Updates: Disney World Plans Destruction of Massive Theme Park

in Walt Disney World

An aerial shot of Disney's Animal Kingdom Park with art representing the expansion proposal.

Collage by Inside the Magic

Walt Disney World Resort recently dropped a bombshell on the future of one of its most visited and beloved theme parks.

Opened in 1998, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park stands as one of Disney’s most ambitious projects, seamlessly blending the enchantment of a traditional theme park with the wonders of the animal kingdom. Spanning over 500 acres, this park offers visitors a truly immersive experience, allowing them to explore diverse ecosystems, encounter exotic wildlife, and embark on thrilling adventures unlike any other.

Crowds at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World Resort
Credit: Lee/Flickr

At the heart of Disney’s Animal Kingdom lies the iconic Tree of Life, a towering artificial tree adorned with intricate carvings depicting various animals. Surrounding this centerpiece are meticulously crafted themed lands, each offering its own unique attractions and experiences. From the African savannas of Kilimanjaro Safaris to the mystical landscapes of Pandora – The World of Avatar, guests are transported to different corners of the globe and even beyond, all within the confines of this magical park.

The construction of Disney’s Animal Kingdom was a feat of engineering and imagination. Years of meticulous planning and design went into creating a Disney World park that not only entertains but also educates visitors about the importance of wildlife conservation and environmental stewardship. Immersive habitats were carefully crafted to provide a safe and comfortable home for the park’s animal residents, while state-of-the-art technology was employed to bring to life thrilling attractions such as Expedition Everest and Avatar Flight of Passage.

Tree of Life on Discovery Island at Walt Disney World Resort
Credit: Disney

However, just like we’ve always seen at Walt Disney World Resort, times change. Now, the Disney park, which has been open for almost three decades, will undergo significant changes.

How many attractions at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be shutting down?

As you may know, Walt Disney World Resort has already teased major expansions coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom in the future. In preparation for these projects, Disney World filed a permit that will allow construction trailers to be set up behind Dinoland, U.S.A. In addition, we’ve already seen Primeval Whirl meet its permanent end.

Animal Kingdom Park entrance
Credit: Disney

So, what else is about to happen at the beloved Disney World theme park? Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro, who spoke at Destination D23, revealed that Disney was “Blue Skying” ideas that could include Encanto and Indiana Jones expansions to the area. In a follow-up interview with EW, D’Amaro broke down what this might look like.

“Animal Kingdom is about exploration and adventure,” D’Amaro said. “I was fortunate enough to have run that theme park, so I know how special it is, and I think there are a lot of stories that we can stay true to Animal Kingdom and express new properties in there, and that’s what you see us starting to do.”

While Disney has not confirmed the exact dates or what will take place when they do make these expansions happen, it seems almost abundantly clear that two more rides will be closing permanently when they are ready to move forward: DINOSAUR and TriceraTop Spin.

Guests ride DINOSAUR at Animal Kingdom
Credit: Disney

With immersive storytelling, impressive animatronics, and heart-pounding encounters, DINOSAUR offers an adrenaline-fueled ride that leaves riders on the edge of their seats. On the other end of the spectrum, TriceraTop Spin provides a whimsical aerial tour aboard spinning dinosaur-themed vehicles. Ideal for families and younger guests, this attraction offers a playful yet thrilling experience as riders soar above Dinoland, taking in the sights and sounds of this imaginative land.

Just recently, X account @bioreconstruct shared an aerial photo of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park in which we can see the amount of land that Walt Disney World Resort will have to work with when they do unveil the new expansions.

While we await the fate of destruction and expansion at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, August 9-11, 2024, looms large as major dates to keep in mind. The D23 Fan Expo takes place in Anaheim during this timeframe, and we expect to hear significant updates from Disney then.

In addition to this expansion, keep in mind that It’s Tough to be a Bug! is also on its way out at Animal Kingdom. The popular offering will be replaced by a Zootopia-themed attraction.

What other attractions are on their way out at Walt Disney World Resort?

As far as the rest of Walt Disney World Resort goes, there are numerous other projects on the horizon, as well.

Guests ride TRON
Credit: Disney

Other than the return of the Little Mermaid show this summer, there are no significant expansions for Disney’s Hollywood Studios on the horizon. At this time, EPCOT is also finishing up its construction– which has taken over the Disney theme park for more than the last half-decade– and will be opening up CommuniCore Hall & Plaza this summer.

At Magic Kingdom Park, Disney World guests are awaiting the opening of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, which is set to replace Splash Mountain this summer. Disney has also teased an expansion at Magic Kingdom-– titled Beyond Big Thunder Mountain– but no details have been given on its status.

What do you want to see at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in the future? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments!

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