Disney World Has Plenty of Villains; It Doesn’t Need a Park Expansion That May Not Happen Anyhow

in Disney, Op-Ed, Theme Parks, Uncategorized, Walt Disney World

villains after hours park magic kingdom

Credit: Disney

With a new version of Splash Mountain, themed after Princess and the Frog (2009), on the way to Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World, fans of the “most magical place on Earth” are torn regarding the need to eliminate such a fan favorite. However, one thing they’re not divisive about is their hopes for Disney’s potential villain park expansion at Magic Kingdom.

Cruella, Iago, Jafar, Ursula, and Captain Hook sitting at a table together Disney Villains
Credit: Disney

Although Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is scheduled to open this summer, fans of Walt Disney World are awaiting further word on a sinister secret that would be Walt Disney World’s largest expansion since Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios.

Keeping their cards close to the vest, the “Beyond Big Thunder” project, officially revealed at the D23 Expo, hints at a villain’s expansion project at Magic Kingdom at Disney World. Although fans have asked for this from Disney CEO Bob Iger (and former CEO Bob Chapek), as well as Disney Imagineers, is it really necessary?

What Does a Villain Park Inside of Magic Kingdom Mean?

Understanding what a potential villain expansion at Magic Kingdom would look like is difficult to grasp. Although there’s certainly no doubt that Disney Imagineering, who is responsible for the amazing scenery surrounding Galaxy’s Edge and Pandora at Animal Kingdom, could knock a villain’s concept out of the proverbial park, considering space and a mesh with keeping to the current sights and sounds of Magic Kingdom, could it actually be done as expected?

Related: “The Magic Kingdom No More”: Disney Officially Changes Name

It seems a difficult task to extend Magic Kingdom Park, which consists of New Fantasy Land, Adventureland, Main Street, U.S.A., Tomorrowland, Liberty Square, Storybook Circus, and Frontierland, into a villain theme. How would it work?

Would there just suddenly be a dark gate with a wicked-looking castle and villains running around all over the place? Would guests hop off of Big Thunder Mountain and Tiana’s Bayou Adventure to find themselves in a realm featuring the likes of Maleficent, Hades, and Jafar? News flash: they can already do that.

Disney Villains After Dark

At Walt Disney World, the rarity of villains means they’re good for business. Spotting Doctor Facilier, the Sanderson Sisters, Oogie Boogie, and more around Magic Kingdom is always big news. Why? Because they’re rare!

hocus pocus villain spelltacular
Credit: Disney Parks

There’s a reason Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is such a huge draw. Sure, it’s a great way to experience the holiday at Magic Kingdom, but people are really coming to see the parades and villain spectaculars that feature those terrifying baddies we love to hate.

At Magic Kingdom specifically, guests also have another option to see their favorite “up-to-no-good” characters at Villains After Hours. This specially ticketed event, which currently has no dates available, is a wickedly wild time that sometimes occurs at Magic Kingdom once the sun goes down. As darkness rises over the Disney Park, so do the likes of the Evil Queen, Med, and Maleficent. With these types of draws, an important question is raised.

Would a Villain Park at Magic Kingdom Cut Into Disney’s Profit Margins

Although Magic Kingdom is a magical place where we can live out our favorite scenes and stories, It is one branch in the arm of the Walt Disney Company, and that last word is the most important. While devouring Mickey Pretzels and riding Space Mountain, it’s easy to forget that first and foremost, Disney is a business!

With domestic parks struggling compared to Disney’s international theme parks, removing the allure of a big-ticket item like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party doesn’t make fiscal sense.

Related: Disney Expansion Plan Approved, New Park Incoming?

If people are happy to pay additional prices to see villains at Halloween Parties and After-hours events, why make it a typical admission at Walt Disney World Resort? A villain’s land would certainly cut into the bottom line, would it not?

But…But Disney Promised a Villains Land

Disney hasn’t promised anything regarding an expansion project at Magic Kingdom. However, concepts and ideas can certainly change, as we’ve seen with multiple Disney enterprises, including the Galactic Starcruiser at Hollywood Studios. Although it has been mentioned that the land behind Big Thunder Mountain could be dedicated to a new villain experience, other potential IPs could also be at play, and not just at Magic Kingdom.

New experiences from Coco (2017)and Encanto (2022) have been mentioned for Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. Maybe one of the intellectual properties will find its way to Magic Kingdom instead of a villain’s land since nothing is official just yet.

The Idea of Not Doing a Villain Park Expansion Is Unpopular

We get it. We do! We all love a good Disney villain. Although you can find plenty of representation around Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and even Disney Springs, you all want more of them! We get that, too.

disney-halloween-festival-villains
Credit: Disney Parks

However, when we get what we want, it can sometimes lose its luster. Would seeing Maleficent on stage hit as hard at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party after you just met her in her castle earlier in the day at villains land? Maybe; maybe not?

Although Walt Disney World is in a constant state of flux, the argument that Disney Imagineering should concern itself with other ideas, or better yet, fix things like the Yeti and Rise of the Resistance (which constantly breaks down), may be better suited for Iger’s thunderous plan to pump billions of dollars into domestic parks over the next decade.

Related: Ultimate Guide to Disney Villains After Hours

We’ll see what actually happens with the Magic Kingdom expansion plan. Only time will tell if the talk is more than that; just talk. Until then, it’s possible that Disney doesn’t need to tap into that resource just yet.

 

in Disney, Op-Ed, Theme Parks, Uncategorized, Walt Disney World

View Comment (1)