hour, does this show happen then or at the opening for the general public?.

Jack's Answer: I don't know. Sorry.

Trisha Johnson:

Hello again Jack!
As always, great job. I am one in a family of three, two of whom insist on rushing immediately to Everest as soon as the gates open. I have though had some success in getting them to slow down enough on the way out to spend a little time in the Oasis. Funny though, we have always gone out the same way (the left side as you called it). Next time I will be sure to go out the other way. I'd love to see the suspension bridge!

ginny, soffietti:

AK is by far the most relaxing of Disney parks. although a spread out park there is so much to do and see. I do not understand why people think it is a half a day park or an over sized zoo. I personally know many people who think this. I lecture them on how AK is one of the most interesting parks if they take the time to enjoy it.I also do not get that people think it is to hot , there is so many shaded places to take a break at while still enjoying the park. We go to Disney ever year and take two days to see AK. . This year we are going to do Wild by design and Africa trek my family and I cannot wait. Adults should take the time to enjoy it through the eyes of there children , Your kids would be so excited to see animals such as an ant eater if there parents would let them take the time. There any many things that they could never see at there local zoo. My son did an internship at the Animal kingdom there is so much more to the park. people should take the time to learn about it.

Karen Trammell:


I too love the Animal Kingdom and get upset when people say it is a half park day. We often go two days while visiting WDW. You have to take time and visit the nature trails, gorillas, tigers, watch the monkeys,etc. There is so much to see and I never tire of it. For the past 10+ years in March for spring break, we have been bringing high school groups and have been behind the scenes at the Animal Kingdom for the Y.E.S. program. It was great and we learned so much. We were there last week for The American Story at the Magic Kingdom and I'll be back in July. Disney is just awesome!!

Passholder from De Queen, Arkansas

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