Disney World Announces 3 New Movie-Themed Rides & Attractions

By Savannah Sanders Posted:
Disney World castles, Zootopia and Moana posters

Select Disney movies are making the jump from the screen to the Disney Parks in the coming years. 

At the 2023 Destination D23 event, Disney announced a whole line-up of new theme park experiences, including three attractions based on Disney movies and bound for the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. 

This news followed Disney's beginning work on its The Princess and the Frog Splash Mountain retheming and the recent opening of TRON Lightcycle Run, based on 2010's Tron: Legacy.

3 Movie-Based Attractions Coming to Disney World

For reference, the term "attraction" is Disneyspeak for a theme park experience that doesn't fall within the "ride" category, such as a show, walk-through, or an immersive area. 

The following is a breakdown of those movie-inspired ride - and attractions - newly revealed for Disney World:

1.) Zootopia Show

Disney World Zootopia show for Animal Kingdom

Not only is a Zootopia-themed land coming to the Shanghai Disney Resort but a brand-new show inspired by the 2016 animated film is coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom park.

According to Disney, the show's current concept "has guests visiting the different biomes" from the movie, along with Judy Hopps, Nick Wilde, and other familiar characters. 

The show is confirmed for the Tree of Life theater housed inside the park's massive Tree of Life icon and the current home of "It's Tough to Be a Bug!," a 3D sensory film based on Pixar's A Bug's Life

While Disney has yet to confirm further details, it's possible that this new addition may also be a sensory experience with special effects. 

2.) Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana

Epcot's Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana

Another 2016 film making its way into Walt Disney World is Moana via Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana announced to debut at EPCOT on October 16.

This immersive, interactive walkthrough allows fans to magically interact with water, just like Moana, via crashing ocean waves, leaping streams, and even musical "rain harps," all amidst an educational backdrop about the water cycle. 

Epcot's Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana

Fans of the film will encounter familiar sights, sounds, and even Easter eggs, ranging from a giant Te Fiti to characters hidden in rock formations. 

Epcot's Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana

Moana is also confirmed to meet guests in person when Journey of Water opens on October 16. 

3.) Indiana Jones & Encanto Experiences

Concept art for Animal Kingdom's Dinoland, USA redo

One of the biggest news splashes from Destination D23 was the reveal of a "tropical Americas" land to replace Animal Kingdom's Dinoland U.S.A., complete with experiences inspired by 2021's Encanto and Lucasfilm's Indiana Jones

While Disney claimed these two properties are "being considered" and not confirmed, concept art for the land suggested an Indiana Jones ride in place of the current DINOSAUR attraction, which already shares a similar ride system to Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland Park

That same Disneyland ride is also set in a tropical environment and within a temple structure.

As for Encanto, this same concept art depicted Casa Madrigal or Casita surrounded by manicured paths. Whether Disney is considering Casita to house a ride, show, or an interactive, walkthrough is unknown. 

Why Disney Chose These Movies For the Parks

Something worth noting about this round of ride news is that Disney is utilizing relatively current movie franchises.

Not only did Disney and Lucasfilm just release Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny in June, but not one of these IPs is over ten years old. 

In addition, Zootopia 2 is reportedly in the works and Moana is set to receive both a Disney+ series and a live-action remake

Encanto doesn't have a confirmed sequel or series just yet, but the film is one of Disney's latest having only debuted in 2021. Plus, its pop culture status, soundtrack success, and recent comments from one of its stars all point towards more Encanto in the future and in addition to Animal Kingdom. 

Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana opens at Epcot on October 16; Disney has yet to announce opening dates for its other new rides and attractions. 

Release Date
June 30, 2023
Mads Mikkelsen
Phoebe Waller-Bridge
- About The Author: Savannah Sanders
Savannah Sanders joined The Direct as a writer in 2020. In addition to writing for The Direct's Star Wars, Marvel, and DC teams, Savannah specializes in the relationship between Disney's blockbuster franchises and the Disney Parks.