Are you too tired to find the Hidden Gems in Animal Kingdom? Lucky for you, we weren’t.

What do you do when your newest Disney Files magazine comes in the mail?  Grab your favorite Stitch mug, sit back, and enjoy the read, I’m sure.  Well, we here at Don’t Make Me Pull This Flying Elephant Over podcast studio and shawarma factory (patent pending) do things a little differently.  Where you saw a leisurely read, we envisioned a whole new podcast series.  A series-within-our-series if you will.  Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park in Walt Disney World offers many well known adventures, but there are so many details within and throughout the park that you may be missing.   There’s more than the famous Tree of Life in this Orlando, Florida Disney park.   Click that play button at the top, and let the enlightenment begin.  Everything you didn’t know that you wanted to know, but need to know, might be discussed during this slightly-over-30-minute podcast.  What are you waiting for?  Click play!

Disney Podcast Timeline

0:20 This podcast is dedicated to Emoji Blitz, and Mufasa catching up to Vader’s level.  

1:55 What was the impetus for starting with Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park for the hidden gem series?  How kind of you to ask.  Listen to the podcast and we’ll tell you all about it.

3:30 Disney sends their imagineers on research trips to exotic locations, just to make sure they can make their parks as authentic as possible

4:35 Vader mentions head-imagineer Joe Rohde, for the first time in this podcast.  We shall call him Vader’s Joe-mance.  Keep reading to see just how often Vader invokes his name

Discovery Island and Africa in Animal Kingdom

6:00 Tiffin’s, a signature dining restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom has some beautiful animal carvings.  What’s the hidden gem?  It has to do with the specific animals chosen, and how they relate to the restaurant’s name.

8:32 Animal Kingdom’s Discovery Island has some unique features, including wagon wheel hubs used in various decorative ways.  These were chosen specifically and purposefully.  Tune in to find out why and what they have to do with the animals.

10:55 The landscape throughout Animal Kingdom’s Africa section changes to match over 500 miles of actual African territory.  From Harambe to Kilimanjaro Safaris, we’ve got you covered.  How do these details matter to your experience in the park?  Listen up and give us some feedback.  

12:08 Mufasa goes into details on exactly why he feels that Disney’s immense attention to detail is what separates them from all the other theme parks.


There’s a Hidden Gem in this photo. Can you spot it? Email us if you found it and we’ll give you a shout-out on Twitter!

Disney’s Pandora in Animal Kingdom

13:44 Pandora, Disney’s newest section within Animal Kingdom, exemplifies their attention to detail.   We look beyond the Na’vi River Journey and the Avatar Flight of Passage adventure to reveal what you’ve been missing.

15:15 Vader mentions his Joe-mance, head-imagineer Joe Rohde.  This is time number 2…

16:41 The Truman Show, a Jim Carrey film, is compared to Disney’s concept of immersion.  The 

19:15 Vader mentions his Joe-mance….That’s THREE!

19:46 Even the manhole covers in Disney’s Pandora are disguised to keep you invested in the story of the park.

21:40 Vader mentions his Joe-mance…That’s FOUR!

21:41 There’s a great story in the podcast here where Joe Rohde talks about the design decision to remove weld-marks from an amp suit inside Pandora.  It ties into his childhood memories of bore-guns on Waikiki beach, and how they were welded so that they could never be used for violence again.  

23:45 Do you care that Disney’s imagineers chose to remove weld-marks from an amp suit?  You should, and I’ll tell you exactly why at this part of the podcast.


This beer is a Hidden Gem that Mufasa enjoyed during this last visit to Animal Kingdom

Asia in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

25:12 Serka Zong is the name for the town at the base of Expedition Everest, an amazing roller coaster.  We delve into the meaning of this town name, and why it’s important.

27:25 There ARE TIMES, that we do feel that Disney miiiiiiiight spend a little too much time paying attention to details…Like the shape of a shrine in the Asia section of the theme park.  

29:21 There’s a Yeti in the bathroom.  Well, not really, but you might be made to believe this based on some recordings that Disney plays over the audio near one of the restrooms in Asia.

30:25 Disney’s attention to the story, while you wait in the ride queues, is well known.  Kevin gives you a little more detail on Expedition Everest’s roller coaster queue, and it’s interesting story.


35:02  Mufasa tries to make it TWO IN A ROW!!!!  Can he stump Vader?!?!  You have to tune in to find out…


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Traveling Dad loves Animal Kingdom.  Check out all of our Animal Kingdom stories.

Vader and Mufasa were at the Grand Opening of Pandora.  Yes, there’s a podcast about it 🙂

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