Phase One Underway at Massive Midwest Theme Park Being Built by Walt Disney Imagineers

american heartland theme park oklahoma
Credit: Mansion Entertainment

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.

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New $2 billion Oklahoma theme park announced, and it's not part of the Magic Kingdom

Credit: Mansion Entertainment Group

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.

READ MORE: Disney Imagineers to Build New Theme Park Resort in the Midwest

american heartland theme park

Credit: Mansion Entertainment

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.

American Heartland Theme Park on X: "A new world-class destination will  welcome millions of visitors to Oklahoma each year! Welcome to American  Heartland Theme Park and Resort. Opening in 2026 on historic

Credit: Mansion Entertainment

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.

American Heartland Theme Park and Resort breaks ground for RV park |  KSNF/KODE |

General Store at Three Ponies RV Park at American Homeland Theme Park & Resort/Credit: Mansion Entertainment

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.

Industry expert expresses doubts over Oklahoma's planned theme park

Credit: Mansion Entertainment

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.

american heartland theme park

Credit: Mansion Entertainment

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.

American Heartland Theme Park coming to Northeast Oklahoma

Credit: Mansion Entertainment

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american heartland theme park

Credit: Mansion Entertainment

“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.”

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!