New land suitability plan for Disney World sees changes that may support 'Beyond Big Thunder Mountain' expansion

19 days ago in "Magic Kingdom"

Beyond Big Thunder Mountain Blue Sky concept art
Posted: Thursday February 1, 2024 10:14am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

The Reedy Creek Improvement District 2023 long-term land use plan has been made public and contains some interesting changes from the previous 2020 plan.

The 2023 plan adds a new category of land usage designation called "Marginally Unsuitable." The plan says that these are areas that have identified or recognized constraints for development. This classification corresponds to wetlands that are within the 100-year flood elevation. Development in these areas is permitted to the extent allowable under the District's Long Term Permits and require compensating storage to be provided. There are 1,731 acres in this category or 13.0 percent of the undeveloped land area.

Looking at the plan above, we can see that the large area to the north of Frontierland at Magic Kingdom has changed from being "Unsuitable" in the 2020 plan (dark green areas) to the new designation of "Marginally Unsuitable" in the latest plan (light green areas). Decoding the designation means that this piece of land has gone from "land considered unavailable for development" to "development is permitted to the extent allowable under the District's Long Term Permits." At the same time, the land immediately next to Big Thunder Mountain has changed from "Suitable" (red) to "Marginally Unsuitable" (light green).

This land designation change may be a significant factor in developing the "Beyond Big Thunder Mountain" Blue Sky concept revealed by Disney Parks' D23 panel Chairman Josh D'Amaro at the D23 event in late 2022. It seems that based on these updated plans, a significant amount of space is available for development, but it will require some extensive work to make the land usable.

According to the Blue Sky concept unveiled by D'Amaro, the new land behind Big Thunder Mountain at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom would include Disney animation IPs, including Coco, Encanto, and villains.

Thanks to @danlb_2000 on the WDWMAGIcCForums for originally identifying the changes.

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danlb_200016 days ago

As I read more you are correct, although there are processes for amending the document to allow more development. Have the second 5 year increment be blank for new parks is interesting.

SoFloMagic17 days ago

Is it that green=conservation and water retention?

lazyboy97o17 days ago

They have not yet started the process of developing a new comprehensive plan even though they need one to do the things they claim to be hindered from doing.

tl7717 days ago

This thing is extremely comprehensive, it shows Magic Kingdom as the highest elevation, and shows how the canal system works... the plot of land where The Venetian Resort was supposed to go is still the best place to build on property

tl7717 days ago

Page 122 shows where they plan future expansion between 2027/2032. Square #10, West of Magic Kingdom and North of The Grand Floridian, shows "Hotel/Resort - Potential", and only the north side of the ESPN complex shows "Entertainment - Potential"

Disone17 days ago

CFTOD putting a road Block to Beyond Big Thunder?

MisterPenguin17 days ago

And the 2020 plan...

danlb_200017 days ago

Here is a link to the 2032 plan...

scottieRoss17 days ago

As far as compensating land, I would not forget the ranges that they bought (2700 acres) to the East-SouthEast of Celebration.

tl7717 days ago

Rain water run off from newer construction would cause changes like that, there's a new water retention pond behind Beast castle restaurant that downgrades the area were a rain water pond was dug out

tl7717 days ago

Where is the full map for 2023? ...and this 2020 map is from way before 2020, it doesn't even have the Magic Kingdom bus stops on it

danlb_200017 days ago

That's a good question since it went all the way from suitable down to marginally unsuitable.

the.dreamfinder18 days ago

The big change they made in the late 2010s was to buy parcels, like the one near celebration and the Reedy Lake parcels, to rebuild a buffer around the resort. Sprawl around WDW is another contributing factor to the flooding problem.

nickys18 days ago

Why would the area between MK and the railroad track have been downgraded?