Josh D’Amaro Says Disney is “Absolutely Serious” About Indiana Jones is Coming to DinoLand
Perhaps the biggest news to come out of the 2023 Destination D23 Expo was Josh D’Amaro teasing that Indiana Jones could soon be coming to Disney World’s Animal Kingdom.
When discussing the future of Animal Kingdom, and more specifically the DinoLand U.S.A. portion of the park, D’Amaro teased some new concept art as John Wiilliams’ iconic Indiana Jones score played.
The concept art seemed to show DinoLand being replaced with a South America-themed land that included Encanto and Coco attractions. Where the park’s popular Dinosaur attraction currently sat, however, Indiana Jones had moved in.
“We Are Absolutely Serious”
Since that time, an official announcement that Harrison Ford’s iconic archeologist will soon be moving into DinoLand has not been forthcoming.
In a recent interview with EW, however, D’Amaro confirmed that the plans for a DinoLand update were in fact a serious idea.
“We’ve got so many stories to tell, we have so many things we want to make even better in the theme parks. My plan is to continue to share that with the guests. I know people are like, ‘My gosh, I can’t believe he’s saying this. Is he serious, is he not?’ The answer is, we are absolutely serious,” he says.
Disney’s Plan To Invest
D’Amaro also pointed to the company’s recent announcement that it would invest $60 billion in Disney Parks over the next ten years.
“We know what this business is capable of, we know what our fans expect of us, and we’re going all in. You’re going to see more and more of that. As we make our way through some of these ideas, some of them will become real, and we’ll say that’s specifically what we’re going to do, but I want our guests to be on the journey with us.”
Is Indiana Jones A Fit For Disney’s Animal Kingdom?
While D’Amaro confirmed that the concept art revealed at Destination D23 was “where our heads are” as Imagineers continue “dreaming” plans for Animal Kingdom’s future, he also addressed the elephant in the room — does Indiana Jones fit in with Animal Kingdom’s theming?
While D’Amaro, who previously served as vice president of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, was not ready to go “deep into” specifics yet, he is optimistic about how the potential change will be received.
“Animal Kingdom is about exploration and adventure,” he says. “I was fortunate enough to have run that theme park, so I know how special it is, and I think there are a lot of stories that we can stay true to Animal Kingdom and express new properties in there, and that’s what you see us starting to do.”
While it’s no secret that Dinosaur, which opened alongside Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 1998, uses an almost identical ride system to Disneyland’s Indiana Jones Adventure, the Disney Experiences chairman is going to have to do some heavy lifting to convince fans that the maverick archeologist has a place alongside the Kilimanjaro Safaris and Tree of Life.
Still, concerns about theming aside, it sounds like the plans for a South American addition to Animal Kingdom, with Indiana Jones in tow, are moving ahead. Perhaps, we will hear an official announcement soon.
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