the fourth of four theme parks built at the Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida, opened on Earth Day, April 22, 1998. It is the largest single Disney theme park in the world, covering more than 500 acres, and is also the first Disney theme park to be themed entirely aroundanimal conservation, a philosophy once pioneered by Walt Disney himself. Disney's Animal Kingdom is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariumsand the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, meaning they have met or exceeded the standards in education, conservation, and research. In 2011, the park hosted approximately 9.8 million guests, ranking it the fourth-most visited amusement park in the United States and seventh-most visited in the world.
The park is represented by The Tree of Life, a sculpted 145 feet, 50-foot-wide artificial tree.