Walt Disney World Through the Years; Then to Now, to What’s Next?


4. The 90s Brought Even More Sensational Rides, Attractions, and One Very Unique Theme Park

The 90s at Walt Disney World introduced a multitude of new rides, attractions, Downtown Disney (a dining, shopping, dining, and entertainment complex, later renamed Disney Springs), a growth spurt in new Disney Resorts, a new water park (Blizzard Beach), two miniature golf courses (Fantasia Gardens and Winter Summerland), and most exciting, a fourth theme park, Animal Kingdom.  Pin Trading became very popular at the end of this decade and has been the top collectible of all Disney Parks. This was a very exciting decade for Walt Disney World.

On April 22, 1998 Disney’s Animal Kingdom became the fourth theme park to open at Walt Disney World.  The Park was designated a zoological theme park and is the largest theme park in the world, covering 580 acres.  The theme of Animal Kingdom is keeping the earth environmentally safe and is dedicated to the conservation of not only the land but all animals that inhabit the earth.  The centerpiece of Animal Kingdom is the “Tree of Life”, a 145-foot sculptured replica of a giant baobab tree, which is indigenous to Africa, Australia, and Madagascar.  Look closely at the roots of this massive tree and you will discover over 300 meticulously detailed animal carvings.  Amazingly, located in the base of this wondrous tree is a bug friendly 430-seat theater, where guests can watch a 4-D film highlighting the environmental contribution by bugs to our planet.  The humorous special effects make this film experience a delight for the whole family.

Rides and Attractions Opened in the 90s:

  • Discovery Island Trails-Discovery Island-Animal Kingdom
  • Affection Section-Rafiki’s Planet Watch-Animal Kingdom
  • Kali River Rapids-Asia-Animal Kingdom
  • Conservation Station-Rafiki’s Planet Watch-Animal Kingdom
  • The Boneyard Play Area-Dinoland-Animal Kingdom
  • It’s Tough to be a Bug Show-Tree of Life-Discovery Island-Animal Kingdom
  • Countdown to Extinction thrill ride-Dinoland-Animal Kingdom-later renamed Dinosaur
  • Maharajah Jungle Trek-Asia-Animal Kingdom
  • Kilimajaro Safaris-Africa-Animal Kingdom
  • Splash Mountain ride-Frontierland-Magic Kingdom
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride-Fantasyland-Magic Kingdom
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror thrill ride-Disney’s MGM-Studios
  • Star Tours Attraction-Disney’s MGM-Studios
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin ride-Tomorrowland-Magic Kingdom
  • The Fantasmic Nighttime Spectacle-Disney’s MGM-Studios
  • Test Track Thrill Ride-EPCOT Future World
  • Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster-Disney’s MGM-Studios

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