Celebrate This Disney Park’s 25th Anniversary and Meet Its Opening-Day Residents!

Animal Encounters: Winged Encounters – The Kingdom Takes Flight
Credit: Disney

Out of all four theme parks making up Walt Disney World Resort, Animal Kingdom is for the wild at heart.

The Disney Park hosts six different lands: Oasis, Discovery Island, Pandora – The World of Avatar, Africa, Asia, and DinoLand U.S.A. Each of these areas offers a mix of eateries, attractions, and of course, animals.

In Animal Kingdom, the animal population is made up of approximately 2,000 animals represented by around 300 different species. Many of these animals have been around since the Park’s very beginnings: opening day. Here are some of them by name!

animal kingdom rhinoceros iguana

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Beginning in the Oasis, Guests can find Sid, a rhinoceros iguana. Although they’re not related to the mammalian rhinos you’re thinking of, they’re named after them due to the horn-like structure on their heads, which are actually made of scales.

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One of the animal residents with a larger-than-life personality is Maclean, known as “Mac.”

This African bull has fathered Luna and Stella, and lives with his herd in Animal Kingdom’s Harambe Wildlife Reserve.

Guests can visit Mac on the Kilimanjaro Safaris ride. He may even give you a wave with his trunk!

animal kingdom hippo

Credit: Disney

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While you’re visiting Mac on Kilimanjaro Safaris, you may spot another of the Park’s heritage animals: Tuma.

Tuma, also known as “Tuma Toes” by caretakers, was one of the youngest animals when she was relocated to Animal Kingdom at only one-year-old. 25 years later, Tuma is now a proud mother to her own baby hippos: Augustus and Greta.


Credit: Disney

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While you’re still in the theme park’s Africa section, be sure to walk the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail, where you can meet a handful of animals who have been there since day one.

Gino, Gus, Zawadi, and Kejana are all Western lowland gorillas who have called Animal Kingdom home since before the Park even opened.

Iguanas, elephants, hippos, and gorillas (oh my!) are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Animal Kingdom’s residents. Be sure to visit and spend some time with these animals to help celebrate the Disney Park’s 25th anniversary! Consider donating to Disney’s conservation fund and become a true animal activist.

About Isabella Reimer

Isabella Reimer grew up visiting Walt Disney World and relocated to Central Florida to be even closer to The Most Magical Place on Earth. She earned her Bachelor’s from Florida State University, where she studied Creative Writing and Women’s Studies. Her biggest hobby is bonding with the ikran at Avatar Flight of Passage, and her retirement plan includes becoming the 1,000 Happy Haunt of the Haunted Mansion.