An idea never dies at The Walt Disney Company. The proof of this statement is at Haunted Mansion, an idea that Imagineers envisioned more than 15 years before the attraction opened. Disney keeps quality plans in the pipeline for as long as the company needs to bring them to life.
In the wake of the 2019 D23 Expo, we know that a few long-expected plans will become a reality. Others, even a couple that were strongly expected, went unconfirmed. Let’s take this opportunity to evaluate the status of six long-rumored Disney projects that fans are still waiting for.
The Brazil pavilion
One of the strangest aspects of D-23 involved the mysterious disappearance of the Brazil pavilion. The day before the event, a person tweeted that they’d personally gone to Brazil several times to interview and train potential cast members for this pavilion.
The seemingly in-the-know poster indicated that the announcement would occur by the end of the weekend. The Epcot scale models on display seemed to confirm an unnamed pavilion that sure looked like Brazil, too.
Once the event began, Disney officials stressed any number of changes coming to Epcot. A new pavilion was NOT one of them. The rumormonger has since deleted the tweet, but that doesn’t mean the person was lying.
A prevailing belief is that at least one new pavilion will finally arrive at Epcot over the next few years. Brazil and India seem like the most likely candidates, and we may even get both of them. I think this rumor will come true at some point, although Disney might choose India instead.
A new Disney theme park
pressured Disney to announce the long-anticipated fifth Walt Disney World gate. To their credit, Disney executives didn’t take the bait. A new theme park isn’t an idea anyone should feel rushed into constructing. That’s the textbook description of how mistakes get made.When Universal Studios revealed Epic Universe, the company
Keeping this in mind, one of the longest-standing rumored Disney projects is a theme park. Specifically, it’s a Villains-based theme park that would allow guests to embrace their inner bad guy.
While the idea has varied a bit over the years, the concept is that a dark tower would lord above the park, an evil inverse of Cinderella Castle. And some elements from the failed Beastly Kingdom themed land could transfer to this place, hopefully including a fire-breathing dragon imperiling guests on a roller coaster.
The thought of a fifth gate seemed like a foregone conclusion in the late 1990s, so much so that Michael Eisner referenced it in multiple interviews. In the decades that have followed, executives have actively avoided the concept. Instead, they focus on improving current parks with new themed lands like Pandora – The World of Avatar and Cars Land.
While the situation could change at a moment’s notice, the possibility of a fifth gate announcement seems unlikely before the next D-23 Expo in 2021. We’re in a holding pattern here, I’m afraid.
The one positive of the delay is that sentiment has grown for Beastly Kingdom to become its own full theme park rather than a themed land. Some find that idea preferable to a Villains park. Others like me would prefer both over the next 15 years or so.