Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro provided a little more clarity on long-gestating expansions of Walt Disney World and the resort’s Animal Kingdom experience at the company’s annual D23 fan event this morning.
First, he brought on Bruce Vaughn, Chief Creative Officer at Walt Disney Imagineering, for a “Blue Sky” look at possible developments at Disney Parks.
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The future expansion plans for Magic Kingdom in Florida are the largest ever for the park, according to Vaughn. Imagineers are looking to tell stories similar in scale to things like Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Pandora – The World of Avatar, which will include new attractions, restaurants, shows and more.
Zootopia has long been rumored to be one of the elements to be included in the expansion, and Parks officials revealed that a new show based on the film is being created for the Tree of Life theater at Animal Kingdom. It’s still in the works, but the current concept for the new Zootopia experience has guests visiting the different biomes from the film while traveling along with characters from the film.
More grandly, Dinoland U.S.A. at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will become a new land “inspired by a region sometimes referred to as ‘tropical Americas.'” Imagineers are exploring regions just north and south of the equator – the northern part of South America, stretching up into Central America – for inspiration. As part of that land, new experiences inspired by Encanto and Indiana Jones are being considered.
Vaughn indicated there’s a long way to go yet, but the details may mean ideas are solidifying.
Disney Parks first teased the Animal Kingdom transformation back at Expo D23 in 2022, but details have been scant. Interestingly, filings in April indicate construction to come at Dinoland.
D’Amaro closed with a promise of more to come.
“Over the next decade, we’re going to have more projects underway than at any point in our history,” he said. “Our sole purpose is to give you more and more of what you love about a Disney experience. And then surprise and delight you with things you never dreamed possible.”
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