On Friday, Disney+ launched an animated reboot of the family-favorite Diary of a Wimpy Kid films. Based on the best-selling book series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2021) is written by famed children’s novelist Jeff Kenney.
Now that the film has been well received by critics and audiences alike, could the newest Disney property begin to show up in Disney Parks? If Jeff Kinney has his way, we’ll see the iconic Magic Kingdom attraction Carousel of Progress completely reimagined to include Diary of a Wimpy Kid characters and storylines.
Since 2007, the Diary of a Wimpy Kid franchise has generated sixteen books and four live-action films. Diary of a Wimpy Kid books are published in 79 editions, dozens of languages and have sold more than 250 million copies worldwide.
The latest film — the fifth Diary of a Wimpy Kid film overall — sees Greg Heffley (Brady Noon), Frank Heffley (Ethan William Childress), Frank Heffley (Chris Diamantopoulos), Susan Heffley (Erica Cerra), and Fregley (Christian Convery) go back to where it all began. Based on the very first Diary of a Wimpy Kid book by Jeff Kinney, the latest Disney+ film presents the familiar characters in an animated feature for the first time.
Even before the first animated film premiered on Disney+ on December 3, a sequel was announced. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Roderick Rules will hit Disney+ in 2022. Fox had overseen the beloved franchise before The Walt Disney Company acquired 20th Century Studios. Disney announced they’d spin the property into a series of animated films for Disney+.
Now that the popular franchise is officially part of the Disney family of IP, could we see Wimpy Kid characters like Greg and his best friend Rowley pop up in a show or attraction in Disney Parks?
In a Disney press conference, Inside the Magic asked series creator Jeff Kinney and the voice of Greg, Brady Noon, what they thought of that possibility. Noon indicated that he’d be the first in line for an attraction featuring his voice, saying:
“That would be so cool. My whole family is a big Disney family. So, if I were a ride or an attraction at the park, we’d run there.”
Diary of a Wimpy Kid creator Jeff Kinney was also excited at the prospect but had particular thoughts about where he’d like to see his characters appear. Kinney says the Tomorrowland attraction Carousel of Progress at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom could benefit from a modern refresh. Kinney explained, with tongue-in-cheek candor:
“Maybe we can take over the Carousel of Progress ride and make it … a spinning Wimpy Kid show. That would be pretty cool… I just spent some time on the Carousel of Progress, and I think it needs a little bit of updating…”
Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress has long been the subject of Guest criticism. The stalwart Audio-Animatronic show follows an American family through 4 generations of technological progress. However, many Guests feel both the storyline and technology are tired.
The attraction — famously associated with the Disney theme “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” — was first dreamt up by Walt Disney himself. It opened at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair, where it was a hit with audiences. After the World’s Fair, the show was relocated to Disneyland, and then finally to Disney World’s Tomorrowland — where it’s remained since 1975.
The attraction has been reworked by Disney Imagineers several times over the years but has largely stuck to the blueprint of the original 1960s incarnation.
How to Watch Diary of a Wimpy Kid on Disney+
While a Wimpy Kid re-do of Carousel of Progress is a longshot, writer Jeff Kinney is settling into a great creative relationship with Disney.
The Diary of a Wimpy Kid animated movie was released on Disney+ on Friday, December 3, 2021. The film is available to all Disney+ subscribers at no additional cost.
Disney’s official synopsis of the rated PG family comedy:
“The first book in Jeff Kinney’s worldwide bestselling series comes to Disney+ in the all-new animated adventure “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.” Greg Heffley is a scrawny but ambitious kid with an active imagination and big plans to be rich and famous – he just has to survive middle school first. To make matters worse, Greg’s lovable best friend Rowley seems to coast through life and succeed at everything without even trying! As details of his hilarious – and often disastrous – attempts to fit in fill the pages of his journal, Greg learns to appreciate true friends and the satisfaction that comes from standing up for what is right. Directed by Swinton Scott and written and produced by Jeff Kinney, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” features the voices of Brady Noon, Ethan William Childress and Chris Diamantopoulos.”
Would you like to see Greg and Rowley replace John and Uncle Orville? Let us know in the comments!