Just as in any Disney park, there is a buffer between the real world and the fantasy within a Disney park. The Oasis serves this purpose at Disney’s Animal Kingdom; offering a break from outside to inside while providing the classic Disney magic with exhibits, landscaping and details only an Imagineer could create.
As you walk further into the park, the real world recedes behind an ever-increasing canopy natural elements to envelope the guest; from visual cover in the shape of flora and fauna (sadly, no merryweather) to the introduction of aural elements of rushing waterfalls and ambient background music to set the tone for your experience in the park.
Although most guests will make a beeline straight through this exhibit area, you will be rewarded if you take some time to enjoy the flora, fauna and creatures of the Oasis. Along the trail winding through the Oasis are luxurious habitats taking their cue from exotic locales from all over the world.
Here you will also find a variety of animals in natural settings, shaded from the Florida sun. Although the walkways can become quite crowded, especially during park opening/closing, we recommend you allow yourself a leisurely stroll through these exhibits and learn about some of the other creatures with whom we share this small blue planet.
Ultimately, we pass under a rock-work bridge and are able to see the Tree of Life; the icon of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The bridge to Discovery Island provides a dramatic vista for the guest and offers one of the signature photographic spots for capturing the spirit of the park.
The animals within the Oasis Exhibits were chosen due to their gentle disposition. The creators of the park felt this would help to provide a welcoming sensibility to this entry land of the park.
Walt Disney coined the phrase “wienie” as the term describing a large focal element that would draw the guest further into the land or park. So why did Walt choose “wienie”? According to the book Designing Disney, by John Hench (pub. September 1, 2003, ISBN: 978-0786854066) Walt had a life long love of hot dogs. In contrast to the typical Disney park design where there is a large “wienie” visible from the front of the park to draw the guest further in (i.e. Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom), Disney’s Animal Kingdom offers a greater sense of exploration with a choice of two winding trails, with branching trails that the guest is free to explore. After a guest-defined period of exploration and only after exiting the Oasis we are rewarded with the “wienie”; The Tree of Life.
Even on the brightest days, the cover can significantly affect your pictures. Be sure to compensate by adjusting the settings or use your flash for fill light.