Things are about to go into overdrive at Magic Kingdom says Disney Parks Chairman Josh D'Amaro

23 days ago in "Magic Kingdom"

Beyond Big Thunder Mountain Blue Sky concept art
Posted: Saturday September 9, 2023 10:54am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Bruce Vaughn, Chief Creative Officer at Walt Disney Imagineering, joined parks Chairman Josh D'Amaro for a special "Blue Sky" look at what's coming to the Walt Disney World.

According to Bruce, future expansion plans for Magic Kingdom in Florida are the largest ever for the park.

Imagineers are looking to tell stories "Beyond Big Thunder Mountain" similar in scale to lands like Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge and Pandora – The World of Avatar – adding new attractions, restaurants, shows, and more.

When announced in 2022, the proposed new land behind Big Thunder Mountain at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom would include experiences based on Disney animation stories including Coco, Encanto and villains.

Vaughn said, "last year, you said we're looking to tell stories beyond Big Thunder Mountain which is still true. I mean, there's a lot of room to play with around there. And we're looking at the possibility of adding new attractions, restaurants, shows, you dream it we're thinking about it. And like I said, the ideas are looking really great."

D'Amaro responded to Vaughn's comments, "There's still a long way to go. But I just want all of our fans to know that we are about to go into overdrive at the Magic Kingdom. And I am looking forward to spending more time with your team as we keep refining these ideas to create something really special that every single person in here is going to love."

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ToTBellHop12 days ago

Narrator: “But, he did not yet know about COVID-26…”

Captain Barbossa12 days ago

Man, your optimism is off the charts! 🤣

ToTBellHop12 days ago

With the bear removed, this can really kick into gear so phase 1 can open in 2032.

SpectreJordan12 days ago

I imagine Maleficent would be the "star" of a villains land since she's always front & center in their merch/promos.

maleficentfan14 days ago

It kills me that Sleeping Beauty has almost zero representation in any of the parks beyond either a meet-and-greet or appearances in parades or nighttime spectaculars. Magic Kingdom at Disneyland has a walkthrough attraction in Sleeping Beauty castle. Other than that, that's it. And Maleficent's appearances have been dwindling for years, now basically just relegated to FOF and Fantasmic. That could all be easily fixed with a huge Villain's expansion. That's pretty much the shortlist. I think, if I had to downsize, I'd go with the following as must haves: 1. Maleficent 2. Evil Queen 3. Chernabog 4. Scar 5. Hades 6. Ursula 7. Jafar 8. Dr. Facilier 9. Cruella Also, the way I'd love to see this land designed is like the way the Evil Queen's land is in the PC game Villains' Revenge There's lots of potential here for a much needed expansion AND much needed representation of the Villains back into MK besides at Halloween during the parties.

SteamboatJoe14 days ago

"First thing to be done is get rid of that bear. He's gumming up the whole project." -The Beyond Big Thunder Design Team Today (9/18/23)

MagicHappens197115 days ago

I think this would be a colossal mistake. Fantasmic is a FANTASTIC Show that has great GSAT scores. They can expand backstage behind RnRC/Sunset Blvd, Animation Courtyard and into the parking lot on the Muppets side. Leave the Hollywood Hills Ampitheatre alone

SpectreJordan15 days ago

I'd be down for that but I say put a ride or two in Fantasmic's spot at DHS. They can do a more traditional fireworks show at the theater for DHS's nightime show.

SpectreJordan15 days ago

I wish it was more educational. The movie was educational... atleast for its time. Villains Land being inspired by Diagon is a fantastic idea. I just hope they'd have more than one ride in it. I'm mixed on that idea tbh. On one hand, I do like how MK doesn't have any lands based on a single IP. But Radiator Springs would fit really well with the Americana theme of Magic Kingdom. Yeah, I'd want it to be in that open space between Mexico & Norway. The main pavillion should be untouched.

James Alucobond15 days ago

There’s enough there, even with just their core villains. They could do it, even if I don’t think they should, by essentially dividing them by “habitat” and theming areas accordingly. So something along the lines of ... Usurper's Court | Evil Queen, Queen of Hearts, Maleficent, Jafar Shadow Alley | Cruella, Gaston, Gothel, Dr. Facilier Blackwood Forest | Scar, the crocodile, Kaa, the Sheriff of Nottingham Mythcleft Mountain | Chernabog, Hades, Madam Mim, the Horned King The Depths | Ursula, Hook, Monstro, the giant squid Mad Circus | Honest John, Ringmaster Again, I don't think they should do this as I feel it would be pretty oppressive if extended out into an entire park, but it's possible. I just think it's probably more novel if contained to a single land.

999th Happy Haunt15 days ago

Universal is building this right now lol

Rosso1115 days ago

Yes there is plenty of room behind the Norway bathrooms and meet and greets for a Coco attraction. However, the Mexico pavilion itself could not handle another ride. It’s already very common to have lines to just enter the pavilion. The entrance would need to be outside to the right. It would require some adjustments but it can be done. I’m sure Disney is looking at this option. To me it makes the most sense.

aladdin200715 days ago

They cant go back further really and they cant expand the Mexico building to the right (a, its san angels kitchen etc on the that side) (b, yes the Norway addition can go away) but required access roads between the pavilion pads.

SpectreJordan15 days ago

Yeah, I think the Beyond Big Thunder & especially the South America expansions are happening. I just wish they'd confirm they 100% are & get started ASAP. How much room is there in the backstage between Mexico & Norway? Maybe they can build out into that & give Mexico 2 rides? I don't really think there's enough variety in Disney villains alone to support an entire park, no IP has that variety. Maaaybe if they included other IPs like Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel, Alien, etc... & had some original rides as well. But I think a sizeable land would be good enough for the core Disney villains.