Wakanda joins Coco, Zootopia, and Encanto on Disney Parks' future blue sky expansion list, reveals Josh D'Amaro

13 days ago in "Walt Disney Imagineering"

Posted: Tuesday September 19, 2023 11:30am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Speaking to the New York Times today, Disney Parks Chairman Josh D'Amaro widened the blue sky wish list even further to include Wakanda from Marvel's Black Panther.

"Imagine bringing Wakanda to life," D'Amaro said. "In terms of bringing the latest Disney-Marvel-Pixar intellectual property to the parks, we haven't come close to scratching the surface. And we have learned that incorporating Disney I.P. increases the return on investment significantly."

Disney has recently changed tact on how it discusses plans for new attractions and is now openly discussing blue sky projects before they are even green-lit. At one time, the first anyone would know of a new Disney attraction was when steel was spotted rising from the ground.

D'Amaro first revealed blue sky plans for Walt Disney World at D23 Expo in 2022, where he outlined plans for Moana and Zootopia attractions at Disney's Animal Kingdom, with Encanto and Coco moving into the Magic Kingdom. A year later, at Destination D23, he revealed updated plans, which have seen Moana canceled, Zootopia moved to a smaller project at Tree of Life theater, and Encanto and Indiana Jones taking over DinoLand U.S.A. None of these projects are green-lit, but whatever is built will come from Disney's movie intellectual properties.

Walt Disney Imagineering has gone through a massive period of transformation in recent years, with the on-and-off move to Lake Noana in Florida, the departure of key Imagineers and leaders, and now the return of its former head, Bruce Vaughn.

Disney today announced a $60 billion expenditure plan for Disney, Parks, Experiences, and Products over the next ten years, with at least $17 billion of that earmarked for Walt Disney World.

Disney CEO Bob Iger said in an email today, "The growth trajectory is very compelling if we do nothing beyond what we have already committed. By dramatically increasing our investment - building big, being ambitious, maintaining quality and high standards and using our most popular I.P. - it will be turbocharged."

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Brer Panther8 days ago

Unless it stars a Disney PrincessTM, apparently. That's probably the only reason we got Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and the Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along in the France pavilion. So, Disney would be more inclined to actually fix the Yeti if the attraction were based on an IP? Or if instead of an animatronic Yeti, it was an animatronic of, say, Olaf? Is that what you're saying? They tried it in 2013 with Oz the Great and Powerful. I recall there were rumors of them adding an Oz land to Disneyland after that, but nothing came out of it. AND Disney has adapted both stories! As shorts, but still... With our luck, it would probably be based on the "live action" remake.

J45468 days ago

Id love for Wakanda to be a big part of the new avengers campus ride, i know it was supposed to be a flight style to wakanda before things changed, hopefully some of the ride still takes place there.

flyerjab8 days ago

Guarantee that someone has looked at adding it in DAK.

BlakeW398 days ago

I see we're aiming for the bottom as usual, Mr. IPger. Really doing a great job of making me wholly disinterested in your "theme" (not really) parks.

MarvelCharacterNerd9 days ago

Pass. But I would TOTALLY go on Soarin' Thru the MCU! :D

MarvelCharacterNerd9 days ago

:D Did you miss my name here? lol (I'll admit I double-checked N'Jadaka - but I had it right!)

danlb_20009 days ago

You win the thread!

WaltsTreasureChest9 days ago

They could add Asgard in Epcot too

Magicart879 days ago


EPCOT-O.G.9 days ago

Well, the new Tiana ride - heavily influenced and motivated by diversity and inclusion efforts - took inspiration from Avery Island, a salt mine plantation that used slave labor.

doctornick9 days ago

Can we just be clear: despite all the gnashing of teeth, there’s never been any indications from Disney that they’ve ever (seriously) considered putting Wakanda in World Showcase. We do know that Marvel was considered for the WoL space - it seems considerably more likely that Wakanda would be going there if it were going to go to Epcot. Or Wakanda would go somewhere else at WDW (ie Hollywood Studios). I too think Disney makes some crazy decisions at times. But there’s virtually no way that this company, with their diversity and inclusion mindset, would even contemplate Wakanda in WS.

Rhinocerous9 days ago

There’s only one question that should be asked to determine whether Wakanda belongs in World Showcase. What is their signature drink?

MaryJaneP9 days ago

If we're gonna do fake Wakanda, can we also do fake Arendelle, fake agrahbah, and fake Atlantis or is the intention to keep "World Showcase" a place where you can see what can actually be visited on this world?

LittleBuford9 days ago

I think you may be confusing my posts with someone else’s, as I’ve said from the outset that such a pavilion would have to avoid equating Africa with its wildlife.