Walt Disney World is constantly evolving to provide new and exciting experiences for guests. In the past five years, we have seen two new lands and several new attractions open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We have gotten new nighttime spectaculars and TRON: Lightcycle / Run at Magic Kingdom. It was even announced at D23 that Country Bear Jamboree would be seeing an upgrade in the near future.
At EPCOT, the park's overhaul to the front of the park is nearing completion and the park has added new areas and experiences including the additions of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, Space 220, and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.
However, aside from some reworked live shows following the pandemic closure the only new attraction to come to Disney’s Animal Kingdom since Pandora—The World of Avatar in 2017 was Kite Tails, and even it has since been retired. Animal Kingdom is arguably the most underrated of the Walt Disney World theme parks and it deserves some much-needed upgrades and attention. The possibilities of what could be added or updated are endless, however, let’s explore a few possibilities.
Addressing The Dinosaur In the Room
It is no secret that Dinoland USA is the most disliked land in Disney’s Animal Kingdom if not all of Walt Disney World. Announcements made at D23 in 2022 and 2023, showed us that Disney knows as much and that they are well into planning what might replace this land.
As much as I love DINOSAUR, even I can admit that area of the park needs a change. I have gone into detail in Where Dinoland Fails and What Should ACTUALLY Replace It! about this divisive land, and Disney even announced plans that align with those recommendations. The plan to incorporate the "Tropical Americas" is a great idea, that is, IF Disney follows through on these plans.
This theme would blend well with the other themed areas of the park including Asia and Africa. The change would come also with the possibility of incorporating more Latin and South American-inspired cuisine into the parks. Central and South American culture and representation are completely lacking at Walt Disney World, so this would be a welcome addition to the overall park experience.
Additionally, the new land would provide the ability to include new species of animals. Animal Kingdom hasn’t added new animal exhibits in quite some time. Adding new animals would have not only educational benefits for guests but also the opportunity for Disney to expand on those conservation efforts.
Finally, adding South America provides endless options for retheming Dinosaur while still reutilizing the overall ride mechanics (ultimately saving money on a new attraction). It would even provide a great opportunity for Walt Disney World to add Encanto into the theme parks. There are so many great attractions that could be added including a Casita walk-through experience, an Encanto live show, or character Meet and Greets.
Unfortunately, it seems as if any plans are still in the very early stages, meaning it will still be a while before we see any results. Animal Kingdom deserves to be at the top of Disney's list. Though, it isn't just Dinoland USA that needs an upgrade...