Disney Imagineer Shares Speculation on Possible Disney World Retheme

in Walt Disney World

Animal Kingdom, Moana, Zootopia, Lion King, Coco

Walt Disney World has announced several confirmed (and unconfirmed) projects that will be coming to the resort over the next several years.

Updates to each Park are inevitable, and rumors have been flying over what exactly the projects may include. Disney World has already confirmed that Zootopia and Moana will both see significantly more presence in the Parks, but there’s another IP that fans say is underrepresented in Disney World. Coco is a popular Disney/Pixar film that explores Mexican culture and heritage while promoting the importance of family and creativity. While the film has an exhibit in the Mexico Pavilion at EPCOT, fans say it’s high time it received its own attraction. Just not in Animal Kingdom.

Disney's Animal Kingdom
Credit: Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Imagineer Jim Shull took to Twitter earlier today to shared his proposed idea as to how to best split up DinoLand U.S.A. in Animal Kingdom. The area has been eyed for ages for a possible retheme, which was seemingly confirmed with the closure of half of the attractions in the area. Shull’s Tweet states that although he’s against the idea of bringing animated characters into Animal Kingdom, that the area could be divided and used for a Moana and Coco area. He suggests Moana can be given a water ride while Dinosaur is rethemed to a “Mexican/Central American vibe” for Coco. 

Fans were not happy, and made their disgust and displeasure known in the comments and retweets of the post. “This is an abysmal plan,” states @Dr_GrantSeeker. Several of the comments point out that rather than tearing down existing attractions or including characters that have no place in Animal Kingdom, Disney World should instead use the rest of the land they have around the property and either expand the Park or add a fifth gate to the resort. A comment from @BlalockNate suggests building an immersive Lion King-based area instead, pointing out that Moana already has an attraction coming to EPCOT and Coco is better suited for Magic Kingdom.

Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) in 'Coco' (2017)
Credit: Disney/Pixar

Other comments, like one from @GranBoladeEpcot, point to an unfortunate coincidence. “So why every time a Disney movie with minority characters comes out, the reaction towards its placement in the Parks is ‘put it in Animal Kingdom.’ Relax. I know the answer, sadly.” Several comments shared this sentiment, saying that minority characters and characters of color deserve a place in the other Parks as much as any other character or IP.

Moana poses infront of Te Fiti and an animated Moana and Maui poses along with a pig in a coast.
Credit: Inside the Magic

Some piggy-backed off of this by suggesting ways to expand Animal Kingdom and EPCOT in order to better fit the newer characters, like expanding the Mexico Pavilion and creating a South American and Australian area that Disney can utilize its already-existing characters and other underrepresented films for.

epcot mexico pavilion
Credit: Disney

What it seems to be coming down to is Walt Disney World needs to expand if it wants to continue adding attractions and areas, rather than gutting and redesigning already existing areas. Animal Kingdom and EPCOT especially can use an expansion to add more lands, pavilions, and characters to their Parks. Disney World has the land and has already hinted that they’ll be adding a fifth Park in the future, so hopefully the current rumors and speculations remain exactly that.

What do you think about the idea of incorporating Moana and Coco to Animal Kingdom? Let Inside the Magic know your thoughts in the comments below!

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