Phase One has begun on a massive new theme park resort that’s being designed and built by Walt Disney Imagineers, but many are still surprised by its location.
In terms of size, the new theme park resort, named the American Heartland Theme Park and Resort, is said to rival Magic Kingdom Park at the Walt Disney World Resort in Central Florida–and Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. There’s something else the new theme park resort has in common with Disney’s two domestic park resorts: Walt Disney Imagineers have been in on the project since its inception.
And if that’s not surprising enough, the new theme park resort has yet another surprise: it’s reportedly being built in the state of Oklahoma.
American Heartland Theme Park & Resort
The all-new 1,000-acre theme park resort complex will be located along Route 66, just a few miles west of Grand Lake, Oklahoma, in a city called Vinita in the northeastern part of the state. It’s scheduled to open sometime in 2026, and Phase One is already underway, as the first ground-breaking took place on October 30.
According to Tulsa-based News on 6, officials in Craig County, Oklahoma, broke ground in the first phase of the new resort, starting with a new 350-space luxury RV park and campground called the Three Ponies that will also feature a general store on site.
The new area will have 750 spaces for RVs and campers, as well as 300 cabins. The Three Ponies RV Park & Campground will sit on a 320-acre tract of land near where the new theme park will be constructed. The entire construction of the resort will take place in phases, with an expected opening in October 2026.
“We’re pushing dirt today, and we hope to push dirt over there, soon,” said project executive producer Steve Hedrick, referencing the property where American Heartland is slated to be built.
A “Distinctly American” Feel
Since the announcement of the new park, which will have an Americana-themed feel with “a variety of entertaining rides, live shows, family attractions, waterways as well as restaurant-quality food and beverage offerings,” land sales in the area have surged, according to Vinita Mayor Josh Lee.
The new theme park resort will feature “six distinctly American lands,” including the Great Plains, Bayou Bay, Big Timber Falls, Stony Point Harbor, Liberty Village, and Electropolis.
Once the park is completed, developers say they expect the new resort will bring in two million visitors annually.
Not only does the park’s design team include more than 20 Disney Parks builders and Walt Disney Imagineers, but Mansion Entertainment has also hired design firms responsible for other major competitors in the amusement park arena, including Universal Studios and Six Flags.
“We are thrilled to make Oklahoma the home of American Heartland Theme Park and Resort,” American Heartland CEO Larry Wilhite said. “At the crossroads of the heartland, Oklahoma is an attractive location for a family entertainment destination.”