dinoland usa

One of the strangest moments of the 2022 D23 Expo theme presentation came near the end, when Disney Parks Chairman Josh D'Amaro teased some "blue sky" concepts for future theme park developments, which were presented as potential projects that may or may not actually ever come to fruition.

However, some recent activity at Disney's Animal Kingdom seems to indicate that at least one of the projects mentioned in this presentation might actually be moving forward, which could be bad news for fans of one of the most popular attractions at Disney's Animal Kingdom

The long death of DinoLand USA

Image: Disney

DinoLand U.S.A. has always been a bit of an odd duck at Disney's Animal Kingdom. The land's loose theme, which ties together the film "Dinosaur" and a roadside attraction-inspired area, doesn't really feel all that cohesive, and the periodic addition of characters from the DuckTales and Chip n' Dale series dressed like dinosaurs hasn't made it feel any less strange in recent years. 

And while this land certainly has its fans, the closure and demolishing of the Primeval Whirl roller coaster in 2021 signaled to many that the land was being cleared for an eventual re-theme, despite the fact that the Dinosaur thrill ride remained very popular and the Triceratops Spin kids' ride continued to draw guests. 

However, now it is looking even more likely that, despite the fact that this land's decline began several years ago, Disney is finally ready to bring something new to this area. 

Bringing IP to a new corner of Disney's Animal Kingdom

Image: Disney

Though Disney's Animal Kingdom is no stranger to IP, many fans appreciated the fact that DinoLand USA was conceived initially as an original concept, which only added IP-based attractions later.

However, the idea of original rides and lands not tied to movies or TV shows has really fallen out of favor in recent years with Disney management, and it seemed like a matter of time before this land became reimagined as something tied to one of Disney's movie franchises. And now it looks like Disney may finally seize its opportunity to introduce familiar characters in this corner of the park. 

Imagineers have been spotted in the area

Image: Disney

Last week, senior members of Walt Disney Imagineering were seen touring Disney's Animal Kingdom, specifically the DinoLand USA area, prompting speculation that plans for an eventual re-theme were indeed taking shape. Rumors continue to suggest that the Zootopia and Moana dual-themed area first announced at D23 2022 continues to be the leading candidate for what will replace DinoLand USA, even though no details about what kind of attractions would be in this area have been shared. 

Currently, Walt Disney World doesn't have much on the new attractions calendar beyond this year's Journey of Water Inspired by Moana at EPCOT and Tiana's Bayou Adventure, opening next year at the Magic Kingdom. However, it looks like something is happening over at Disney's Animal Kingdom in the DinoLand USA area, and chances are good that the vague idea first shared at last year's D23 Expo is finally getting fleshed out. There's no real way to guess what kind of timeline Disney is working with on this upcoming project, but hopefully, we'll learn more about their plans soon. 

Your Thoughts

Dino Rama
Image: Amanda Dwyer

We asked you whether you would you like to see DinoLand at Disney's Animal Kingdom rethemed? Well, currently at the time of writing, there is a huge majority saying "yes" with 76% of the vote, leaving only 24% of people voting for DinoLand to remain. We are expecting to hear news regarding the fate of DinoLand at the upcoming D23 Expo which is taking place at Disney’s Contemporary Resort at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando on Friday September 8 - Sunday September 10.

One of our readers made this comment on our Facebook page regarding the possible future of DinoLand which makes for very interesting reading:

"As a preopening and opening Cast Member of Disney's Animal Kingdom, I agree DinoLand needs to go. It was the result of another “Eisner on the cheap” move. They needed a real ride other than Kilimanjaro. So as many know, they literally took the blueprints from the Disneyland Indy ride and changed the scenery. The whole roadside attractions thing never made sense.

But, Moana is getting her water area and Zootopia is already dated even if another film was made. There are plans still sitting on the shelves that were for lands not built at Disney's Animal Kingdom. One was Australia. There is 50 acres sitting there waiting for a land featuring another type of Safari adventure on the Outback.

Rumors go back to preopening that the train was going to be used for this land. A way to view the animals without another safari truck. It makes sense. The trains were enormously expensive for a trip to a lame petting zoo. They were meant for something more.

So, sure let’s change DinoLand. But let’s finish what we started too. By the way, there was concept art hanging in the main office when we opened of a wooden coaster for DinoLand called The Excavator. I thought the removal of Primeval Whirl may have been for that reason. (That’s where it was supposed to go). But, we need more live animal attractions to balance out the CGI Land of Pandora."

So, could we see a new land based on the Australian outback replacing DinoLand? Could we see a new wooden roller coaster being added? Could we see more real animals featured at Disney's Animal Kingdom in the future? If you haven't voted yet there is still time! Let us know your thoughts by voting in our poll and by leaving us a comment below or on our Facebook page.

Super Survey


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