Disney announces a live-action Moana movie strengthening the chances of the 'Blue Sky' concepts for Disney's Animal Kingdom becoming a reality

Apr 03, 2023 in "Disney's Animal Kingdom"

Dinoland U.S.A. Blue Sky Concept Art
Posted: Monday April 3, 2023 2:52pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Disney's Animal Kingdom received some potentially good news today, with Disney announcing that it will make a live-action version of the hit animated movie Moana.

At the September 2022 D23 Expo, Disney Parks Chairman Josh D'Amaro laid out some "Blue Sky" plans for reimagining DinoLand U.S.A. at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Josh shared that Imagineering is looking at Zooptopia and Moana as a new addition to the park. Today's announcement of another Moana movie would seem to only strengthen the possibility of this becoming a reality.

Earlier this year, Disney CEO Bob Iger also confirmed that a sequel to Zootopia is in the works.

In recent years, Disney has been very keen on basing new attractions on existing stories and movies, and it may very well be that these two movie sequels will seal the deal for the projects at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

The Blue Sky rendering shows a new spinner ride, and a log-flume ride.

"Blue Sky" concepts refer to projects that are being considered with preliminary design ideas, but have not reached the stage of being green-lit for actual construction.

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No Name1 hour ago

AK is not better with an empty plot of concrete instead of Primeval Whirl. That’s just ridiculous. That’s an opinion that only someone on a website like this would ever utter.

SplashZander2 hours ago

A park can not have enough rides and still be better off with fewer attractions. Both can be true at the same time. Sometimes nothing really is better than something. AK ID better without PW, just like Universal Studios would become a better park if they closed Fast & Furious, even without a replacement.

No Name2 hours ago

This seems like a long attempt to salvage a very simple comment. Even if your personal opinion is that a flat ride in one of those spots would be too harmful to the look of the place, the point is, that’s not why it isn’t being built. It’s not being built for the same reason they tore up some trees to build an amphitheater to get people to stay past dinner, and then when that didn’t work, closed the theater, closed Primeval Whirl, and shortened park hours… all to save on operational costs. DAK is a park with a whopping 8 rides. It’s been widely considered under-built since day 1, a reputation that continues to this day, and it’s not a creative decision, it’s a financial one.

James Alucobond6 hours ago

You continue to conflate things that you don't like about the scene design in specific attractions with the ride vehicle / system, which is what you originally decried as played out and ready for the rubbish bin. You didn't say you were tired of the way Disney currently employs trackless technology; you said trackless technology should get the axe, which will obviously get pushback.

WondersOfLife6 hours ago

...This would be a lot more fitting for AK, believe it or not. So... Yes....

Brer Panther7 hours ago

Yes, but Ratatouille still parks the riders in front of a screen for more than half the ride. Runaway Railway parks the riders in front of a screen at one point, too, and most of the rooms are humongous and empty. See also Tokyo's Beauty and the Beast ride, which is about seventy-five percent "dancing" around in gigantic rooms with the animatronics confined to one side. The "Something There" sequence should've been a brief glide-by, not a room for the vehicles to spin around in for ten minutes.

DisneyHead12312 hours ago

Forgot about Na’vi, good point. I’ll be curious to see how Tiana turns out and what approach they go with there.

DisneyHead12312 hours ago

Agree… I haven’t been on Navi River Journey yet but from what I’ve heard it’s somewhat more innovative and immersive despite being a pretty traditional dark boat ride. Something similar to that approach with more exciting content could be a contender for modern classic status.

UNCgolf12 hours ago

I'm not sure Nemo even counts as a classic dark ride, but yes, a big part of the problem is that those are all poorly built/designed attractions -- other than Pooh, which is fine (and generally has a longer wait than the other three). Frozen Ever After is a classic dark ride too (and not a very good one, IMO) and it gets 60+ minute waits. Na'vi River Journey also gets long waits, and although people seem to really hate it here, it's been open long enough that the majority of guests know exactly what it is. They're still willing to queue for an hour or more to ride it. I don't think you can point at DAK's lack of attractions as the reason either, considering Kali and Dinosaur don't generally get that kind of line.

neo99995513 hours ago

Ahh, sorry, gotcha. To me the issue is less the mechanics of the ride to the content of the ride. Mermaid, Nemo and Figment are, to me, bad. Rides I never need or want to do. Pooh is cuter and I enjoy it, but wouldn't wait in line for it. Of course, this all from the perspective of an adult. I do think trackless provides more versatility, but there's room for all and ways to innovate components of any ride regardless of the underlining system and if you create a beautiful ride that captures those who ride it - it'll be a success.

DisneyHead12313 hours ago

Sorry for the confusion, earlier in this thread I had delineated the stylistically new dark rides (the ones you mentioned) from classic, traditional dark rides. Some people don’t like the new style, and I get that, but my feeling is that the more classic style of dark rides doesn’t “sell” with this generation. Nemo, Little Mermaid, the new Figment, Pooh - to my mind these were created in a more classic style, without the bells and whistles of something like the Buzz Lightyear ride, the herky jerky hyperkinetic feel of Rat and Runaway Railway, or the amped up, theatrical immersion style of Rise. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they’re all generally low wait rides. I am actually hopeful that there could be a traditional dark ride renaissance in the future. I just think it would take a spark of creative brilliance to figure out how to keep the traditional format in a way that captivates people in the 2020’s.

seabreezept81313 hours ago

M&M already feels like a classic for us!

mattpeto14 hours ago

Always heard the DL version is more reliable, not sure how true that is.

ToTBellHop14 hours ago

Yeah, both Rat and MMRR seem pretty reliable. They break down like any other ride but never seem to be down as often or as long as RotR. With Rise, it’s crazy because the ride will be down so much and then it reopens and a bunch of effects aren’t working anyway. I’m not sure what effects cause it to actually close other than, as you suggest, the elevators and drop cars.