After a stunning first Earnings Call as the returning CEO of The Walt Disney Company, Bob Iger has officially laid down the groundwork and given a glimpse of his vision for the House of Mouse. And one of those things might be what diehard Disney fans fear the most — the inclusion of yet more IP at Disney Parks & Resorts.
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Disney Parks have long since been a blend of originality and Intellectual Properties, or IP. The latter sees inspiration taken from a certain brand or franchise and using the power and love for said brand or franchise to bring new attractions and experiences to the theme park Resorts worldwide.
It’s a contentious element of being a Disney fan; some love the inclusion of fan-favorite franchises like Marvel, Star Wars, and other Disney-owned properties like 20th Century Studios’ Avatar, which of course, inspired Pandora — The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. In fact, the last non-IP attraction which opened at Walt Disney World Resort was Expedition Everest — Legend of the Forbidden Mountain, which can also be found at Animal Kingdom.
IP at Disney Parks is here to stay.
Over the last few years, both Walt Disney World Resort (Orlando, Central Florida) and Disneyland Resort (Anaheim, Southern California) and other international Disney Parks have injected multiple IP-driven lands and rides into their various theme park locations with lands like Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Toy Story Land, Avengers Campus, and Pandora, and attractions like Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. TRON Lightcycle / Run will soon open on April 4, 2023 at Magic Kingdom Park.
The IP takeover of other popular rides like Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: BREAKOUT! which replaced Disneyland’s Tower of Terror, and Frozen Ever After, which took over Maelstrom at EPCOT Park, ruffled feathers during their transitions but have since gone on to be just another part of the Disney Park experience.
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However, there is always an undercurrent of commentary from some Disney fans that wish Walt Disney Imagineering, and by association, Disney Parks & Resorts and The Walt Disney Company as a whole would invest in more original storytelling for their upcoming attractions.
Now, that view may be made increasingly clear as Bob Iger recently stated that he had reached out to Disney Parks & Resorts Chairman, Josh D’Amaro to talk about bringing more of the company’s franchises to the Parks in order to “increase capacity while preserving Guest satisfaction.”
This comment comes after CFO Christine McCarthy revealed the massive success of Disney Parks & Resorts, which netted a $2.1 billion profit in Q1, and stated the popularity at locations like Disneyland Paris being a contributor to the uplift in revenue. Last year, Disneyland Paris opened the company’s second Avengers Campus at Walt Disney Studios Park, and along with the refurbished Disney’s Hotel New York — The Art of Marvel, has been commended for bringing up attendance and attracting more superhero-focused Guests with Marvel IP.
It also comes a year after Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock stated he wished to “quickly infuse” IP at the Californian Disney theme parks, aiming for Guests to always have something fresh and new to see.
IP is coming to Disney Parks soon.
What Iger is planning to do with Disney’s IP is unclear. Of course, last year at the D23 Expo 2022, while the Mouse House was still under the leadership of Bob Chapek, Josh D’Amaro unveiled the company’s “blue sky” ideas when it came to the Disney World theme parks. These included the Beyond Big Thunder Mountain project, which intends to bring franchises like Encanto, Coco, and the Disney Villains to Magic Kingdom Park.
Then, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, D’Amaro claimed that a possible Moana and Zootopia-themed area could make its debut at the Disney World theme parks. While no more information has made its way to the fans, the recent announcement of new animated sequels in the Frozen, Toy Story, and Zootopia universes may just be a precursor of what is to come.
Would you like to see more IP at Disney World and Disneyland? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!