Impending Animal Kingdom Shutdown Sparks Guest Debate

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Donald duck holds two little boys hands.

Credit: Disney

Several changes are coming to the Walt Disney World Resort, but some of the latest developments surrounding Disney’s Animal Kingdom have left guests in an uproar. Should Disney proceed with the plans?

Animal Kingdom Mickey and Minnie ready to meet their public
Credit: Disney

The multiple parks of the Walt Disney World Resort are quite literally the reasons for visiting. From the Magic Kingdom to Hollywood Studios, there’s more than one way to meet the mouse in the Orlando area.

Related: It’s Official: Animal Kingdom Needs a ‘Lion King’ Land

As much as fans have absolutely adored the place where dreams come true, some of them are a bit adverse to change when it comes to updating and even just refurbishing some of the older attractions, lands, and rides. Anything that gets in the way of the parks’ original intent is almost instantly met with torches and pitchforks, and Animal Kingdom is next on the chopping block.

Animal Kingdom Faces Extinction

Tree of Life on Discovery Island
Credit: Disney

Since its conception, the Disney Park has been billed as the magic of Disney gone wild, and the various exhibits and displays of animals and wildlife certainly cement that fact. That said, many fans would agree that the studio has strayed far away from the park’s original designs and intent.

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Disney recently announced that Animal Kingdom would be receiving a massive update, as Dinoland USA is set to be replaced by an area dedicated to the species of South America. That’s not such an awful idea, considering that other continents have been represented throughout the park. However, it comes at the cost of one of the park’s biggest advertised elements.

Dinosaur stands over Guests on DINOSAUR at Animal Kingdom
Credit: Disney

In the ’90s, Disney’s Animal Kingdom was designed and dedicated to “animals real, ancient, and imagined,” but that idea has since been heavily altered in the decades that followed. While there’s certainly no shortage of real animals and Avatar’s World of Pandora has the imagined creatures covered, the company is getting ready to drop the dinos from the equation.

Related: Discovery Island: The Heartbeat of Retro Animal Kingdom

Originally scheduled to be replaced by the streets of Zootopia and Moana’s enchanted waters, Disney has been working Dinoland out of its system for a long while now, but some fans refuse to let the area sink into the tar pits. In fact, many believe that Disney should still honor them and live up to the Animal Kingdom’s original design.

DinoLand U.S.A. front entrance sign inside of Disney's Animal Kingdom Park
Credit: Walt Disney World Resort

A post on r/DisneyWorld had fans and frequent guests sharing their stance on whether or not Disney should ditch the dinosaurs in favor of something fresh. While the rumored Indiana Jones attraction would certainly allow for the bones and fossils to play a large role, many fans don’t want them disturbed at all.

The original post reads,

There’s been a recent announcement that Dinoland USA will be replaced with a South American land containing rides themed to Enchanto & Indiana Jones, as well as South American animals. This means no more Dinosaurs at all. When Animal Kingdom was designed, Dinosaurs were part of its original plan, along with mythical creatures. Beastly Kingdom ended up never happening and instead Pandora fills that gap. How would you keep the Dinosaurs In Animal Kingdom? Or do you think that they are not needed in any form?

Needless to say, dozens of users were quick to respond.

u/hairdoot makes an excellent point about Disney’s need to recognize its audience better when they write,

“I absolutely think dinosaurs should be at animal kingdom. I have yet to meet a child who never went through a dinosaur phase. There are kids who are absolutely obsessed, just live and breathe dinosaurs. I’ve never met a kid obsessed with South America. And Encanto is great but not as great as dinosaurs. Indiana Jones has nothing to do with animals. Dinoland is obviously in need of a refresh but I think it’s a mistake to base everything on IP, especially when they already had a concept that is the GOAT for any kid under 8…”

But u/DisastrousGuava1512 retorts with,

“The problem is that the current Dinoland is not geared toward kids under 8. Dinosaur and the old Primeval Whirl are 2/3 of the rides there and are not for littles. Maybe this is an unpopular opinion, but Triceratops Spin is an inferior Dumbo, with Magic Carpets being superior to both. I think it could use a refresh, and using IP will draw more crowds.”

u/GingerWookie95 writes what most are probably thinking when it comes to dinosaurs and theme parks when they add,

I loved [Dino Land] as a young child, but when I went last in my late 20’s it shows how little investment has carried on over the years. Plus Universal has managed to make the Jurassic Park/World a key selling point, and Disney probably doesn’t want to bother competing with them in that market.

Guests ride DINOSAUR at Animal Kingdom
Credit: Disney
The conversation continues on for a grand total of 88 comments currently, but the picture is certainly clear. Yes, Animal Kingdom does need dinosaurs, but Dino Land USA has simply gone the way of the dodo.
Considering the upcoming expansion features one of cinema’s most accomplished adventurers, it might be time for Dr. Jones to get jurassic when he finally comes to town. It might not be Jurassic Park, but Disney can certainly do a lot more when it comes to dinosaurs.
Should Animal Kingdom keep its ancient creatures? Tell Inside the Magic what you think in the comments below!




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