Piecing together what’s next for Disney’s Animal Kingdom park is starting to feel like one giant string board that we’re all feverishly trying to follow.
If you’ve been paying attention to the Disney executives following the opening of the latest World of Frozen expansion at Hong Kong Disneyland, Josh D’Amaro had a LOT to say about the land and while he was feeling chatty, you may have overheard a hint about the direction of another reimagining here at Disney World.
Since its initial announcement during a ‘Blue Sky’ segment held during Destination D23, lots of ideas for an updated look and feel to the current Dinoland U.S.A. have been tossed around. Fans have been speculating since the initial conversation that noted favorites like Encanto, Coco, Zootopia, and even Indiana Jones could all be potentials for this area of the park and now Disney sounds like it might be getting closer to committing to a concept.
When recently asked about the tease of Indiana Jones stepping in as a replacement to the Dinosaur ride in Disney’s Animal Kingdom park in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, D’Amaro said, “I think I actually played some music, didn’t I?” The conversation held by D’Amaro at Destination D23 led to a few moments where Disney revealed concept artwork showing off an Indiana Jones-inspired temple in place of the existing Dinosaur dark ride.
D’Amaro went on to stress that this wasn’t FINAL concept art however, what’s been revealed so far shows the aging Dinoland U.S.A. land re-themed to tropical American lands highlighting “where our heads are” as Disney’s team continues “dreaming” up plans for the park’s next big play.
The retheming of this section of the park will be part of the $60 billion project set in motion to update and expand areas to Disney parks globally. D’Amaro has added, “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.”
While this new retheming concept may sound exciting, it’s left many Disney fans questioning just HOW an Indiana Jones retheme to the ride and land would fit into wildlife conservation efforts. Let’s not forget that Josh D’Amaro previously served as Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s vice president and noted he’s not ready to go “deep into” specifics just yet, but he’s optimistic about how that potential angle might be received.
“Animal Kingdom is about exploration and adventure,” D’Amaro says. “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.” Those who are receptive to an Indiana Jones retheme of the attraction have noted that when Dinosaur first opened with the park in 1998, its ride system and vehicles were very similar to those used in the current Indiana Jones attraction at Disneyland in California which had opened in 1995 respectively.
What do you think could be in store for Dinoland U.S.A. at Disney’s Animal Kingdom? Do you agree that this would make a prime opportunity to add another Indiana Jones-themed attraction to Disney World? Be sure to check back in with us at Disney Food Blog for the latest in Disney park news and updates!
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