Disney Plans to Bring Wakanda and Encanto to Life in Major Park Expansion

Josh D'Amaro, Disney Parks chairman, recently shared intriguing insights about the potential future of Disneyland Resort in California and its sister parks in Florida.

by Faruk Imamovic
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Disney Plans to Bring Wakanda and Encanto to Life in Major Park Expansion
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Josh D'Amaro, Disney Parks chairman, recently shared intriguing insights about the potential future of Disneyland Resort in California and its sister parks in Florida. In discussions highlighted by The Hollywood Reporter, D'Amaro expressed enthusiasm for incorporating popular franchises such as "Black Panther," "Frozen," "Encanto," and "Coco" into the park's expansive new developments.

As part of the DisneylandForward initiative, D'Amaro revealed plans for substantial growth that could include creating spaces akin to another Disneyland Park. "We will have enough room to build the equivalent of another Disneyland Park.

And so then you start to think about, 'Well what can we do here?'" he remarked. This opens up possibilities for a diverse array of attractions, especially from franchises that have not yet been fully explored within Disney's amusement parks.

"We haven’t told any stories on Wakanda. We haven’t told any stories on Frozen, although it’s a 10-year-old franchise. You think about franchises like Coco and Encanto. We almost have an endless stream of stories that we can tell," D'Amaro noted, hinting at the potential thematic richness and cultural narratives that could shape future attractions.

A Legacy Project with Local Support

The expansion plans, collectively known as DisneylandForward, have stirred public debate but ultimately received positive responses from local governance. Anaheim city officials, including Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock and city spokesman Mike Lyster, have publicly supported the initiative.

Potrock shared his excitement about the collaboration: "We are thrilled that the City of Anaheim has agreed to work together on this legacy project. We look forward to our bright future together!" Additionally, Lyster commented on the economic benefits of such an investment: "Whenever Disney invests in Anaheim, we see city revenue grow and our economy expand." These expansions are part of a broader strategy outlined last year when Disney announced a $60 billion investment to revitalize its parks business, as per filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

This plan is seen as a key driver of future growth, enhancing the visitor experience by integrating more characters and stories into the parks. Disney's commitment to its theme parks underscores their significance as central to the company's growth strategy, particularly post-pandemic.

The investment aims to not only expand existing attractions but also develop new ones that can draw visitors from around the world, ensuring the long-term success of its parks and resorts. This ambitious vision for Disney parks not only promises to bring new entertainment experiences to visitors but also signifies a robust economic boost for the regions surrounding the parks, heralding a new era of expansion and innovation for Disney's legendary amusement destinations.

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