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By: Nick the Disney Devo

The Tree of Life is Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s majestic centerpiece.

There are 300 animals carved in this iconic symbol, including creatures of the air, land, and sea.

You may have visited some of the more obvious trails such as Pangani Forest Exploration Trail, which is at the exit of Kilimanjaro Safaris, or the Maharajah Jungle Trek in Asia.

There is a wonderful and often overlooked area that gets you closer to the amazing display of artistry that is the Tree of Life called the Discovery Island Trails. It’s located on Discovery Island, just past Pizzafari.

I say often overlooked because every time we’ve visited this serene area, it is relatively uncrowded, because it is fairly easy to miss.

Tip: consult your park map for exact location. As frequent visitors, we incorrectly assumed we knew where everything was, but it wasn’t until our 4th trip that we discovered these trails ourselves!

There are wooden foot bridges, tunnels, a waterfall, and places to sit, relax, and take in the beautiful surroundings.


Animals you may spot along these paths include White Storks, Asian Small-Clawed Otters, Red Kangaroos…

…West African Crowned Cranes, African Crested Porcupines, Galapagos Tortoise, Lesser Flamingos, Macaws, Saddle-Billed Storks,  Lappet Face Vultures, and Ring-Tailed Lemurs.

If you want to get off the beaten path at the Animal Kingdom, take a stroll along the Discovery Island Trails.

Portions of this article were originally posted on the Disney Musings Blog, which Nick co-writes with his wife, Barbie.