The hub of the park is Discovery Island, home to a colorful Safari Village where animal inspired art is everywhere. As you emerge from the wilds of the Oasis and cross the bridge to the island the view ahead is dominated by the Tree of Life -- paths run around the tree on either side leading to bridges to the park's other lands.
The Tree of Life. Dominating Discovery Island is this giant, 145 ft. high tree, the icon of Animal Kingdom. It looks something like an outsized banyan tree but, up close, you begin to see the unusual details -- this tree is completely carved into interlocking animal shapes with more than 325 different images. You could spend hours discovering them all.
Discovery Island Trails. Meandering around the base of the Tree of Life are trails with several of their own animal enclosures to see.
It's Tough to be a Bug. What's inside the big tree? What else? Bugs! Flik, the star of A Bug's Life, hosts this entertaining look at the insect world. Termites, dung beetles, and a rather aromatic stinkbug show their stuff in this 8-minute 3-D movie with in-theater effects that include Hopper, the ant threatening, human hating grasshopper. Guests with bug phobias, as well as small children who are afraid of the dark, should skip this one.
Flame Tree Barbecue. The fare here is a cut above some of Walt Disney World's other fast food offerings, with real wood smoked barbeque beef brisket, pulled pork, ribs, and turkey. A vegetarian wrap is also available. Seating is outdoors in a pleasant and sheltered spot behind the building, with multiple seating areas on several levels winding down by the river.
Pizzafari. Individual pizzas, salads, and grilled chicken are on the bill at this counter-service restaurant. Be sure to check out the animal murals lining the dining room walls.
Smaller food kiosks here include Safari Barbeque for a quick turkey leg, snack or drink, and Safari Coffee.
Beastly Bazaar offers brightly colored surf and island wear.
Disney Outfitters has clothing and gifts with Disney characters.
Island Mercantile. This is the place for Animal Kingdom logo merchandise and Pin Trading.
Creature Comforts stocks animal themed clothing and toys just for kids.
First Aid and the Baby Care Center are located together here near the bridge to Africa.
As the park's hub, from Discovery Island you can cross the bridges to The Oasis,
Camp Minnie Mickey, or