Bob Iger Discusses Direction of Disney Theme Park Expansion

Bob Iger Movie IP Theme Parks

The continued integration of Movie characters and stories into the Disney Theme Parks has been a topic of some debate among “Disney Adults,” with many seeing the lack of Park original rides and stories reminiscent of Disneyland glory days as a sign of creative laziness.

captain jack sparrow johnny depp

But returning Disney CEO Bob Iger has made it clear he thinks otherwise. Speaking during the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference on Thursday, March 9, on the state of Disney Theme Parks in Central Florida, Southern California, and around the world, Iger stood by the belief that the more movies they can bring to life in the Parks the better.

“Franchises we do well with film and television are leverageable in the Parks,” he said. “That creates growth for us.”

Iger boasted about the success of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland Park, Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World Resort, and reiterated plans to bring Pandora: The World of Avatar to Anaheim, California. He also assured listeners that there is more opportunity for growth in California than people are aware.

pandora animal kingdom

Pandora, Disney’s Animal Kingdom/Courtesy of Disney

Related: Prediction: ‘Avatar’ Will Replace This Iconic Disneyland Area

Movie IP integration is already in full force at all of the Disney Resorts around the world in some way. A Frozen-themed land is under construction at Hong Kong Disneyland, and Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris Resort, as well as at Tokyo DisneySea, where an entirely new eight land dedicated to several classic Disney movies–including Peter Pan–is also under construction. There is also a Zootopia-themed land under construction at Shanghai Disney Resort, and back Stateside, Big Hero 6 and Moana are making their permanent Theme Park debuts shortly at Disney California Adventure Park and EPCOT, respectively.

San Fransokyo Disney California Adventure Park

Credit: Disney

Related: San Fransokyo Coming to Disney Resort THIS SUMMER!


Meanwhile, the next significant Disney Movie addition to open will be TRON: Lightcycle/Run at Magic Kingdom Park on April 4, 2023, and rumors continue to circulate about further Moana and Zootopia additions bound for Disney’s Animal Kingdom as well as Encanto and Disney Villains at Magic Kingdom.

josh d'amaro disney attractions

Related: Josh D’Amaro on Park Expansion: TRON “Tip of the Iceberg”

Do you think Disney Parks are meant to be the place where movies come to life, or should they be a place filled with a special magic, characters, and stories of their own?

About T.K. Bosacki

Born and raised in Tampa, Florida, TK Bosacki is a professional writer, amateur adventurer, and lifelong Disney Fanatic. His Disney Park days include Space Mountain, Tower of Terror, Kilimanjaro Safaris, and Nomad Lounge. He believes in starting at the Canada pavilion (IYKYK), and the Monorail is superior to all Ferry Boats.

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