Disney's Animal Kingdom is an animal theme park located at the Walt Disney World Resort. The fourth park built at the resort, it opened on April 22, 1998, and it is the largest single Disney theme park in the World, covering more than 500 acres (202 ha). It is also the first Disney theme park to be themed entirely around animal conservation, a philosophy once pioneered by Walt Disney himself. Disney's Animal Kingdom is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, meaning they have met or exceeded the standards in Education, Conservation and Research.
The park consists of seven themed areas, with all but one connected to Discovery Island, which contains The Tree of Life, a sculpted 14-story (145-foot-tall [44 m]), 50-foot-wide (15 m) artificial tree that serves as the centerpiece and icon of Disney's Animal Kingdom. A new area based on the 2009 film Avatar and its planned sequels is set to begin construction by 2013. In 2010, the park hosted approximately 9.7 million guests, ranking it the fourth-most visited amusement park in the United States and seventh-most visited in the world.