Home » 10 New Lands Confirmed or Rumored for Disney Theme Parks

10 New Lands Confirmed or Rumored for Disney Theme Parks

Star Tours

Disney’s Imagineering teams have multiple projects on the go at any one time. Let’s take a look at 10 new lands that are either confirmed or rumored as being on their way to the company’s theme parks.

It’s unlikely that all 10 of these lands will see the light of day – not just because of the impact of overspending on Walt Disney World’s MyMagic+ implementation, but also because changing priorities and budgets always result in the cancellation of some Disney projects.

The development status of these lands varies dramatically. Some exist only on paper, while others are starting active construction. Disney, of course, doesn’t always make public what it plans to install at its parks. But we’ve done our best to provide an update on the status of each land below.

10. Star Wars Land at Disneyland Paris

Star Tours

Even before Disney acquired LucasFilm in 2012 for $4 billion in 2012, there were persistent rumors that a Star Wars-themed land would be on its way to Disneyland Paris. This would be a mini-land within the existing Discoveryland, and its headline ride would be Star Tours: The Adventures Continue (the impoverished Disneyland Paris is the only Disney park still to host the original, 1980s version of Star Tours). Captain EO would reportedly be converted into a version of the Jedi Training Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The Buzz Lightyear’s Pizza Planet restaurant, meanwhile, would become a recreation of the legendary Mos Eisley Cantina, complete with the unusual band playing in the background.

Status: Disney and More reports that Star Tours: The Adventures Continue could open as soon as 2017, in time for Disneyland Paris’ 25th anniversary. This is more likely to be feasible now that Disney has agreed to inject a significant amount of new capital into the resort, as well as converting much of its debt into equity. With a number of other urgent refurbishment projects on the cards ahead of the anniversary, though, we’ll have to see if this one pans out.

9. Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Pandora - The World of Avatar

Well into construction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a new land themed around James Cameron’s Avatar. Anchored by an impressive-looking “floating mountain” centerpiece that will rival the park’s existing Tree of Life icon in terms of scale, it will replicate the dense, alien forests of the planet Pandora seen in the movie.

We can expect two main attractions in Pandora when it opens – the first will replicate a flight over the massive and mystifying terrain of the planet, no doubt encountering flying creatures and hovering landscapes. The second will be a boat ride through Pandora’s forests.

Status: Camp Minnie-Mickey is now closed and its replacement is set to open in 2017.

8. Marvel Super Hero Land at Hong Kong Disneyland

Iron Man Experience

Disney acquired Marvel in a $4 billion deal in September 2009, but has made limited use of its comic book characters at its US parks. At Walt Disney World, its hands are tied by a pre-existing licensing deal that Marvel has with the Universal Orlando Resort, which sees its characters appear in the Marvel Super Hero Island area of Islands of Adventure.

There are no such constraints at Hong Kong Disneyland, which will host the company’s first Marvel-themed land. It will be headlined by the Iron Man Experience, a new ride based on the trilogy starring Robert Downey Jr. This will see guests take to the street and skies above Hong Kong to join in a battle with Iron Man himself.

Status: The Iron Man Experience has been officially announced by Disney, and is expected to open in late 2016.

7. Star Wars Land at Disneyland

 The Adventures Continue

Rumors of a Star Wars land for Disney’s original theme park have been circulating for years. Initially, they focused on a Star Wars makeover for Tomorrowland, incorporating a Millennium Falcon walkthrough and a speeder bike ride through an Ewok village. But the originator of those rumors, Micechat, now claims that the park could instead receive a separate Star Wars Land, housed on the current site of the Big Thunder Ranch and Mickey’s Toontown.

Status: Bob Iger has strongly hinted that Star Wars in on its way to Disneyland. Speaking to Bloomberg in November 2013, Iger said: “There is a fair amount of development going on at Disney Imagineering right now to expand the Star Wars presence in Disneyland and Walt Disney World and eventually in other Disney theme parks around the world.” This is some way short of a nailed-on confirmation of a Star Wars Land, although that hasn’t stopped other websites from reporting it as such.

6. Marvel Super Hero Land at Walt Disney Studios, Paris

Rock 'n' Roller Coaster

Like Hong Kong Disneyland, Disneyland Paris doesn’t suffer from the same restrictions on its use of Marvel characters as Walt Disney World. Already, Walt Disney Studios is home to a Spider-Man meet-and-greet (a bizarre sight for those used to seeing Spidey in Universal’s Islands of Adventure). And, if rumors covered in detail on the always-excellent Disney and More are to be believed, Disney’s financial rescue of Disneyland Paris will help fund a complete transformation of the second gate’s Backlot area to become a Marvel Super Hero Land.

According to the rumors, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster will be left in place, but its nonsensical storyline will be replaced by one based on Spider-Man, with riders racing through an above the streets of New York. Two new rides, including another coaster, and a meet-and-greet are also said to be in the pipeline.

Status: This is one step nearer to reality now that Disneyland Paris looks set to be on a surer financial footing. Disney is well aware of the problems at the resort’s smaller park and a Marvel land is seen as just one part of the long-term solution.

5. Star Wars Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Jedi Training Academy

Rumors of an area dedicated to Star Wars at Disney’s Hollywood Studios have been circulating ever since Disney acquired Lucasfilm back in October 2012. With a series of new movies in the pipeline, it’s a near-certainty that Disney is working on new attractions based on the franchise. Disney’s Hollywood Studios would be their natural home, given that it already hosts Star Tours: The Adventures Continue.

Back in 2013, Screamscape suggested that the land would be built in two phases. The first would potentially feature a Mos Eisley Cantina-themed restaurant, an enhanced Jedi Academy show and a basic children’s ride. The second would boast a more ambitious E-Ticket attraction.

However, it’s likely that the Imagineers have been working on various different scenarios for Star Wars Land, and we’ll have to wait and see what ultimately becomes a reality.

Status: With the American Idol Experience and the Studio Backlot Tour having closed, it’s clear that there are big changes afoot at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. With Pandora not due to open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom until 2017, though, it could be the end of the decade before we see Star Wars Land happen.

4. New Fantasyland at Tokyo Disneyland

New Fantasyland artwork

While Tokyo DisneySea features many original attractions, Tokyo Disneyland is largely populated by clones of rides at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. No surprise, then, to hear rumors that the park’s Fantasyland will undergo a similar transformation to that of its Florida counterpart, adding versions of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid.

Status: This one’s just at the rumor stage at the moment, but it would be surprising if Tokyo Disneyland’s management aren’t eyeing clones of the Magic Kingdom’s latest additions. Earlier in 2014, the resort’s owners, the Oriental Land Company, promised to spend nearly $5 billion on updates over the next 10 years, and it’s possible that some New Fantasyland concepts could form a part of that spending.

3. Pixar Studios at Walt Disney Studios, Paris


The Toon Studio area of alt Disney Studios already features a host of Pixar-themed rides, including Crush’s Coaster, Ratatouille: The Adventure, Cars Race Rally and the entire Toy Story Playland sub-land.  It would make sense, then, as part of the planned overhaul of the entire park, for the entire area to be given a Pixar makeover.

The main new attraction as part of this makeover, according to Disney and More, will be a version of the wildly-popular Toy Story Midway Mania, already a smash-hit at the Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World and the Tokyo Disney Resort. Hopefully, Disney will include three tracks in this version, to overcome the chronic capacity problems that have afflicted the version at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Status: With the greater financial freedom it has been afforded by Disney, we think that Disneyland Paris will take the opportunity to upgrade Walt Disney Studios. And importing attraction concepts from the US is a relatively affordable way of doing this.

2. Cars Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Radiator Springs Racers

Cars Land has proven to be a massive hit at Disney California Adventure since its 2012 debut, with its headline ride – Radiator Springs Racers – cementing a spot in the top 20 theme park rides in the world according to Theme Park Tourist readers. Given the apparently urgent need for Disney to do something to take on Harry Potter at Universal Orlando, it was inevitable that rumors would surface about a clone of the land coming to Florida. The potential destination? You guessed it: Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The land would probably replace much of the former Studio Backlot Tour, as well as the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show. It would be headlined by Radiator Springs Racers (despite the similarities to Epcot’s Test Track), although this could potentially be housed indoors due to issues related to the Florida climate.

Status: There is no doubt that plans to bring Cars Land to Florida have been on the drawing board at Walt Disney Imagineering for some time. However, it’s entirely possible that something altogether less ambitious is planned for the former Studio Backlot Tour area…

1. Pixar Playland at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Toy Story Land

Now that the Studio Backlot Tour has been closed at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, rumors have been flying about what might replace it. Though Cars Land has been touted as potential replacement, by far the strongest rumor about what will become of this new space is a Pixar-themed area aimed at younger guests (similar to Toy Story Playland, which can already be found at Walt Disney Studios, Paris as well as Hong Kong Disneyland).

This new area would feature several themed play structures with characters from the Toy Story films as well as some lightly-themed midway rides (making it a much cheaper option than Cars Land). Toy Story Midway Mania would also receive an upgrade, adding a third track to increase its capacity.

Status: No announcement has been made yet regarding this project’s existence, but it’s possible that we could hear something before 2014 is over.