Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom expansions were teased during the D23 Expo Parks, Experiences, and Products presentation at Walt Disney World today, and to say that they got us all excited would be quite an understatement. Imagineering Portfolio Creative Executive Chris Beatty and Walt Disney Animation Studios Chief Creative Officer Jennifer Lee joined Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D'Amaro to tantalize us. Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios have all been celebrating the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World all year long, and will continue to do so until spring of 2023 when the 100 Year Anniversary of Disney will begin. But…what comes after? That was the theme of the panel, and boy did they tease us.
Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom Get Massive Updates
For Animal Kingdom, we may be looking at what would replace Dinoland USA in the park, where a few rides and such have closed in the last year. Blue sky concepts teased included new concept lands for Moana and Zootopia. The latter certainly makes sense, and the way they discussed Moana's journey with nature and how important is was for her certainly got me thinking it could be special there. Though they do have Moana: Journey of Water opening next year at Epcot already.
The biggest Blue Sky concepts they discussed on stage involved new possible lands coming to Magic Kingdom, specifically on the other side of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The concepts shown include a Coco town, which could feature a celebration of Día de los Muertos, and a ride through the land of the dead on the back of Pepita. Another would be a living casita as seen in the massive hit Encanto, where you could open a door and find out what YOUR gift would be. The gathering loved those, but the other land teased for Magic Kingdom that sent the crowd into a tizzy was a teased Villains land, something I think we Disney fans have been clamoring for.
These aren't confirmed as coming, but instead are tests for what they are thinking of doing. If these lands come to Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, they are years away still at this point. But, they would be welcome additions to the Happiest Place on Earth. I am already in line.