- Disney is working on a massive expansion to its Magic Kingdom park in Orlando, Florida’s Walt Disney World.
- At D23 Expo, Disney Parks chairman Josh D’Amaro teased concept art for an expansion featuring “Coco,” “Encanto,” and Disney villains.
- The themed areas would be located behind Big Thunder Mountain. No date was given for the expansion.
“Coco,” “Encanto,” and Disney villains will have a larger presence at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida in years to come.
Sunday morning, during the Disney parks, experiences and products panel at D23 Expo chairman Josh D’Amaro, Walt Disney Imagineering creative portfolio executive Chris Beatty, and Walt Disney Animation chief creative officer Jennifer Lee teased a massive new expansion to arrive in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in the years to come, including the two hit films and iconic Disney characters.
“I think there are so many amazing stories yet to be told, lands yet to be explored,” Beatty told the D23 crowd, including Insider. “One of the concepts we’re most excited about is this idea of new frontiers. Let me give you an example. Josh, do you ever wonder if you could travel to the other side of Big Thunder Mountain, what could be there?”
If you’re not familiar with Walt Disney World, they’re talking about this area in the Northwest corner of Magic Kingdom behind the popular coaster attraction:
A ‘Coco’ attraction and land are in early development for Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom
One of the expansions being considered is bringing the worlds of 2017’s “Coco” to life.
“Imagine, what if we could pass over those spires of Big Thunder Mountain, and maybe, maybe in front of us there’s a valley in front of us with the little town of Santa Cecilia, Mexico, celebrating Dia de los Muertos,” Beatty said, revealing artwork for “Coco” to shocked fans.
Dia de los Muertos, which translates to the day of the dead in English, is a celebration of life for those who have died, occurring from late October through the first week of November, depending on where you live.
Beatty also teased a forthcoming “Coco” attraction where guests will ride on a mythical creature and fly into the land of the dead.
At this point of the presentation, Lee jumped in to tease another addition to that area: “And, what if we do want to talk about Bruno?”
Disney is working on bringing the magical house in ‘Encanto’ to life at Magic Kingdom, too
The Disney Animation team is working with the Imagineering team to bring the magical house in “Encanto” to life. The 2019 hit musical follows Maribel, a girl without powers, who was born into the magical Madrigal family.
“There are many of us at Disney Animation who cannot wait to see more ‘Encanto’ in the parks,” Lee said, adding, “No one could bring a magical house to life like Disney Imagineering. What if you could walk into the Madrigal’s casita — just saying — meet the family. What if Maribel is your guide into the key of all the wonder within those walls? Bruno’s tower. Antonio’s room. All of it.”
Lee also teased a door that parkgoers could step up to, similar to the one in the animated picture, to discover their own magic power.
A Disney villains area is also in very early discussions for the future
That wasn’t all. The trio teased one other big idea that the Disney Animation and Imagineering teams have been brainstorming for Magic Kingdom.
“This one is not planned any time soon, but it’s something that we know all of you talk about,” D’Amaro said.
“It’s an area overrun by villains,” D’Amaro announced to a big roar of applause and cheers from the crowd as an image of “Sleeping Beauty” villain Maleficent came on screen.
Concept art for this massive addition to Magic Kingdom was then shown on screen.
“This is the thought starter, but you can see here the villains looming overhead as Casa Madrigal is in the distance and then they arrive at Santa Cecilia,” Beatty told the crowd of the concept art seen above. “That’s what could be out there beyond Thunder Mountain.”
No timeline was given for when these expansions may appear in the Magic Kingdom. During the presentation, D’Amaro was careful to tell fans that all of these things are ideas that “could be on the horizon” at the parks.
Earlier during the presentation, the trio also teased new expansions for “Zootopia” and “Moana” to come to Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom.
These were just a few of many announcements Sunday morning which included the name of a new Disney Cruise ship, Treasure, a complete overhaul of Pacific Wharf at Disneyland California Adventure into San Fransokyo from “Big Hero 6,” and a new Avengers Campus ride at featuring a multiverse of heroes fighting against a new version of Thanos.