September 9, 2023, 10:23 AM ·

Disney today revealed that Walt Disney Imagineering is working on transforming Dinoland USA at Disney’s Animal Kingdom into a new land featuring attractions based on Encanto and Indiana Jones.

At this morning’s Destination D23 event at the Walt Disney World Resort, Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro and Walt Disney Imagineering Chief Creative Officer Bruce Vaughn outlined some of the “blue sky” ideas that WDI is working on for the next decade. Among those, big changes at the Disney Animal Kingdom theme park.”Over the next decade, we’re gonna have more projects underway than at any point in our history,” D’Amaro said. “We are planning to invest billions of dollars in our destinations around the world.”WDI has been working on the plans to retheme Dinoland USA to what Vaughn called the “tropical Americas” – Central and northern South America. Since Dinoland’s Dinosaur attraction runs on a layout identical to the original Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland, switching that ride to the Indiana Jones theme would seem an obvious step, though no one mentioned that connection during the presentation.
Concept art courtesy DisneyDinoland had been tapped by fans to be the site of an American installation of the Zootopia land that’s coming to Shanghai Disneyland. However, D’Amaro said that Zootopia instead will be coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom as the theme for a new show at the Tree of Life. As for when Zootopia will open at Shanghai Disneyland, we did not get an opening date for that new land, nor did we get a more specific opening date for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, the Splash Mountain replacement themed to “The Princess and the Frog” that is coming to Disneyland and Magic Kingdom next year.

D’Amaro did reveal some Magic Kingdom enhancements, however, including a new Country Bear show, to be called “Country Bear Musical Jamboree,” that will open next year. Just up the street on the park’s west side, the Hatbox Ghost also will debut inside the Magic Kingdom’s Haunted Mansion in late November, D’Amaro said. Finally, Imagineering is working on a design for a Pirates of the Caribbean-themed lounge in Adventureland, saying that it will provide a new home for the old Barker Bird that once appeared at the ride’s entrance.At EPCOT, Journey of Water Inspired by Moana will open officially on October 16, while the park’s World Celebration area will be complete by December. Moana will begin greeting EPCOT guests next to the Journey of Water walk-through on October 16, and Figment will begin greeting guests inside the Imagination pavilion starting tomorrow.We also learned that the new World Showcase Lagoon nighttime spectacular, “Luminous: The Symphony of Us” will debut December 5. And in perhaps the biggest news drop for EPCOT, WDI revealed that it again will reimagine the Test Track ride.
Concept art courtesy Disney“We’re reaching back into the history of the pavilion, taking inspiration from the original World of Motion and bringing that spirit of optimism to this next iteration of Test Track,” WDI Executive Creative Director Scott Mallwitz said.Over at Star Tours, that Star Wars-themed ride also is getting a refresh, with Ashoka joining the experience next year at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris. For Disney California Adventure, the presentation shared a look at concept art for the ride vehicle on the new Avengers Campus dark ride. There’s still no timeline or name for that multiverse adventure, but we did see what looks like a motion base ride vehicle for that attraction.
Concept art courtesy Disney“The design combines elements of Tony Stark’s time-suits with Xandarian jump points and Wakandan technology to create a vehicle that combines portal technology and flight capabilities to maneuver through the skies, transporting heroes to remote worlds in a matter of moments,” Disneyland said in a press release.Elsewhere around the world, Disney Signature Experiences President Thomas Mazloum revealed that the Disney Cruise Line’s new port of call in the Bahamas will be called Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point and that it will open with a June 6 preview cruise on the Disney Magic. And the former Global Dream ship that DCL obtained and is completing for cruises out of Singapore will be called the Disney Adventure. It will begin sailing in 2025.* * *
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