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Monday, October 2, 2023

What is driving Disney’s theme park expansion plans? – Daily News

It’s been a big month for announcements from Disney about the future of its theme parks in the United States.

Fans this month saw glimpses of possible future developments at Walt Disney World and Disneyland during the Destination D23 fan event in Florida and with the release of Anaheim’s Draft Subsequent Environmental Impact Report on the DisneylandForward proposal. But in each case, what fans saw were more suggestions of what might be rather than definite plans of what will be coming to the parks.

At Destination D23, Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro announced that Disney will open a new Country Bear show in Magic Kingdom next year and redesign EPCOT’s Test Track ride at some point in the near future. But those were minor reveals next to the big tease that Imagineers are working on plans to replace Dinoland USA in Disney’s Animal Kingdom with a new land themed to Central and South America.

That land would retheme Animal Kingdom’s Dinosaur ride to Disneyland’s Indiana Jones Adventure, which shares the same track layout. Disney World also would add a new Encanto-themed ride to the land. But it’s all just a “blue sky” concept at this point, rather than a firm commitment.

We did not hear much about Disneyland Resort attractions at Destination D23, save for some new concept art of the ride vehicle for the long-promised new E-ticket ride in Avengers Campus. The Disneyland news came later, with the City of Anaheim’s draft report on the resort’s proposed expansion plans.

Disneyland wants city approval to allow the resort to build attractions on land now reserved for use as parking. Disney has released concept art depicting new attractions, hotels and retail on the sites of the current Toy Story and Simba parking lots, but has provided no specific details on what those new developments might be. The only specifics fans got from the city’s report were details of all the mitigation efforts that Disney would be required to provide to minimize the effects of noise, air pollution and visual intrusions upon neighbors, should the city grant approval for Disneyland’s plans.

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