American Heartland

The announcement back in July of the American Heartland Resort set to open in Oklahoma in 2026, was for many met with skepticism. Theme Park fans are no strangers to large scale projects which are announced with grandeur and promise and then never come to fruition as covered in our recent featured article, "To Be Or Not To Be?" What Other I'll-Believe-It-When-I-See-It Theme Parks Tell Us About American Heartland.

It had led us to wonder if this project will actually ever get off the ground. Well, according to a local news update, it has recently been announced by the town leader in Vinita that the groundbreaking ceremony for this ambitious $2 billion American Heartland Resort is imminent.

Image: American Heartland

Now, before anyone gets too excited, this 1000 acre resort which will include the 125 acre theme park (similar in size to the Magic Kingdom), a 300 room 4* hotel and water park is also set to have a huge RV Park (one of the biggest in America) to be named "Three Ponies RV Park and Campground". This RV park is slated to open ahead of the rest of the resort (theme park, hotel, water park) in Spring 2025.

It is therefore, the RV Park which we assume will break ground imminently and although we hope the American Heartland Resort project continues positively and construction on the theme park will not be far behind, until this news is confirmed we feel we can't properly get excited.

As, is already widely known, American Heartland is dubbed as the "Disneyland of the Midwest" which is covered in our news article, New Theme Park Copying Abandoned Disney Concept... and Disney Imagineers Are On Board! It is said to have approximately 20 former Walt Disney Imagineers and Designers working on the project.

Will American Heartland Theme Park Bring Us A Much Needed Disney Style Park Without The IPs?

Image: American Heartland

Disney in the 1990s and 2000s has been hailed from fans as being a time of unique and original ideas, the Disney, Walt himself would have been proud of. In the last two decades, we have seen a decrease in the originality of rides and attractions and a significant increase in IP based attractions which now appear to dominate the Disney theme parks.  

From researching everything known so far about the newly announced American Heartland Theme Park, there appears to be hope that the proposed plans for the six themed lands all focused on the best America has to offer; Liberty Village, Great Plains, Bayou Bay, Big Timber Falls, Stony Point Harbor and Electropolis will give us that much needed uniqueness that used to be felt from Disney attractions.

According to the video posted to YouTube by Theme Park Worldwide which is embedded below, you get to see the extent of the theming that is proposed; the water, trees with a lot of the attractions carefully placed within show buildings.

The attractions and lands themselves show originality with Liberty Village set to be a modern day, Main Street USA, The Great Plains including the Charlotte's Web Barnyard adventure and a large scale wooden roller coaster.

In Bayou Bay there are plans for a swamp thrill ride and large pirate stunt show as well as a Voodoo House. Big Timber Falls will include a large scale flume ride expected to be called, "Big Foot Falls".

Stony Point Harbor will have a dark ride themed around a haunted lighthouse and Electropolis will focus on innovation including a Tesla Tower and a highly themed Zamperla Nebula.

With the news of ground breaking taking place on this project very soon, we are allowing ourselves to get just a little bit excited. We will keep you up to date on further details regarding American Heartland. Would you like to visit American Heartland? Do you think the park harks back to the best of Disney? Let us know your thoughts by voting in our poll or by leaving us a comment below or on our Facebook page.

Loading Poll...

Add new comment

About Theme Park Tourist

Theme Park Tourist is one of the web’s leading sources of essential information and entertaining articles about theme parks in Orlando and beyond.

We are one of the world’s largest theme park guide sites, hosting detailed guides to more than 80 theme parks around the globe.

Find Out More About Us...

Plan Your Trip

Our theme park guides contain reviews and ratings of rides, restaurants and hotels at more than 80 theme parks worldwide.

You can even print them.

Start Planning Now...