Disney's Animal Kingdom park has always fascinated me. It's just so different than the other three parks. It has an organic feel that is a very nice contrast to the fantasy of the Magic Kingdom, grandeur of Epcot, and the highly stylized tinseltown glamour of the quickly changing Disney's Hollywood Studios.
In this fairly rare piece of concept art, you can see a very different version of The Tree of Life. Is it from Imagineer Joe Rohde? Someone else? I do not know. Regardless, with much less dense vegetation surrounding it, the whole thing takes on a more streamlined look. The final result as built is a much better icon that works with the rest of the park.
The tree will change again when the additions of the Rivers of Light water show and the new Avatarland / World of Pandora. Additional lighting effects will tie the tree into look of the new expansion and become a living backdrop of projected designs and flourishes, complementing the show.
Come 2017, these changes will make Animal Kingdom a bit more splashy, ensuring higher crowds during the evening- and finally a chance to explore this beautiful place deep into the nighttime hours. Finally.
(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)