5 Popular Photos to Get at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Today we're pulling some photo tips out of the archive to revisit our series on "must have" pictures. The park of the day is Disney's Animal Kingdom. This is a beautiful park for photography with so much color and texture around it's difficult to take a bad picture. There are a few shots on themes that I seem to come across over and over in the Disney Blog-o-sphere, these popular location capture the essence of the Park. Traditional shots are just the beginning of the wonderful pictures that can be taken at this unique Walt Disney World Park. So get in close, be creative, shoot like an artist, the magic is all in the details.

1) Tree of Life:

This is the icon for Animal Kingdom and can be shot a variety of ways. Though its vinyl leaves offer a stunning view from a distance, some of the most spectacular pictures of this centerpiece are up close photographs depicting the intricate trunk of carved beasts.

The Tree of LifeThe Tree of Life

2) Expedition Everest:

Forbidden Mountain is another popular focal point for photography at Disney's Animal Kingdom. When I'm taking pictures, I prefer to focus on something else and shoot with the Mountain in the background. The Tibetan imagery in the surrounding area of Anandapur is so detailed and exquisite, it offers many great points of interest. This shot highlights prayer flags, but other sacred objects such as colorful boats, bodies of water, sculpture and, Yeti Alters make for charming and interesting images.

Prayer Flags and the Forbidden MountainPrayer Flags and the Forbidden Mountain

3) Di Vine:

If you're lucky enough to come across the graceful and elegant Di Vine while at Animal Kingdom be sure to stop and take a picture. Though she'll let you get fairly close, use your zoom feature to respect the performers personal space. My best Di Vine shots incorporate a play of sunlight and shadow.

Di Vine In The SunDi Vine In The Sun

4) Character Shots Adventurers Outpost, The Discovery Landing, and Camp Minnie Mickey:

This may be my favorite meet & greet spot in all of Walt Disney World. The lines here are frequently small on you can shoot a lot of photos. I always feel like the Characters at Animal Kingdom offer a little extra attention to the guests. In addition, the safari inspired costumes are fairly timeless and will offer classic photos for years to come.

Minnie Mouse at  the Meet & Greet SpotMinnie Mouse at the Meet & Greet Spot

5) Animals:

You can't really shot at Disney's Animal Kingdom without including a wide variety of animal pictures. After all, they're the very heart of the park. The shots I see most often around the web are: the Gorillas of the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail, Lions on Pride Rock, Zebras on the savanna, and Tropical Birds. To be sure I capture just the right moment I often shoot live animals on the camera's burst setting, and fire off a couple of rounds. I may have an excessive amount of photos, but one is almost always what I was looking for.

A Lion Poses On Pride RockA Lion Poses On Pride Rock

When shooting throughout this park be sure to be sure to watch your light, you don't want to get home to edit and notice that shadows from the ample vegetation have blocked out your subject.

What do you like to take pictures of at Animal Kingdom? Do you find yourself shooting one thing over and over again? Did I miss an important picture that captures the essence of this park? Leave me a comment below and tell me what your favorite shots are!

Marion wrote on Tue, 03/13/2012 - 14:45:

Marion's picture

Prayer flags and forbidden mountain picture is nice. It is even more awesome at night.

Kristen K. wrote on Wed, 03/14/2012 - 20:29:

Kristen K.'s picture

I completely agree! I'm not the best at night photography but Animal Kingdom would be a fantastic place to try and get better!

Karen wrote on Sun, 04/01/2012 - 22:56:

Karen's picture

I love taking photos up close of the Tree of Life. I've gotten some almost life-like photos. I'm hoping that when we go next, AK will be open past 5PM. It breaks my heart when the park closes and I'm not even half done with what I wanted to do and see.

Claire T wrote on Tue, 01/28/2014 - 14:43:

Claire T's picture

The different signs and totems throughout the park. They are very creative and well done. Most people just whiz right by them.

Alecia wrote on Tue, 01/28/2014 - 14:56:

Alecia's picture

Thoroughly enjoyed the character photo ops at Animal Kingdom. We were able to take pics with Russell & Dug, Pooh & Tigger and Rafiki. You're right that the picture taking experience is more relaxed than at the other parks.

David Bryant wrote on Tue, 01/28/2014 - 15:06:

David Bryant's picture

I've lived both on the east and the west coast. The next cruise I take will be my 7th................I LOVE DISNEY!!!

Marisa wrote on Tue, 01/28/2014 - 15:25:

Marisa 's picture

I love DI VINE! She is so captivating. I could watch her for hours! Just stunning!

Linda wrote on Tue, 01/28/2014 - 15:38:

Linda's picture

The giant bats! They're so gross, you have to get a picture! :-)

Terri Madore wrote on Tue, 01/28/2014 - 16:37:

Terri Madore's picture

Animal Kingdom closes early I believe...so no night shots

Paula Jennings wrote on Wed, 01/29/2014 - 16:04:

Paula Jennings's picture

I have all of these but the DiVine. Not sure if it was there the last time I was at Disney. That was in 2010. Have some awesome animal photos though. Did the ride in the morning and in the afternoon so I got animals with their babies etc. Awesome! LOVE Animal Kingdom. LOVE all of Disney for that matter.

Terri wrote on Wed, 01/29/2014 - 21:24:

Terri's picture

Loved taking photos of Di vine. My son was a bit "scared" but the photo ops were fantastic. I was able to get some great shots!

Kristen K. wrote on Thu, 01/30/2014 - 13:35:

Kristen K.'s picture

Terri - If you go at the right time of year you're able to get night shots at Animal Kingdom. When I was there in February we stayed until after dark and it was lovely. You see some really interesting things as night falls at that park.

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