Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Disney Plans Wild Animal Kingdom in Florida

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Disney Plans Wild Animal Kingdom in Florida

Article excerpt

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) _ Move over, Mickey Mouse _ some real animals will soon be moving into town.

The Walt Disney Co. announced plans Tuesday to build Disney's Wild Animal Kingdom, featuring beasts from real life as well as mythology.

Walt Disney Chairman Michael Eisner called the new park "a celebration of animals that ever or never existed."

"Disney's Wild Animal Kingdom will be magical, fanciful and fun in the tradition of all of our theme parks, yet it will incorporate a new dimension of reality with live animals in their natural habitats," Eisner said.

Construction of the park in central Florida is expected with begin in September and should take about 2 years to complete, with early 1998 as the target opening date.

Disney refused to say how much it will cost to build the 500-acre park. The Orlando Sentinal reported Tuesday it will cost about $760 million, or about twice that of Epcot Center.

In addition to the wildlife park, Disney also announced Tuesday some new and expanded attractions at Walt Disney World, including new resorts, educational and sports centers, and the construction of two Disney cruise ships.

The centerpiece of the wildlife park will be a 14-story tall Tree of Life, which will be larger than Spaceship Earth at Epcot Center. More than 50-feet wide at its trunk, the tree will feature an intricate hand-carved swirling tapestry of animal forms. …

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