Welcome to Dan Alexander Dizmentia

Welcome to Dan Alexander Dizmentia
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Frighten Inn Haunted Bed & Breakfast Is A Proud Sponsor of Dan Alexander Dizmentia

Frighten Inn Haunted Bed & Breakfast Is A Proud Sponsor of Dan Alexander Dizmentia
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Meet the Sea Dragons of OZ and the Yeti Crab

Meet the Sea Dragons of OZ and the Yeti Crab
OZ is shorthand for Australia, and not related to a Wizard

MAN-ATEE AND WOMAN-TARAY: NEW SUPER HEROES SURFACE

MAN-ATEE AND WOMAN-TARAY: NEW SUPER HEROES SURFACE
Join the Crime Wave

Bad Biker Kitties Are On The Prowl

Bad Biker Kitties Are On The Prowl
Join The Kitten Motorcycle Gang

Formula Juan Racer: Numero Uno!

Formula Juan Racer: Numero Uno!
El Coche Es Muy Loco!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Donald Duck, Dragons, and Dinosaurs: Disney's Animal Kingdom 1998 McDonald's Happy Meal From Asia


Disney's Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Florida is about to celebrate its 20th Birthday.  The park opened in April 1998, and in addition to being an Animal Kingdom sponsor, McDonald's released Happy Meal toys promoting the new attraction in the United States and International markets.  In Asia, the McDonald's promotion featured Disney character toys with an accessory and a backdrop.  It is interesting to go back and see how much has changed in twenty years.

Donald Duck is set for adventure on the Discovery River Boats.  It looks like he's spotted a Dragon!  This toy set is interesting, because it represents the earliest casualties of Disney's Animal Kingdom.  The Discovery River Boats only operated for a few years.  The boats floated past a cave containing an unseen dragon, who was supposed to be the star of an upcoming land, Beastly Kingdom.  The Mythical animals section was planned from the start, but legend has it that Universal's Islands Of Adventure park's opening in 1999 killed the Animal Kingdom concept of a dragon coaster.  Ironically, Universal's Dueling Dragons coaster was recently shut down and will be replaced by a new Harry Potter attraction.  Disney's Animal Kingdom finally got its own mythical creature land, full of dragon-like banshees, when Pandora: The World of Avatar opened in 2017.  Pandora sits where the dragon themed land was supposed to go.

Dinoland USA was formerly sponsored by McDonald's.  Here we can see Goofy making friends with a dinosaur.  At the time, Dinoland's main attraction was called "Countdown to Extinction."  But it was renamed "Dinosaur" to promote the 2000 Disney movie of the same name.  The park opened the county fair type Dino-Rama expansion in 2001.


For 2018, Dinoland will get some new entertainment hosted by Donald Duck.  "Donald's Dino-Bash" celebrates the relationship of birds and dinosaurs.

Minnie Mouse makes a new friend in Gorilla Falls Exploration Trails.  Gorilla Falls is another Animal Kingdom attraction that had a big change early on.


Gorilla Falls had a name change to "Pangani Forest Exploration Trails" not long after opening.  The Gorillas were not always guaranteed to be seen, so a new name was given to the trails.  The name returned in 2016.

Kilimanjaro Safaris is Animal Kingdom's headliner attraction.  Here, Mickey takes a trip on a Jeep to see some elephants.  The Safari has changed a great deal over the years.  Initially, the ride had a plot about poachers killing an Elephant, and riders had to help save her animatronic baby.  The entire poacher story was (thankfully) eventually dropped.  New animal species have been rotated over the years, with some of the newest being Hyenas and African Painted Dogs (both added with the addition of Night Safaris in 2016).


I first visited Disney's Animal Kingdom in 2004.  At the time, I wasn't a big fan of the Safaris (I thought the poacher story was lame).  In the Summer of 2017, I visited and couldn't believe the dramatic changes (for the better) that Kilimanjaro Safaris now has.  It is definitely my favorite attraction at Animal Kingdom.  What made it so great, I think, was that a massive storm hit while we were on Safari.  The animals were very active, with giraffes galloping at full sprint for cover under a section of tall trees.  There was something very "animal" about it.

Happy 20th Birthday, Animal Kingdom!

2 comments:

  1. These are some fun DAK collectibles, Dan! It's too bad about the Discovery River Boats getting shut down and the Beastly Kingdom land never being built. My first visit was also in 2004 and I also thought the poacher story on the Kilimanjaro Safari attraction was lame. Seeing the audio-animatronic baby elephant at the end of the safari was a major head-scratcher, especially since every other animal along the tour had been real. Who thinks up this stuff? Sometimes I really just don't understand Disney. And "Countdown To Extinction" was such a cool name.....better than the uncreative and obvious name, "Dinosaur." I hate it that everything has to have a promotional tie-in. How many people don't even remember that movie anymore? I heard a horrible rumor recently that the ride might get a makeover to be a copy Disneyland's Indian Jones Adventure. I hope that is NOT true! I like the Dinosaur version much better.

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  2. Hey TokyoMagic! I'm kind of surprised that the "Countdown to Extinction" name never returned. The "Dinosaur" movie was pretty forgettable. I have a hard time believing that money will be spent to change the ride to Indiana Jones. I feel like the Carnotaurus dinosaur is iconic enough as a Disney theme park villain to remain in Animal Kingdom. I bet few people even know the ride is based on a movie.

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