D23 Expo Teases Expansion For Disney World Parks

D23 Expo Teases Expansion For Disney World Parks

So much news has come out of the D23 Expo this year it has taken a little time to truly absorb and categorize it.  We can’t wait to share all the information with you immediately as well as accurately!

Photo Credit: Disney Parks

Expansion at Disney World is in the works

On Sunday during the Disney parks experiences and products panel at D23 Expo, Walt Disney Imagineering creative portfolio executive Chris Beatty, and Walt Disney Animation chief creative officer Jennifer Lee along with chairman Josh D’Amaro hinted to an expansion project in the planning stages for Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.   

There is a strong indication that executives are planning to bring more beloved stories to life inside the parks that include Coco, Encanto, and a specific land for the Disney Villains we all hate to love!

Photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

What’s Beyond Big Thunder Mountain in Magic Kingdom?

Chris Beatty stated “One of the concepts we’re most excited about is this idea of new frontiers. Let me give you an example. Josh, do you ever wonder if you could travel to the other side of Big Thunder Mountain, what could be there?”

So, it would seem the plan is to expand beyond the back side of Big Thunder.  What will we find?

“Imagine, what if we could pass over those spires of Big Thunder Mountain, and maybe, maybe in front of us there’s a valley in front of us with the little town of Santa Cecilia, Mexico, celebrating Dia de los Muertos,” Beatty continued

Photo; @bizzyrunninganddizn

As any fan of the animated movie can assure you, this sounds a great deal like a “Coco” inspired experience!  That is HUGE and it’s not all guests can expect!

They are talking about Bruno in Disney World!

Jennifer Lee went on to tease the idea that more than just Coco would be part of the expansion.  “And, what if we do want to talk about Bruno?”

“There are many of us at Disney Animation who cannot wait to see more ‘Encanto’ in the parks,” Lee said, adding, “No one could bring a magical house to life like Disney Imagineering. What if you could walk into the Madrigal’s casita — just saying — meet the family. What if Maribel is your guide into the key of all the wonder within those walls?”

Encanto is Disney’s new fan favorite animated film about Maribel and her family the Madrigals who live in an enchanted home (casita).  Each family member is gifted with a magical power.  No spoilers here, go watch for yourself on Disney+.  It is quite a powerhouse!

Photo Credit: Disney Parks

Maribel has been greeting guests at Disneyland for a few months now and only recently made her appearance at Disney World during the Disney+ day parade celebration. 

Villains will finally have a space

The Disney movie villains have long been under appreciated inside the theme parks.  Sure, they’ve had their moments in parades, rare and random meet and greets and one or two strolled the floors at character dining- I’m looking at you Evil Queen!

However, yesterday the Disney Panel also strongly suggested that the villains would be included as part of this massive expansion beyond Big Thunder Mountain in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.

Now wouldn’t that make for an interesting time at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party?

There was no formal or even hinted timeline announced for this specific expansion, but we can’t wait!!!

Dinoland USA Makeover in Disney World

Photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

Dinoland USA in Disney’s Animal Kingdom has been in the process of a revamp for some time now.  Primeval Whirl was permanently closed in June of 2020 and take down in September of 2021.  Now we have those iconic construction walls in its place. 

photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

While Josh D’Amaro suggested that Imagineering is considering the inclusion of Zootopia and possibly Moana IP added to this section of the park, no official announcement or plans have been determined. 

Change and Progress is GOOD

Disney Executives and Imagineers are working hard to keep the parks relevant and exciting for guests even after these 50 years.  The addition of new and beloved IP as well as adding a land for some iconic villains is a solid idea. 

We can all use something good to look forward!

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