Why the New ‘Moana’ Attraction Illuminates Everything That’s WRONG With the Disney Parks

maui and moana
Credit: Walt Disney Animation

Something strange is happening in the Disney Parks that has left many fans scratching their heads.

One of the many ways that Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort stay relevant amongst audiences is by continuing to provide new and updated Park experiences based on the Disney, Marvel, and Lucasfilm movies that have recently been released. By doing this, Disney gives their fans more reasons to come back to the Parks year after year; it’s simply a good business model.

However, how much IP (intellectual property) in the Parks is too much? A recent Moana-themed Disney Resort addition has made fans realize that Disney may have crossed that threshold.

moana and maui disney animation live action release date delay wga strike

Credit: Disney

Has Disney Gone Too Far?

The problem that fans have with the surplus of new IP additions is that not all of them are feeling fully thought out. While some recent additions beautifully mesh with the rest of a Park’s vibe and theming, others stick out for being out of place. For example, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is a terrific coaster, perhaps one of Disney’s best ever, but does it really mesh with EPCOT’s theming? 

This thought has been spreading amongst Disney fans for a while, but a new addition to the Parks has really reignited the conversation. Recently, Disney revealed its new ‘Disney Family Fitness Fun area’ inspired by the movie Moana. Basically, it’s a turf lawn with Moana music playing in the background. Disney describes the land, saying;

“Join us Thursdays a 9:00 am on the Great Ceremonial House Lawn for a family friendly wellness experience that includes stretching, singing, and dancing along to some of the inspirational music from Moana.”

Fans Confused by Random ‘Moana’ Attraction

This Moana-themed turf is a considerable stretch, even by Disney’s standards. It further proves that just because something can be themed after a Disney movie doesn’t mean it should be. When Walt Disney first dreamed up Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort, he created each Park with specific intent. Now, the overwhelming amount of IP makes the Parks feel further and further away from Walt’s vision.

Moana as Child

Credit: Disney

The solution? Disney needs to go back to the days of intentional and thoughtful IP additions. Adding attractions based on movie characters is excellent, only if it matches the Park’s theme and fills a need at the Park in question. At the end of the day, it’s ok for a lawn just to be a lawn; not every attraction has to tie into a popular franchise. 

About Eva Miller

Eva was born and raised in the beautiful state of Oregon but has since relocated and lives in New York City. Since she was young, Eva has loved to perform in musicals, especially Disney ones! Through performing, Disney’s music became the soundtrack of her childhood. Today, Eva loves to write about all the exciting happenings for the Walt Disney Company. In her free time, Eva loves to travel, spend time in nature, and go to Broadway shows. Her favorite Disney movie is 'Lilo and Stitch,' and her favorite Park is Disney's Animal Kingdom.