Welcome back! In this installment of Uniquely Disney, let’s travel back to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, to an area with beautiful wildlife, rich culture, and stunning landscapes. Join me as I head to Animal Kingdom’s Africa area, where I’ll take a look at three of the many astounding details that create the layered and unforgettable experience in this section of the park!
Your trek to Africa takes you into the Imagineer-created village of Harambe (a Swahili word that translates to “all come together” or “all pull together”), made up of buildings, sights, and experiences all culled from the Imagineers’ research trips for the park. A large sign welcomes you as you enter, dotted with smaller signs and advertisements for the restaurants and attractions that await within. Prepare yourself—this area is a treasure trove of architecture and stunning details! As you stroll through Harambe, be sure to take the time to look at the various buildings, each unique with fantastic detailing in texture and weathering. It’s on these carefully crafted buildings that we will find my first Disney detail: on many of these “aged” walls you’ll find equally “aged” and worn posters, advertising various businesses and wares, such as a local barber, and “Cap’n Bob’s Super Safaris”! These posters are not only well designed and authentic looking, they are appropriately weathered and peeling, as though they’ve been posted for quite some time. They are even used more than once around the village, just like real posted advertisements! These are such unassuming details, and yet add such a real-world layer to Harambe!
Evidence of the Residents
Once you’ve viewed the fantastic poster advertisements and start feeling as though you are meandering through an East African village, you are ready for our next Harambe detail. There is certainly no shortage of amazing finishing touches and features that work together to transport you, but this next one is among my favorites. Continue through the village and you will notice that dotted throughout the upper levels of the buildings all around this area are various household items, presumably belonging to the residents, acting as “evidence” that you are standing in a real-world, lived-in village. Some of these items include bunches of fruit and a cooking pot. This is such a nice added touch to this already richly detailed area!
As your day in Harambe comes to a close (hopefully you were able to catch some of the live music and hop on Kilimanjaro Safaris!) it’s time to make your way back through the village and call it a night—and view our third and final Disney detail in Animal Kingdom’s Africa. As the sun sets on another day and the peaceful glow of twilight falls, no matter where you are you expect to see lights winking inside homes and businesses as the sky grows dark; and of course, Harambe is no different! The subtle details are my favorite, and I just love that you can see lights glowing from inside the buildings in the evening. It still amazes me the depth of thought and planning that goes into the Disney parks, and into creating a place with a real-world feel that truly transports you.
There you have it! We’ve trekked around Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s Africa and covered my Top 3 Disney details from this amazing and beautiful area! I hope you enjoyed the journey! What are some of your favorite details in Africa?