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Asia, the first expansion area added to Disney's Animal Kingdom, first opened in 1999. This area is set in the fictional kingdom of Anandapur (which means "Place of many delights" in Sanskrit). Anandapur evokes the traits of Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Nepal, and Thailand. According to Disney history, Anandapur was

Asia entrance sign Animal Kingdom

established as a royal hunting preserve in 1544. Anandapur contains both the riverside village of Anandapur, and Serka Zong, which is set in the foothills of the Himalayas.

Portraits of Anandapur's royal family (consisting of the maharaja and his wife) can be found in most of the businesses within the two villages, a map of the kingdom featuring both villages and their location relative to the mountains and river can be found on the wall of the Disney Vacation Club kiosk located there. Much like Harambe, Anandapur is now a center of animal research and tourism.

The visual focal point of Asia is Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden Mountain, a steel roller coaster ride through the Forbidden Mountain of the Himalayas where passengers encounter a Yeti. Nearby is Kali River Rapids, a river rapids ride along the Chakranadi River through a rainforest, past an illegal logging operation and down a waterfall. The Maharajah Jungle Trek leads guests through the forests and ruins outside the village, which are home to species such as bantengs, bar-headed geese, Sumatran tigers, blackbucks, Eld's deer, gibbons, Large flying foxes, Komodo dragons and over 50 bird species. UP! A Great Bird Adventure Show, a live bird show where one of Anandapur's bird researchers educates Russell from Up, about natural bird behaviors and the effects of habitat loss and conservation efforts on bird species, such as the black crowned crane and bald eagle.

In between Asia and DinoLand U.S.A. on the banks of the park's Discovery River is Rivers of Light, a nighttime show featuring mist screens, water fountains, floating lanterns, music, and lighting.