The Oasis Exhibits
UPON ENTERING ANIMAL KINGDOM - A LUSH
Animal Kingdom has The Oasis, which enchantingly puts one in a "jungle"
mood, and draws one forward to the "Tree Of Life."...
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the urban world behind and enter a lush tropical garden filled with exotic
birds and animals. Look out for the Parma Wallaby, tree kangaroo, giant
anteater, sloth, Chinese deer, exotic birds, and more
Gateway to the
Animal Kingdom If at
all possible, take the time to really enjoy the Oasis. It is one of
the most beautiful and relaxing places in all of Walt Disney World.
The Oasis is the first experience of every visitor
to Disney's Animal Kingdom. When you pass through the turnstiles there
are many paths ahead...each runs through the Oasis and ends at a wide
bridge in front of the Tree of Life. The paths twist and turn, meet
and separate, as they wind you through a lush forest where you can find
many different species of animals.
Though passing through quickly is enough to serve the purpose
that Disney intended...a gateway into the Animal Kingdom where you leave
the real world behind and enter a different one....a slow exploration
is needed to truly appreciate the beauty of this area.
It does take some time to carefully explore the meandering paths of
the Oasis. There are many sights much worth seeing, such as waterfalls
and a sort of cave. The whole area is cool and shady, which can be a
relief especially considering that shade is scarce in much of the Animal
Kingdom park. Each animal area is open air...no glass, but the creatures
are often among foliage and difficult to spot. This can be fun if you're
up to playing a game of spot the animal. There are signs by each place
telling you what lives there so you have a clue what to look for.
As far as recommending the Oasis....its sort of a moot point. If you
are going to see anything at Animal Kingdom you have no choice but to
pass through it. The best times to do this are if you are entering the
park in the afternoon, or when you are on your way out...if you try
to stop and check things out in this area at park opening you may be
overrun by the crowds that are rushing off to Animal Kingdom's headliner
attractions. But do try to take at least a few minutes as you pass through
to truly appreciate this area. You will be happy you did.
The Oasis: An Enchanting Buffer From Reality
The trick Disney uses with each of it's theme parks,
is to create the illusion that one has stepped into a different world.
A world where the mundane worries of everyday life are far removed,
and one can immerse themselves into the elaborate, Disney-created fantasy.
From the moment one passes through the turnstiles, the illusion begins.
Each park has it's own painstakingly custom-made portal that draws you
in further with each and every step. With Magic Kingdom it is Main Street,
leading up to the fantasy creation of "Cinderella's Castle,"
in Animal Kingdom it is The Oasis, which enchantingly puts one in a
"jungle" mood, and draws one forward to the "Tree Of
The Oasis differs in two major ways from the traditional aesthetic lead-in
to a theme park. One of the ways it differs it that it is more subtle.
The nature of the exhibits, (and I do mean "nature"), unfortunately,
is conducive to them being easily overlooked in the mad dash to be first
in line at "Countdown To Extinction." The other way that The
Oasis differs is in the fact that it is literally alive. It is alive
with tropical plants, exotic birds and other small animals.
In actuality, one could almost describe The Oasis exhibits as a mini-zoo
of sorts. Disney has done a bang-up job of creating the atmosphere of
a tropical paradise, with the exhibits landscaped to resemble the animal's
natural habitats as much as they possibly can. However, at times the
greenery is so dense and lush that some of the animal life can be difficult
to spot. It is rather like a luxurious stroll through a tropical jungle
setting, complete with grottoes and waterfalls. It does an effective
job of creating a "buffer zone" between the park, and the
Like Main Street in the Magic Kingdom, The Oasis opens one half hour
before the official opening time. Come early and take your time in order
to have the opportunity to view as many of the animals as possible as
the animals will disappear into their surroundings then often reappear
The plant life includes orchids, many vines, and several different varieties
of trees in bloom. The entire area is beautifully landscaped in a way
that is wild, yet pleasing to the senses.
Fitting into the theme, there is also a version of "The Rainforest
Cafe," located in the proximity of The Oasis area. We did not visit
the restaurant, so I will have to leave that description to other reviewers.
However, I will note that the inclusion of this particular restaurant
in this particular location, was an ingenious bit of planning on Disney's
I would not advise browsing The Oasis first thing after the park opens,
while lines are building up at the other attractions. However, I would
definitely suggest setting aside some time to leisurely browse through
a little later in the day, or as mentioned before, doing so before the
park gates officially open. The only downside to this is everyone else
will be doing it at that time as well. The optimal time would be about
mid-morning, or late afternoon to avoid times that the animals may be
hiding in the shade.
Definitely do make a point of browsing The Oasis exhibit area, it is
a refreshing and educational experience that is well worth taking time