Disney Breaks Silence, Reveals New ‘Indiana Jones’ Ride

in Walt Disney World

Tree of Life on Discovery Island at Walt Disney World Resort

Credit: Disney

Walt Disney World Resort is about to get a lot bigger, and Bob Iger has major plans for IPs coming in the future.

The Walt Disney Company has already pledged to make significant expansions at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando over the course of the next 10 years.

Cinderella walking toward Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom
Credit: Disney

Just in the last several years, Disney has opened new attractions, which include Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disney’s Hollywood Studios; Frozen Ever After, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, and Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana at EPCOT; Pandora: The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom; and, most recently, TRON Lightcycle / Run at Magic Kingdom.

While Disney has made the decision to move forward with some projects, like announcing that a Zootopia-themed attraction will soon be replacing It’s Tough To Be a Bug! at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, there are other projects that we are still waiting to hear a resolution. Tiana’s Bayou Adventure has been under construction for several months as the attraction will replace Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdom, but Disney’s big teaser for Magic Kingdom– titled Beyond Big Thunder Mountain— still remains shrouded in mystery.

If that weren’t enough, one of the biggest mysteries surrounding significant expansions and retheming is happening at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Disney's Animal Kingdom
Credit: Walt Disney World Resort

In an exclusive interview with Entertainment Weekly during a press preview for Hong Kong Disneyland’s new World of Frozen-themed land, Disney Experiences Chairman Josh D’Amaro shared insights into the potential transformation of Disney World’s Animal Kingdom. He hinted at the prospect of replacing the beloved Dinosaur ride with an Indiana Jones-themed attraction.

D’Amaro emphasized the connection between the Indiana Jones blockbuster series, starring Harrison Ford, and the vision for Animal Kingdom’s expansion. During his Destination D23 presentation in September, he teased the audience with concept artwork depicting an Indiana Jones-inspired temple, accompanied by composer John Williams’ iconic Indiana Jones score.

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

While acknowledging that the presented image is not the final concept art, D’Amaro expressed that it represents the direction his team is considering for Animal Kingdom’s future. He highlighted their commitment to storytelling, improvements, and fan engagement, emphasizing the company’s substantial investment of $60 billion in global property enhancements over the next decade.

“We’ve got so many stories to tell, we have so many things we want to make even better in the theme parks. My plan is to continue to share that with the guests. I know people are like, ‘My gosh, I can’t believe he’s saying this. Is he serious, is he not?’ The answer is, we are absolutely serious,” D’Amaro said. “We know what this business is capable of, we know what our fans expect of us, and we’re going all in. You’re going to see more and more of that. As we make our way through some of these ideas, some of them will become real, and we’ll say that’s specifically what we’re going to do, but I want our guests to be on the journey with us.”

Responding to concerns about integrating Indiana Jones into Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s theme of wildlife conservation, D’Amaro, who previously served as the park’s vice president, assured that the park’s essence of exploration and adventure aligns well with the iconic franchise. While not delving into specific details, he expressed optimism about integrating new properties into Animal Kingdom while staying true to its core identity.

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

Dinosaur, which opened alongside Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 1998, shares a ride system similar to Disneyland’s Indiana Jones Adventure attraction. D’Amaro’s insights hint at the exciting possibilities ahead for Animal Kingdom, inviting guests to join them on the journey of exploration and imagination.

As the plans for Animal Kingdom’s expansion continue to evolve, D’Amaro’s interview with Entertainment Weekly provides a glimpse into Disney’s dedication to creating immersive experiences and pushing the boundaries of theme park storytelling.

What do you think of this major update on Walt Disney World Resort? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments!

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