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

Nov 20, 2023 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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easyrowrdw38 minutes ago

It's mostly the length. I think the first two rooms and videos are unnecessary. President Camacho could tell us we're going to be beamed up when we get to the transport room. I'd rather just have the normal line going until that transport room instead of trying to pretend I'm not still in line.

DCLcruiser1 hour ago

I keep thinking there was a Rocket AA in GotG because I am confusing it with M:B. Thank you.

DCLcruiser1 hour ago

I don't have any issue with preshows, or multiple rooms. I just rewatched it (since I haven't ridden in over a year). Besides the bad acting, I don't see a problem. They do a decent job explaining what is going on. Maybe if we were inside of Ellen's dream...

IMDREW1 hour ago

Now with the AAs cut, an IP-less overlay to the attraction would be so cool. A real back to the big bang coaster. Seeing stars form, the milkyway. Would be so cool! It only needs new videos to project and we’re good to go.

C33Mom17 hours ago

I also find it frustrating (especially during special limited hours events like MM) and I actually think the dialogues are funny at least the first times I hear them each trip— but I think for Disney this is a feature not a bug—well, at least the pre-show time suck, not the weird hallway. Rise and Guardians were both designed this way (and Webslingers to an extent) and I suspect all future headliners will be also (I think Tron would have more of a pre show if they didn’t just clone the 9 year old system in China). Disney likes it because they keep more park guests (including paid LLs and DAS) in the queue for more time without (much) complaining…this frees up more park capacity while also allowing them to sell line skipping.

Professortango119 hours ago

Yeah, I have some big problems with it. First, it feels just like Ghost Galaxy+. It's better than Ghost Galaxy but feels VERY similar in terms of seeing a giant monster in space swiping at us via screens. The lack of physical effects makes fans less likely to travel for it. If there's an amazing physical effect in an online ride-through, I usually think "wow, I need to see that in person!" If I see a screen on a ride-through, I assume that it looks similar to what I just experienced, seeing a thing on a screen. An entire series of pre-show rooms made up of nothing but characters appearing on screen means the only draw is the coaster itself. And if I'm a coaster-head, I'm heading to a park with a better coaster line-up than Epcot. I actually think WDW's TOT would have been a better fit for Mission BO. It fits the park better as the park is now centered around stepping into franchises where DCA is still California-centric. The slower paced first elevator portion would have ensured proper show scenes instead of bouncing in front of the same one screen over and over. The 5th Dimension Room allows space for AA's and an adventure feeling as we flee from one lift to another through cross-fire and alien mayhem. Plus, I also admit that I find the DCA version of Tower to be an overall improvement on the original, so its a best of both worlds for me. And the third win would be preserving Epcot's identity for a little bit longer.

Casper Gutman19 hours ago

Yup. Not to mention an incoherent story, awful forced humor (in a ride for a genuinely funny IP), and a badly botched centerpiece effect done much, much better at a Las Vegas Hilton a couple decades ago. The coaster itself is fun. Everything around it, the stuff Imagineering is supposed to excel at, is just awful. It’s a huge indictment of the design team. I actually think Mission: Breakout is excellent. I’d never want it to replace Florida’s ToT, of course, but it’s more than fine in California.

easyrowrdw20 hours ago

The pre-show(s) is the biggest thing I would change about Guardians. A big room with nothing, a big room with two videos, then another big room with two more pre-shows, followed by a line that squeezes everyone. Having to get through all that makes me want to ride it less.

DCLcruiser20 hours ago

It had dinosaurs, so I was hooked.

LSLS20 hours ago

HA, I've thought the same thing. It's an interesting place to be where I agree with others it's the best thing put into the parks in a long time (even in the wrong park), but the theme and story are almost pointless. I love the ride, but after 4 or 5 times on the ride, I remember the planet, and the music, and still wouldn't know how we defeated the big bad guy if I wasn't told here.

UNCgolf20 hours ago

To be fair, Energy was never really a full pavilion the way Land, Seas, World of Motion, Imagination, and Wonders of Life were. It was always just the attraction -- although the attraction was 45 minutes long.

UNCgolf20 hours ago

Because the story is stupid (and often completely incomprehensible)? It could be completely removed and it would not affect anyone's enjoyment of the ride. That's why I call it an execution failure. Doesn't mean the ride itself is bad (it obviously isn't) but it's certainly not one of Imagineering's better efforts from a theme/story perspective. The ride would actually be improved if it was just stars, nebulae, etc. without the Celestial etc.

C33Mom21 hours ago

We are DLR locals (who usually have APs) and we fly to WDW 2-3 times a year just for Cosmic Rewind (we used to go every 18-36 months). Yes, we go to 3-4 parks while we’re out there but we go (and purchased APs and pay for deluxe resorts) because our whole family really enjoys Cosmic Rewind—Tron and EE are fun but I wouldn’t fly to Florida for them. I don’t really think CR “belongs” in EPCOT (and wish it at least did a little more education about actual energy concepts and not just cosmic generators)—but it is a LOT of fun and draws coaster enthusiasts with its unique experience. It took me years to stop being mad about Maelstrom, but I’ve accepted EPCOT will keep changing away from its original vision. They already have a Rocket animatronic for Mission Breakout so I’m surprised they didn’t put one somewhere within the CR attraction (don’t know what the cost breakdown is between original design imagineering and actual construction). Incidentally, I am not sure we’ll keep visiting EPCOT as often once Cosmic Rewind goes off VQ. I expect that line to be bananas (presumably worse than TT) and the current paid FP system only allows you to buy your way out of it once per day.

Professortango122 hours ago

There's plenty of opportunities for practical effects at the start and end of the attraction, but the simple fact is that Disney took a pre-existing concept (Big Bang Coaster) and slapped on Guardians IP. The ride is fun, but the theme and concept is incredibly forced and lazy. I hate Mission BO, but that feels more like a Guardians attraction and its a cheap retheme.