Yesterday I discussed the ceilings and other details found above our heads at the Magic Kingdom. Today I'll finish this series with the Animal Kingdom.
The first ceilings of any note guests encounter here can be found inside Island Mercantile.
Within this collection of shops the Imagineers used their sense of humor to great applause. First we find stylized elephants holding up rafters. Then there are the insects with propellers. Other animals have been morphed into hand tools. And finally a map of the world is created out of various creatures.
Down the road at Pizzafari we find an abundance of creatures crawling along the ceilings.
At Creature Comforts, the dome and center light fixture are especially intriguing.
At Tusker House in Africa, the market place is shaded by cloth woven by the town folk of Harambe. The main eating area features a skylight ceiling with African art adorning the upper walls.
At the adjacent Dawa Bar, the town folk have used long thin logs to support the mud structure that provides shade to weary travelers.
Across the street, Ziwani Traders sports a corrugated aluminum roof. Beneath its rafters, merchants stock camping gear and other provisions needed for a two-week safari.
As guests leave Africa and enter Asia, they discover the Yak & Yeti Restaurant.
As first impressions are important, the lobby ceiling of this local establishment features intricately carved tiles and support beams. But further into the building, more humble materials like straw and bamboo are used overhead.
Take a look up as you enter the Maharaja Jungle Trek. The ceiling here is covered in old newspapers, and excellent insulator against cold.
As you enter the bat enclosure further along the trail, scary-looking bat kites stare down from above.
One of my favorite ceilings in the Maharaja Jungle Trek is one that isn’t there. As you enter the temple section of the walk, look up at the ruins. You can see that a dome once covered this area, but the ravages of time have brought the stones down.
The queue for Kali River Rapids offers numerous overhead delights. But the most beautiful of these is the Painted Pavilion which depicts a number of the Jataka Tales. These are the stories that tell of the previous lives of the Buddha, in both human and animal form.
Over at Expedition: Everest, the queue meanders through an office, temple, shop, and museum. Along this path guests can see many overhead details such as photographs, wood carvings, bells, supplies, and strands of light bulbs.
One of the landmarks of Dinoland U.S.A. is a large, yellow, cartoonish dinosaur.
Now I know that reptiles (and dinosaurs) don’t have nipples. But I have to wonder, what were the Imagineers thinking when they placed the canned lights on this creature’s belly.
The rafters of Chester & Hester’s souvenir shop have more junk suspended from above than any other shop at WDW. Dinosaurs in every shape, size, and color can be found here. In addition, a model train travels a figure eight as it weaves its way round the jumble.
Out on the porch of this shop, signs in the spirit of Burma-Shave can be found suspended from the eaves. In case you can’t read the message, it says:
When in Florida
Be sure to
Guests entering the Dino Institute are greeted by the skeletal remains of a prehistoric beast staring down from above.
But if you look beyond this frightening fellow, you see the path a mighty comet traveled as it zeroed in on earth 65 million years ago.
Time travel is a delicate business and requires untold amounts of electronics and other high-tech gizmos. As guests ready themselves to board Time Rovers, they are surrounded by overhead conduit and cables which can be seen traveling in every direction.
But there are three conduits of special interest. They are colored red, yellow, and white. Stenciled on them are the chemical formulas for catsup, mustard, and mayonnaise. This detail is a hold-over from the days when McDonalds sponsored this attraction.
As you exit the Animal Kingdom, be sure to walk through Rainforest Café. Here, the ceiling is covered in a dense jungle growth.
Of course, the best ceiling of all was not created by man, but can be found in nature.
Remember, details are everywhere. You just have to take the time to find them. Look up.
The previous post in this blog was It’s Over My Head - Part Three - Epcot.
The next post in this blog is Saratoga Springs - Lake Buena Vista and the Disney Institute - Part One.