New Photos Emphasize Disney’s Lack of Movement on Dinoland Retheme

DinoLand vs. Epic Universe
Credit: Disney

In 2022, Disney hosted its incredibly popular, biannual, D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, right across from the Disneyland Resort. During the Expo, Disney Parks Chairman, Josh D’Amaro, revealed that Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World Resort would be getting a major overhaul. He shared “Blue Sky” concepts Disney had created for the theme park. DinoLand, U.S.A., he shared, would be going away, and Disney had plans to bring in areas themed after the hit Disney movies Zootopia (2016) and Moana (2016).

Dinoland Moana attraction

Credit: Disney

Related: Disney’s Newest Walking Animatronic Will Blow Your Mind!

It has been nearly two years since that announcement, and almost no progress has been made on DinoLand. In fact, Disney decided to change its plans for DinoLand, even after sharing its Blue Sky concepts.

At Destination D23, which took place at Walt Disney World Resort in 2023, Disney said that DinoLand would actually become Tropical Americas. Instead of Moana and Zootopia, the area would receive Indiana Jones and Encanto (2021) themes.

new themed land to replace dinoland usa

Credit: Disney

Even though Disney knew that it would be demolishing DinoLand U.S.A., it didn’t move towards any demolition after its 2022 announcement. In fact, to this day, most of DinoLand remains standing, even though the area does not see a ton of traffic.

Disney’s first DinoLand announcement came three years after Universal announced that it would be building a third theme park at its Orlando Resort — Epic Universe. The theme park was announced in 2019 and Universal said that it would open sometime in 2025 or 2026. Universal has since confirmed that Epic Universe will open in 2025!

epic universe

Credit: Universal Studios Orlando Resort

Theme park reporter Scott Gustin recently shared overhead images from X user @bioreconstruct, showing the change in Epic Universe in just two years. He also noted that Disney hasn’t put a “shovel in the ground” when it comes to its DinoLand retheme.

Sept. 2022: Disney revealed “blue sky” concepts for DinoLand at Animal Kingdom. And here’s what Epic Universe construction looked like in Sept. 2022.

Today: Not a single shovel in the ground at DinoLand. And here’s what Epic Universe looks like today. 

Disney fans were disappointed to see how much Universal seemed to care about giving guests more, while Disney was only giving guests images of what could happen in the future.

The D23 Expo also included “Beyond Big Thunder Mountain”, showing what Disney could build in the Magic Kingdom behind the popular roller coaster. But there was nothing concrete in the works.

Then, several months ago, Disney CEO Bob Iger said that Disney COULD build seven new lands, but didn’t make any promises. That was another point of contention among fans. More visions, but no concrete plans.

Related: Why The Extinction of DinoLand U.S.A. Is a Bad Sign For the Disney Experience

This is not the first time Disney’s perceived lack of progress has been compared to Universal’s full-steam-ahead attitude.

In July 2017, Disney announced that the popular Shanghai Disney attraction Tron Lightcycle Power Run would be coming to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park. The plan was to have TRON Lightcycle/Run — what it was called at the Magic Kingdom — completed by the time Disney World kicked off its 50th Anniversary celebration on October 1, 2021.


Credit: Disney

As many Disney fans know, that did not happen. Construction on TRON Lightcycle/Run almost immediately fell behind schedule. Then, COVID hit, and things got even more behind schedule. TRON did not end up opening at the Magic Kingdom until April 2023. So, it took Disney almost 5 years to open one attraction.

If you do the math, Universal will take just one more year to build an entire third park in Florida. As we said above, Epic Universe was announced in 2019 and is slated to open in 2025. Disney fans were not able to ignore the differences in the time it took Disney to build one ride compared to the time it is taking Universal to build an entire theme park.

Do you think Disney is moving too slowly and not living up to what fans have come to expect? Let us know in the comments!

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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