It’s time for Disney World to build its fifth Park.
Guests have loudly lobbied for a new Disney World Park since Walt Disney World finished constructing Animal Kingdom. Many have emphatically called for Disney to build ideas such as a Villain’s specific Park. In some instances, Guests were pretty close in their guesses, as Disney has most certainly considered several options for a fifth Park. Unlike Disneyland Resort in California, Walt Disney World owns plenty of space to build practically whatever they put their minds to. However, Disney has yet to answer the plea for a new Park in Florida since the opening of Animal Kingdom some 25 years ago. With Bob Iger back at the helm, that could all change!
Current Parks and Themes
Walt Disney World consists of four Parks currently, not including waterparks. Disney World’s flagship Park, Magic Kingdom, opened in 1971 and gave Guests a chance to live out their own fairytale story. Highlighting many of The Walt Disney Company’s famous characters and films, Magic Kingdom was built as a happy place where adults and children could enter the world of “yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy.”
Eleven years after the opening of Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World cut the ribbons to its newest Park, EPCOT. Although not exactly what Walt Disney had in mind for his “Florida Project,” EPCOT became a celebration of our world and beyond. Including historical and education-based attractions, EPCOT also became a Park dedicated to innovation. Guests can not only learn about other cultures. They also learn about ocean life, agriculture, and much more.
Next came MGM Studios, now known as Hollywood Studios. Opening in 1989, the Park was meant to be a tribute to film production and animation. Although Hollywood Studios still pays homage to old Hollywood, the Park has dramatically changed since its opening. Nowadays, Hollywood Studios highlights ‘Star Wars’ and Pixar.
Lastly, we have Animal Kingdom. Walt Disney was an individual who appreciated nature and wildlife. Animal Kingdom echoes these sentiments as it features preservation, wildlife education, and conversation themes. Although many call Animal Kingdom a “zoo,” the Park is much more than that. Animal Kingdom also boasts some of the most fluid theming in any Theme Park globally.
Disney World’s Theming Problem
Walt Disney World prides itself on building cohesive Theme Parks that change with time. As new technologies and new properties are acquired by Disney, it isn’t uncommon for new lands, attractions, shows, and rides to get a pop-up in Disney Parks. Pandora, ‘Toy Story‘ Land, and ‘Star Wars’ Galaxy’s Edge are great examples of how Disney evolved their existing Parks as time passed.
There is a bit of an issue with Walt Disney World as they work to keep the Guest experience as up-to-date as possible. Some of their lands need to be updated or mesh better with the overall theme of their home Park. Tomorrowland, as beloved as it is, isn’t really about innovation and the future anymore. Instead, it looks like what we thought the future would be several decades ago.
Now that Hollywood Studios has become the primary location for ‘Star Wars” representation at Walt Disney World, you’ll find plenty of it. The problem is that it’s spread throughout the Park. ‘Star Wars” Launchbay is on one side, while Galaxy’s Edge sits on the other. ‘Star Tours’ sits close by but is separated by the Muppets Courtyard.
There are multiple examples of loss of fluidity around Walt Disney World that really alienates the theming cohesiveness that we’ve come to love and expect. As more rides and attractions go up, things don’t mesh as well as they used to. So much so that you’ll often find the same themes stretch across several Disney Parks. Frozen is an excellent example of this. You can meet Elsa and Anna at EPCOT and see they’re sing-a-long at Hollywood Studios.
Disney World’s New Park with A New Theme Could Fix Some of These Problems
Fans have been nothing short of vocal about their desire for a Villain’s Park, and Disney has listened, sort of. Instead, Disney revealed they are in the early stages of planning a Villain’s Land in Magic Kingdom. So we can go ahead and check that box. Another idea that fans have been adamant about is a ‘Star Wars‘ Park. Although the same graphic has made its way around the internet for years, this idea doesn’t really make sense as it’s too specific. Disney has dumped billions into Galaxy’s Edge, and it wouldn’t make sense for them to build an entire Park when there’s already a land containing the popular IP.
That leaves us with the option of building a fifth Park with an original concept. And the idea is already scattered all over Walt Disney World. At Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios, you’ll find lands and attractions that revolve around space travel. You’ll even find restaurants like Space 220. We aren’t talking about futuristic guessing here; we mean authentic space travel. Obviously, Disney isn’t going to take anyone to space physically, but how incredible would a Park dedicated to what we have accomplished outside of our atmosphere be?
With high-rollers like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and others who are fascinated with the cosmos and have dedicated much of their wealth towards space travel, finding investors would be simple. Oh yeah, and about 60 miles down the road is NASA at Cape Canaveral. The state of Florida is already the nation’s leader when it comes to launches; it makes perfect sense.
Several space-themed options at Walt Disney World could be moved to this new Park. That may sound unrealistic at first, but I ask you this, what’s more likely? Disney World will move attractions to a new Park, or will they relocate Walt Disney World due to political turmoil? Obviously, hauling a few attractions and restaurants would be much easier. It isn’t impossible.
A new space-travel-themed Park would not only give Guests a firsthand feel for what it looks like to travel to the great beyond, but it would also be the perfect setting to utilize new technologies and more intense ride systems. Education, innovation, and science would all take center stage as Disney could provide lands and rides based on several subjects. The International Space Station and Living on Mars could all be dedicated lands for the fifth Park. This would also allow Disney, one of the world’s most recognized and diverse companies, to enter a new market.
It may be a silly idea, but we think it would work. Disney holds the rights to many properties that would fit well within a space travel-themed Park. If anyone could make it happen, it’s Disney Imagineering. Although a fifth Park has yet to be announced, we’re confident this idea isn’t new. As Disney has devoted much of their Park experience and film catalog to projects including space travel, it isn’t far-fetched. Until then, Walt Disney World gives an inkling of a new Theme Park; I guess we’ll just be happy with the new lands that Disney World gives us every five years.