Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde Offering Animal Kingdom Tour Via Instagram
Confession. Animal Kingdom is my favorite Disney theme park. Brimming with such incredible wonderful details, I discover something new every time I’m there! That’s why I’m so excited to share with you the news that Joe Rodhe, one of the incredible Imagineers responsible for this stunning, immersive theme park is taking to Instagram to offer a photo tour of the parks through they eyes of one of its creators!
If you’ve ever thought it would be amazing to walk the parks with an Imagineer, nows your chance as Rohde announced that he will be taking advantage of this time at home by offering a photographic tour. You can check out the original post here:
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Well. It doesn’t look like we are meeting up at Disney’s Animal Kingdom real soon, so how about a tour of my personal photos of the park. If you haven’t been to the park, or ever heard of it (which is definitely a thing on the West Coast) perhaps this will help people understand what it is. Maybe even convince some skeptics to try it out. If you have been there, it might just be more inside knowledge. So. In the middle of the park is the centerpiece and icon. The Tree of Life. Named for the old fashioned 19th century diagram of interconnected spread of life. Because the park is dedicated to the themes of animals and their relationships to humans,(good and bad) we needed a non-architectural icon…something “natural.” Since nature is everywhere anyway, we also need to signify that this place is exceptional..in some way “magical.” Thus..a strange tree. A tree whose body disappears under patient observation to become nothing but animals. A metaphor for the rewards nature can provide to the careful observer. But since we all know it has been made..it is a work of arty…it also signifies the intent to communicate..to tell a story. In fact, the Tree promises two things. 1. This place is a story place about animals. 2.This place is a designed place full of virtuoso accomplishments. (See Aristotle’s essay on Mimesis.)
As you can see from the post above he starts with some facts behind the iconic Tree of Life which stands proudly in the center of the park.
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Let’s stay with the Tree for a moment. If you pay attention to most of Disney’s Animal Kingdom You’ll see that when you come up on animals, it is usually in the context of some story. In Africa that story ultimately reflects upon the question of resources, like ivory and rhino horn. Asia is chiefly concerned with habitat loss and habitat use and how animals and humans can live side-by-side. I Pandora with pollution. So, what is going on in front of the Tree? When we originally chose animals just around the tree, we chose them for their physical diversity, as demonstrations of the vast differences in shape as animals adapt to their various ecosystems. Kangaroos, porcupines, flamingos, macaws. Each of these animals has strikingly unique adaptations. A marsupial deer with the body of a giant hare. A rodent with really pokey hair. A bird with an upside down mouth. A giant parrot with nutcracker jaws. Something is at wrk here. A principal of life. These are observations which can be made but are not required. Because this is not an educational facility per se, we want people to pursue ideas at their own pace. As they might do in nature. My two boys to go walk yesterday in the nearby mountains… They noticed a number of red salamanders in the streams. That’s because they were paying attention, and so they noticed. I’m sure others walked right by. Animal Kingdom is a bit like that. It’s there for you with a lot of content, a lot of meaning, and a lot of research-based accuracy. You just have to look and ask.
His second post, also released yesterday delves a bit deeper into the amazing animal carvings you’ll see around the tree.
Keep following along on this wonderful journey by following Joe Rohde’s Instagram account here. He’s also terrific at interacting with curious adventurers so you can always try to post him a question!
We know that we’ll be checking in daily to see what’s next on this exclusive Animal Kingdom Tour!
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