Entire Land Set To Be Removed at Disney World, Aerial Photo Reveals Current State

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Crowds at Animal Kingdom

Credit: Inside the Magic

The start of September brought big news for Disney Parks fans, as Destination D23 revealed some major changes for Walt Disney World Resort.

Animal Kingdom Park entrance signage_feature image
Credit: Disney

Flashback to last year and Josh D’Amaro would take to the D23 Expo stage in Anaheim, Southern California to deliver the “Boundless Future: Disney Parks, Experiences and Products” panel. There he revealed that Mandalorian would be coming to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Happily Ever After would be returning to Cinderella Castle, and Disney California Adventure would be gaining a brand-new Marvel-themed attraction at Avengers Campus.

What caused the biggest stir, though, was when Creative Portfolio Executive of Walt Disney Imagineering Chris Beatty and Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios Jennifer Lee joined D’Amaro on stage. The trio then went on to detail the numerous “blue sky” projects Disney had been cooking up. Including a new area beyond Big Thunder Mountain in Magic Kingdom that would be themed to Encanto, Coco, and Disney Villains, as well as Moana and Zootopia areas at Animal Kingdom, the execs teased much to be excited about.

Concept art of 'Zootopia' and 'Moana' areas at Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom presented at D23
Credit: Disney

Related: Walt Disney’s Wishes Challenged With Magic Kingdom Expansion

Since then, Bob Iger dethroned his successor, Bob Chapek, and returned as the Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. Over the last year, no major expansions have been officially announced for the Disney Parks business, leaving fans frustrated over what’s next for the likes of Disney World.

However, a spark would be lit in early September when Disney announced a handful of new things at Destination D23. At the weekend event, it was revealed that Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana, would officially be opening at EPCOT in October 2023. Also, for EPCOT, a retheme of Test Track has been planned in collaboration with Chevrolet at the Disney park; the changes look set to reintroduce elements of World of Motion back into the experience.

Concept art for the all-new area coming to Animal Kingdom inspired by Encanto and Indiana Jones
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Animal Kingdom Expansion

Over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, It’s Tough to be a Bug will officially be rethemed to feature the characters of Zootopia (2016) instead of the critters from A Bug’s Life (1998), and in bigger news, DinoLand, U.S.A. is set to be rethemed to feature the Encanto and Indiana Jones franchises.

In a bid to continue incorporating the natural world into Animal Kingdom, DinoLand, U.S.A. is slated to turn into the “Tropical Americas” and will use elements of Encanto and Indiana Jones throughout the land at the Disney resort.

Recently, @bioreconstruct shared a bird’s eye view of the future Encanto and Indiana Jones-themed land, writing:

Aerial look at the entrance of Animal Kingdom. Disney said recently it may redo Dinoland USA (at center of this photo) with attractions based on Encanto and Indiana Jones.

See the photo here.

Luisa, Mirabel, and Isabela in 'Encanto'
Credit: Disney

Related: Bob Iger Refuses to Step Down, Won’t Let Disney Ruin His Legacy

While nothing has been officially announced and no timeline confirmed, this does seem like a more concrete step to what audiences got at the D23 Expo last year. This Animal Kingdom expansion also adds to the ongoing debate over the use of Intellectual Property, or IP, in the Disney theme parks.

The company is known for its famous characters and locations, but some fans wonder whether an injection of something original may be the ticket to reigniting excitement for Disney Parks. That said, the success of IP internationally, such as the Marvel expansion in Disneyland Paris, proves that guests will flock to experience new attractions and experiences themed around their favorite characters.

Iron Man, Captain America, and Captain Marvel on the Tower of Terror
Credit: Disney

Just weeks after Destination D23, Disney would go on to announce a $60 billion investment into its parks and Disney Cruise Line arms that will be spent over the next 10 years. What this mind-boggling sum will be spent on is anyone’s guess, but many fans hope they will finally bring some of these “blue sky” ideas to fruition.

Do you think the Tropical Americas featuring Encanto and Indiana Jones will come to be? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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