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 would actually ever get off the ground. Well, back in September, according to a local news update, it was announced by the town leader in Vinita that the groundbreaking ceremony for this ambitious $2 billion American Heartland Resort was imminent.
Now, we had to stop ourselves from getting too excited because 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".
It has just been confirmed by American Heartland that the Three Ponies RV Park and Campground which is slated to open ahead of the rest of the resort (theme park, hotel, water park) in Spring 2025 will officially break ground on October 30.
We are thrilled to announce the start of construction on Three Ponies RV Park and Campground will begin this month! We will gather with state & local officials on Oct. 30 at 10 a.m. to break ground. We look forward to celebrating this milestone as we begin our journey together! pic.twitter.com/yrcGNU9yWr— American Heartland Theme Park (@AmericanHrtland) October 18, 2023
It is therefore, the RV Park which will break ground at this point not the 125 acre American Heartland theme park. However, as a result of this news we can't help getting slightly more optimistic that this new theme park may actually become a reality. We assume we have a number of months to wait until we get confirmation of the breaking of ground on the American Heartland theme park but with the construction of the Three Ponies RV Park and Campground now imminent there is certainly more hope for the future.
However, there is always the chance, as this project is deliberately being done in phases, that the Three Ponies RV Park and Campground could stand alone with the American Heartland theme park never actually being built. But, this certainly doesn't appear to be the plan at the moment but we will update you with further information on this project as and when it is confirmed.
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?
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.