Zootopia and Moana Blue Sky concepts may be moving forward as senior Imagineers are spotted at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Aug 18, 2023 in "Disney's Animal Kingdom"

Dinoland U.S.A. Blue Sky Concept Art
Posted: Friday August 18, 2023 10:30am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

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.

Alongside Imagineer Chris Beatty, Josh shared that the company is looking at Zootopia and Moana attractions to be added to the park, including a log-flume type ride.

Today, senior members of Walt Disney Imagineering, including Chris Beatty (pictured below) were seen touring Disney's Animal Kingdom, specifically the DinoLand U.S.A. area.

DinoLand U.S.A. is made up of the thrill ride Dinosaur and Triceratops Spin kids' ride. The Primeval Whirl coaster is now closed, and the ride has been demolished, freeing up land for new development. Dinosaur itself has frequently been associated with various re-Imagining projects that use the existing ride system but with a new story and IP.

Earlier this year, Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed that a sequel to Zootpia is in the works, adding strength to the likelihood of the blue-sky plans for Disney's Animal Kingdom being realized.

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Kev1982Sep 27, 2023

I think the system used doesn’t matter. Its what’s around it.

WaltWiz1901Sep 27, 2023

Find it funny how you criticized trackless rides for parking riders in front of a screen (which, as previously mentioned, is not at all to blame on the technology itself, but rather the designers of the scenery it's accompanying)...yet used the wait times for another ride which also parks riders in front of screens (interactive element notwithstanding) as proof that tracked dark rides aren't unpopular with park-goers Admittedly, while the ride itself looks infinitely better than any of the three trackless dark rides in WDW, that particular scene does drag it down. Even with the desire to make it different from the other trackless dark ride in TDL!Fantasyland not too far away, there's a few things that could've been executed better than they actually were. I think there’s a time and place for trackless. Particularly if you want to create scenes that are “non linear” in nature. But for the attractions with mostly linear ride paths, a track system would probably be the best bet. Took the words clean out of my mouth! I think LPS can be used in an effective manner (see Hunny Hunt and Mystic Manor for two great examples of such), but there's still a place for Omnimovers and traditional busbar rides, too.

Brer OswaldSep 26, 2023

Implied by whom? Fans?

Brer OswaldSep 26, 2023

Anything with a track. It’s more reliable and allows for simple elevation changes. I think there’s a time and place for trackless. Particularly if you want to create scenes that are “non linear” in nature. But for the attractions with mostly linear ride paths, a track system would probably be the best bet.

No NameSep 26, 2023

No I didn’t mean to imply you would also think that.

doctornickSep 26, 2023

And it is worth noting that if they close the Boneyard - which the concept art suggests - that is actually removing another activity from the land that would reduce park capacity for guests in terms of "Stuff to do". now I know it is not targeted at the demographic of most who post on here, but I cannot speak enough at how excellent the Boneyard is for the type of attraction it is; it's simply fantastic execution of that kind of "kid's theme park playground". Now, I don't suggest that Disney "needs" to replace it with a similar thing - though ironically, I feel it could potentially work just fine if kept and slightly rethemed to an archeology dig versus a paleontology one - but I do think it is important to note that it is one then one fewer thing for younger children to do in the park. It would be nice to recognize that loss of capacity as well. Admittedly, if they add a worthwhile animal trail, that would be a good replacement in my mind. Though I still would have the "why not both?" question.

JD80Sep 26, 2023

If it is, it can be any number of things. From branded PLCs, sensor calibration etc. It could also be vehicle mapping. Ever set up or watch someone set up a Roomba? Same thing happens with these trackless vehicles but obviously more accurate etc.

JD80Sep 26, 2023

You ever watch one of those videos where it's basically a mouse trap (the board game)? One thing rolls down a decline, hits a thing that hits another thing that causes another ball to fall that turns on a toaster and whatever? That's RotR. If one thing goes wrong in that whole operation, the ride either stops or goes in to B mode. That one thing "wrong" can be a safety switch, timing for vehicles to pass through. There are probably zones in the attraction where only one vehicle is allowed to go at a time. If it stops in one area, it mucks everything up. RotR is was designed to be a too complex mouse trap. It's amazing when it works, but can easily fall apart.

ToTBellHopSep 26, 2023

I certainly don’t think you’ve seen me suggest Dinoland should remain as-is. It needs to be replaced and then the park needs a new land with animal exhibits along with rides. I like that the park is spread out. It certainly has space for expansion without cramming rides in like it’s Fantasyland. DHS is where I’d like to see rides crammed in because it works for the theming and the park has limited room to expand. Toy Story Land, for example, should have a couple more flat rides. Even better if they are within Slinky Dog’s sweeping turns.

No NameSep 26, 2023

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.

SplashJacketSep 26, 2023

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 NameSep 26, 2023

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 AlucobondSep 25, 2023

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.

WondersOfLifeSep 25, 2023

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