53 Years Gone: Disney Announces Historic Overhaul of Magic Kingdom

in Walt Disney World

Guests look on inside the Magic Kingdom besides the Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse statue, Partners, at Walt Disney World Resort

Credit: Disney

It soon will no longer be “Main Street, U.S.A.,” “Liberty Square,” “Frontierland,” “Adventureland,” “Tomorrowland,” and “Fantasyland” at Magic Kingdom Park.

There are big projects on the horizon for Walt Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom Park, and it all starts in Frontierland. After Splash Mountain’s 1992 opening at Magic Kingdom, the attraction quickly became a favorite among Disney World guests. Now, fast-forward 32 years, and the water flume attraction has been closed down permanently, and a new ride is set to take over its space.

A bustling night-time scene at a theme park with visitors strolling down the main street, lit by the glow of ambient lighting, with a fairy tale castle illuminated in the background, creating a magical atmosphere.
Credit: Inside the Magic

Of course, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure isn’t the only major new attraction coming to the Disney park in the near future.

Just recently, Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro was spotted filming outside of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. As you can see in the video, it would stand to reason that there are major developments on the horizon for the attraction, which is set to open this coming summer.

Josh D’Amaro filming something at Tiana’s 👀
byu/CamG__ inDisneyWorld

In previous comments, D’Amaro has shared details about Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, but what has intrigued more fans has been the upcoming project, titled “Beyond Big Thunder Mountain.”

Magic Kingdom as we know it is coming to an end

There have always been updates to attractions– or changes– to Magic Kingdom, but over its history of more than five decades, the Disney World park has remained largely unchanged in terms of its lands and layout. Yes, Fantasyland was expanded back in 2012, and Toontown was demolished. Even then, though, the lands remained the same.

A tree in front of a building
Credit: Disney

Even as new attractions have been introduced– whether it be The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, or TRON Lightcycle / Run– they’ve always been introduced to an already-established land. What makes the expansion for “Beyond Big Thunder Mountain” so intriguing is that this will be an entirely new land, overhauling the layout and what we’ve come to know about Magic Kingdom for more than five decades.

Just recently, X account @bioreconstruct posted an aerial photo of the Disney World theme park in which we can see just how vast and massive a land expansion could be.

It’s not just the fact that a major expansion is coming. It’s the fact that it could become the single-largest land inside the historic Disney World theme park. That’s notable and certainly something that fans should be keeping their eyes on as Disney World moves forward with its expansion plans, in total worth $60 billion at Walt Disney World Resort.

Nothing has been finalized regarding what kind of land could come to Magic Kingdom. Josh D’Amaro teased Encanto, Coco, and Disney Villains nearly two years ago. With Bob Iger at the helm, the overarching belief is that it will be focused on some IP (intellectual property), but it still remains to be determined what direction Disney will take.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Magic Kingdom.
Credit: Inside the Magic

How to best maximize your time in Magic Kingdom

When visiting Magic Kingdom Park, it’s crucial to arrive early to maximize your time. Consider booking a breakfast reservation at Be Our Guest Restaurant, located in the iconic Beast’s Castle in Fantasyland. Not only does this offer a unique dining experience, but it also grants you early access to the Disney World park, allowing you to get ahead of the crowds.

Once inside the park, prioritize your must-see attractions and book Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane attractions when possible. While classics like Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, and Space Mountain are undoubtedly popular, don’t overlook hidden gems like Tom Sawyer Island or The Enchanted Tiki Room. These attractions often have shorter wait times and provide a more relaxed atmosphere to enjoy. For a break from the rides, explore the various themed lands and indulge in some lesser-known experiences. Wander through Adventureland and stop by the Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen for a meal inspired by the world-famous Jungle Cruise.

Pirates of the Caribbean at Walt Disney World.
Credit: ITM

To beat the heat and recharge, take advantage of the park’s indoor attractions and shows. Mickey’s PhilharMagic in Fantasyland offers a 3D musical adventure starring Disney characters, while Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress in Tomorrowland provides a nostalgic journey through the evolution of technology. As the day winds down, secure a spot for the nighttime spectacular, Happily Ever After. This breathtaking fireworks and projection show transforms Cinderella Castle into a canvas of Disney magic, featuring beloved characters and memorable moments from Disney films.

If you’re not into Happily Ever After, though, use this time to ride attractions and enjoy shorter wait times.

What do you think Disney will do to Magic Kingdom in the future? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments!

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