Disney’s Animal Kingdom defines Asia by its animals and is devoid of political boundaries. Just as in Africa, Disney’s version of Asia steers clear of the modern metropolises found throughout China, Japan or Korea and focus on locations where ancient civilizations have grown within the natural world.
The main town, Anandapur, exists somewhere at the foothills of the Himalayas. Anandapur is a Sanskrit word that means place of all delight; Sanskrit was chosen for use due to it’s influence on language development in several countries within the region despite being no longer actively spoken anywhere.
Some of the major influences in the design and architecture come from places like Nepal, India, Thailand and Indonesia. The Imagineers felt with such probable little exposure to these destinations they provide more dramatic settings to tell their stories.
Another item that guests never see while visiting a Disney theme park is the background music (BGM) used throughout the parks. For Disney’s Animal Kingdom three Imagineers worked to create about 18 hours of original music that is played throughout the park. Much of the instruments are organic, nonelectric and organic to reflect the themes and reinforce the otherworldliness of the park.