August 4, 1995 – The New Walt Disney World Park Animal Kingdom Has its Groundbreaking
“With a combination of thrilling rides, exotic landscapes and close encounters with wild animals, we are creating an entirely new experience for our guests.” – Michael Eisner, former chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company
On August 4, 1995, the newest addition to the Walt Disney World Resort, the Animal Kingdom Park, had its official groundbreaking. Plans were announced on June 21, 1995, with the park already called the largest theme park yet. The original name was the Wild Animal Kingdom, with the first word later dropped during production. Although many attractions were changed from 1995 to its opening in 1998, the centerpiece known as the Tree of Life was the one constant in its construction. The purpose of the park was to ramp up excitement about conservation with guests, as many members of the parks’ advisory board were conservationists and distinguished professors in the field of wildlife.