As we prepare for a new expansion at Walt Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom Park, we’re also keeping all eyes on Disney’s Animal Kingdom and its plans for expansion.
During the 2022 D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, Disney executives took to the stage to share the big news in front of 7,000 hardcore Disney fans that DinoLand U.S.A. at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is going extinct.
While DinoLand U.S.A. was once a fairly popular land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, when Disney removed the Primeval Whirl rollercoaster in 2020, there seemed to be much lacking with the still-standing carnival-style games, TriceraTop Spin, and DINOSAUR.
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So, as Walt Disney Imagineers do best, they are dreaming BIG! During the D23 Expo presentation about Disney Park growth, Disney announced possible additions that could replace DinoLand U.S.A. during Disney’s Animal Kingdom expansion.
Two hit movies, including Disney’s Zootopia (2016) and Disney’s Moana (2016), will likely be the stars of this revamped portion of the Disney theme park. The presentation was filled with “what if” and “could be” discussions, but then they shocked the audience with concept art that showed exciting details that couldn’t be ignored.
Disney’s Magic Kingdom has officially closed Splash Mountain to make way for the arrival of its new theme, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, featuring The Princess and the Frog (2009) theme. The water ride is expected to open in late 2024. But… could another Splash Mountain-style attraction be in the works for Disney’s Animal Kingdom? Well, it appears so… but this time with a Moana theme!
Take a closer look at Disney’s art rendering. As shown in the image above, you’ll see what looks like a log-flume attraction with boats making a large drop down the side of a mountain of water.
Additionally, when Disney executives spoke of the Moana addition, they noted that Guests may one day “adventure beyond the reef” with Moana to “connect with nature.” The “thrilling” experience would allow Guests to “help Moana save her people” and “fight off Kakamora” as Guests journey to meet “mysterious animals and creatures of the deep.” We could see this storytelling beautifully flowing into a log-flume-style attraction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!
If Disney’s Animal Kingdom is getting its own log flume ride, this would be a second water ride for the Park as the Kali River Rapids raft-style water ride would be close by in the Asia portion of the Park.
Unfortunately, beyond this art rendering and brief details from the 2022 D23 Expo, Disney fans are still left wondering what timeline Disney may have in mind for such a project and if this art rendering will truly come to fruition in the future.
As always, we will keep Disney Dining readers updated as we learn more about the removal of DinoLand U.S.A. at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park… and what’s to come in its place.