Disney World's Upcoming New Land Gets Exciting Progress Update (Photos)

By Savannah Sanders Posted:
Disney World theme park map

Preparations are underway for Disney World to redo one of its theme park lands and open two new movie-based attractions. 

At the Destination D23 event last September, Disney announced that a new "tropical Americas" land was "being considered" to replace Animal Kingdom's DinoLand U.S.A. with experiences themed after Lucasfilm's Indiana Jones and 2021's Encanto

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Update on Disney World's Next New Land 

Walt Disney Imagineering Permit
WDI Permit

Walt Disney Imagineering filed a new permit indicating construction on Animal Kingdom's DinoLand U.S.A. is imminent. 

Disney's previously released concept art for its "tropical Americas" redo showed an Indiana Jones ride with a temple-inspired exterior in place of DinoLand's current DINOSAUR thrill ride. 

Concept art for Animal Kingdom's

This new Indiana Jones attraction is assumed to be a duplicate of Disneyland's ever-popular Indiana Jones Adventure thrill ride, especially since it already shares a similar ride system to DINOSAUR.

Concept art for Animal Kingdom's proposed Indiana Jones ride

The artwork also showed Encanto's Casita instead of Animal Kingdom's Dino-Rama, but Disney hasn't shared whether Casa Madrigal will be a ride, show, or a walk-through experience. 

This new permit revealed nothing about Disney World's actual vision for the land's overhaul or its attractions. It only outlines plans for a Walt Disney Imagineering project trailer compound and a parking lot for several hundred vehicles. 

Walt Disney Imagineering Permit
WDI Permit

However, it's the best indication that Disney's Indiana Jones and Encanto plans are about to become a reality, especially due to the location and what fans have seen from large-scale Disney constructions in the past, including Animal Kingdom's Pandora - The World of Avatar. 

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When Will Disney Share New Ride Details?

Adding to recent Animal Kingdom construction speculation is the return of Joe Rohde, the Imagineer who oversaw Animal Kingdom from its storyboard days and helmed the park's addition of Pandora - The World of Avatar. 

While Rohde doesn't appear to be back in his former role, according to Walt Disney Imagineering's Instagram post, he is offering "a series of master class work sessions" and "continues to mentor," all while "contributing to the future of creativity at Walt Disney Imagineering."

As for when fans will hear official news about Animal Kingdom's future, and whether the timing of Joe Rohde's comeback is related, Disney Imagineering prefers to save its big announcements for its yearly D23 events. 

With the company's D23 Fan Event scheduled for August, that's likely when fans will get new details and a projected opening date for the new rides.

However, with the Magic Kingdom's Tiana's Bayou Adventure expected to open in the coming months (possibly sooner than expected) and Universal's Epic Universe making headlines, Disney World may be eager to get its next construction project underway. 

If so, Disney CEO Bob Iger could make the Animal Kingdom redo official at the company's Annual Shareholders meeting on April 3. 

It's also worth noting that Indiana Jones and Encanto aren't the only IPs Disney has planned for Animal Kingdom. 

During September's Destination D23, Disney also announced a brand-new show inspired by 2016's Zootopia would replace Animal Kingdom's "It's Tough to Be a Bug!" inside of the park's icon, the Tree of Life. 

Concept art for Disney World's Zootopia show

Disney guests will likely hear more about Animal Kingdom's possible third new attraction when its "tropical Americas" land is official. 

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Release Date
June 30, 2023
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- 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.