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Equatorial Africa

Equatorial Africa is an area in the park featuring the countries of Equatorial Africa being placed between China and Germany. At the entrance of the land, surrounded by huge Kopjis rocks, guests begin their "African" experience with a giant 60 foot tall tree house. Up in the tree house a wooden observation platform, which surrounds the upper trunk. From the center of it thanks to WDI Imagineers wizardry and a real movie filmed by cinematographer Jack Couffer the guests have overlook a waterhole at dusk with wild animals of the jungle coming to bathe or drink. It had a multi senses experience as, in addition to the far projected 70 mm live action movie projected on a 20 foot screen, that included wind and heat effects as well as scents - thanks to Disney's "smellizer" technology - and High Definition sound that created the perfect illusion that guests were actually in Africa watching real wild animals. In addition to the the house experience two shows and it was called the "Heritage" area were also part of Equatorial Africa. The first show was called "The Heartbeat of Africa" - and is shown Equatorial Africa's past, present, and a vision of its future. Before the movie was a great preshow all about the meaning and history of drums in Africa that Ken Anderson described as "a Tiki Room with drums". "Drums have magically played themselves and with each hypnotic beat, light once emanated from the instrument up to the point when rhythms had become more complex and more and more instruments had joined in with the elaborate melodies causing the room to be filled with colors, patterns and music". The Heartbeat of Africa finale had presented "a jazz concert in a modern African city, with superimposed laser images coming out of the jazz instruments". Next the guest have also explored the "Sound Safari" which, thanks to WDI then-new 3D sound technology, that created "sound illusions". When the World Showcase guests had walked through a path, "invisible infra-red sensors that were triggered by the sound of trumpeting elephants, laughing hyenas and grunting hippos -- seemingly just out of sight behind the thick foliage. To reinforce this illusion, the Imagineers had setted up a system of simple but extremely effective special effects along the Sound Safari trail. That caused some of the bushes in this attraction to rustle in perfect synchronization with the sound of the out-of-sight jungle animal -- giving Walt Disney World guests the impression that there really was something alive and ferocious lurking out there in the bush. As for the Sound Safari climax, "After sending guests across a rickety suspension bridge over a thick jungle that seemed to be full of vicious beasts, the only path to safety for these Epcot visitors was through a darkened cave that echoed with the sound of lions fighting over a fresh kill." Finally, the Heritage area has an African village with live entertainment consisting of traditional performances. The area had also held a museum of fine African artwork.  

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