Disney Parks Boss Josh D'Amaro talks more about Disney's plans for Indiana Jones at Disney's Animal Kingdom

12 days ago in "Disney's Animal Kingdom"

Tropical Americas Encanto land concept art at Disney's Animal Kingdom
Posted: Monday November 20, 2023 3:20pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

In a new interview with EW, Disney Parks Chairman Josh D'Amaro discusses Disney's early plans to bring Indiana Jones to Disney's Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World.

D'Amaro first revealed early plans for Indiana Jones to come to Disney's Animal Kingdom during a D23 fan event this past September.

The new land themed to the tropical Americas would replace the entire Dino-Land U.S.A. area, with Indiana Jones replacing the existing Dinosaur ride, and Encanto replacing Dino-Rama.

Fans were surprised by D'Amaro revealing blue-sky concepts still in the early planning stages and not green-lit. D'Amaro told EW, "We've got so many stories to tell, we have so many things we want to make even better in the theme parks. My plan is to continue to share that with the guests. I know people are like, 'My gosh, I can't believe he's saying this. Is he serious, is he not?' The answer is, we are absolutely serious."

Imagineering Boss Bruce Vaughn said at Destination D23, "Imagine a land filled with authentic experiences from this part of the world. With all of the placemaking and storytelling you'd expect. Look, it's a beautiful region to explore and has been the inspiration for so many magical stories over the years. We're looking forward to bringing all of that to life."

Vaughn continued, "Imagineering has been talking about stories from this part of the world; Encanto with Indiana Jones just rose to the top. They give us so much to play with. We have a long way to go now and a lot more to discover. But our team here in Florida is all over it."

D'Amaro's latest comments to EW today suggest that Indiana Jones remains at the forefront of Disney's plans in Florida, and the parks chairman is talking up Disney's ambitions.

"We know what this business is capable of, we know what our fans expect of us, and we're going all in. You're going to see more and more of that. As we make our way through some of these ideas, some of them will become real, and we'll say that's specifically what we're going to do, but I want our guests to be on the journey with us."

D'Amaro also addressed how Indiana Jones may fit into Disney's Animal Kingdom thematically. Much like when Avatar was announced for the park, fans are skeptical about its suitability for a part centered around nature and conservation.

"Animal Kingdom is about exploration and adventure," he says. "I was fortunate enough to have run that theme park, so I know how special it is, and I think there are a lot of stories that we can stay true to Animal Kingdom and express new properties in there, and that's what you see us starting to do."

You can read the full interview at EW.

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erasure fan11 day ago

I don't think the budget would be a problem. Now how they spend said budget, that's where the issues come in.

ToTBellHop1 day ago

I guess we will find out in 2032…

drizgirl1 day ago

I know that's what they have been doing. I just don't consider it fully fleshed out at that point.

Bocabear1 day ago

If they really pull out the stops and do a Villain's land with multiple attractions, dining and retail, it could be the next big thing for Disney parks worldwide...and create a huge uptick in attendance... it would truly help "turbocharge" the Magic Kingdom. If they do a value engineered version I don't think it would do much to move the needle...

ToTBellHop1 day ago

That’s how most lands open. Even in 1971. Were Adventureland, Frontierland, and Liberty Square acceptable in 1971?

drizgirl1 day ago

"Fully fleshed out" is now a couple of rides?

ToTBellHop1 day ago

Here’s hoping, with the move of Encanto and Coco to DAK (until they change their minds), they will simply build an awesome villain-packed Shadowland behind Big Thunder. Fully fleshed out with a couple rides, entertainment, dining, retail. Disney need only view the latest aerials of Epic Universe for ideas on a spooky land. You could have a really cool transition from Big Thunder like what happens around Phantom Manor in Paris. The sensory tickles there were a joy to see.

Bocabear1 day ago

Villains Lair for the expansion...It could be a great counterpoint to Universal Monsters, fit the Magic Kingdom perfectly and add a few more rides, and if done well like Universal has done with Harry Potter, it could be absolutely amazing. but it would take a great investment, and would really need to be done well with a budget to match....

celluloid2 days ago

Agreed 100 percent. Indy is just too little too late. Beyond Big Thunder needs all the stops, and it needs to compliment the MK, not just be the lesser levels of Fantasyland Expansion. I would really love for something better to come along for MK that could be faster but just wow everyone.

MagicHappens19712 days ago

Logistically both NEED to happen. Beyond Big Thunder could be built with minimal to no impact on the daily ops of MK. Indy (or whatever becomes of this expansion/retheme) would need to happen in phases and I don't think will be as big of a draw to DAK as whatever Beyond Big Thunder would be to MK. I think the "Iger special" would be stupid here. Spending 100M to retheme Dino and then another 150-200M to build a Primeval Whirl replacement, and another 75M to retheme the rest of the area. We're looking at ~375M for something that will barley move the needle of DAK's capacity problems. Beyond Big Thunder (done properly) will probably cost north of 700M. I guess we'll have to wait and see how seriously Bob is about "turbo-charging" the parks.

yensidtlaw19692 days ago

There are actually some decently significant changes that improve the ride over the EPCOT version, but on video they don't stand out all that clearly. The layout has been reconfigured to allow for several of the scenes to be larger and more detailed, some of the seams are better hidden (think ceilings and lighting equipment), and I believe the drop is higher as well. May also be steeper, not sure on that. And of course the queue is very different and much more elaborate, as is the land itself, and no doubt the better context that those provide go some length to making the ride feel more satisfying. But I recognize that's separate from what we're both talking about. That said, I fully agree that any Frozen ride that wasn't being built in EPCOT (and, truthfully, even the one that was) should rely minimally on the DNA of Maelstrom for its design. Hong Kong and Paris, whose ride will be basically idential to HK's, both deserve better out of a new build of a ride based on a billion dollar franchise. I will say that if you told me 10 years ago that none of the Frozen rides built would use LPS "sleigh" ride vehicles that "skate" across the "ice" I wouldn't have believed you. Crazy to me that a movie all about frozen water ended up with a bunch of boat rides.

celluloid2 days ago

Which project do you guys think will get cancelled first? Indy or Beyond Big Thunder. Beyond Big Thunder has more drawing power, but it is in MK and that has the retheme of splash and will cost a lot more. Indy will be much cheaper as it is a retheme, the Iger shoehorn special, but is not likely to move the needle very much by the time it actually gets done.

imagineer972 days ago

But at least we've got this beautiful food co-op!

Brer Panther2 days ago

Weren't a bunch of projects cancelled to fund the Splash Mountain retheme? That could also be a factor in them not announcing any projects...