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Disney’s Future Plans Unveiled: Parks Take Center Stage at Conference

Disney Parks chairman Josh D’Amaro has been making the rounds recently. The Disney executive has been in the news repeatedly, whether for joining the board of Make-A-Wish America or his recent appearance at the Disney Parks that has left fans wondering if he has exciting news, most recently, for his talk at the SXSW Conference that just happened in Austin, Texas. In a first for the Walt Disney Company, attendees heard Mr. D’Amaro center storytelling at the Disney Parks at the SXSW conference, leading us to ask if this is a sign of what we can expect from the Mouse House.

josh d'amaro sxsw

Earlier this year, it was announced that Josh D’Amaro would speak at the SXSW 2023 Conference. While we have known since January of this year that Mr. D’Amaro would focus on storytelling at the Disney Parks—his topic for SXSW was “Creating Happiness: The Art & Science of Disney Parks Storytelling”—he still surprised fans with what he revealed.

Starting off with the news taking the internet by storm, the new prototype robot Disney has been working on, to revealing that a new beloved character (The Hulk) was going to be debuting at Disneyland Paris’s Avengers Campus soon—the character is already at Disney California Adventure Park in Disneyland Resort, Mr. D’Amaro pulled out all the stops for his presentation.

disney parks chairman josh d'amaro at sxsw

Disney Parks chairman Josh D’Amaro at the SXSW Conference/Courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

As shared on Disney Parks Blog, Josh D’Amaro talked about how “Disney Parks tells stories through tools, immersive environments, sensory-provoking food and music, visual effects, and interactions with Disney characters.” Mr. D’Amaro invited many other Disney Imagineers from Walt Disney Imagineering on stage to demonstrate firsthand the innovation and imagination that goes into Disney storytelling.

They even shared a behind-the-scenes look with a blue sky concept of a pixie-sized Tinker Bell, which will allow Guests to interact with the character in a way they’ve never done before.

tinker bell sxsw conference disney parks

The blue sky concept of a pixie-sized Tinker Bell at the SXSW Conference/Courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

All of this leads us to one notable possibility: with Disney CEO Bob Iger constantly reiterating they’re going to be focusing on quality over quantity in their productions and reducing the amount of content they produce, and the Disney Parks taking center stage, whether at the SXSW conference or even with being one of Disney’s most consistently profitable sectors, Disney might be pivoting to focus more on its Theme Parks in the coming years.

Magic Kingdom Disney World

Disney characters Mickey Mouse and friends in front of Cinderella Castle, Magic Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World Resort/Courtesy of Disney

Mr. D’Amaro shared that “delivering more hope, inspiration, and happiness is at the center of Disney’s next 100 years.” With the success of the Parks and the change in Disney’s strategy, this could mean that the Disney Parks are going to be even more integrated into the world of Disney in ways we haven’t ever seen before. In fact, James Cameron recently shared that Walt Disney World Resort Theme Park land, Pandora, in Disney’s Animal Kingdom has inspired the third Avatar movie in a way the Parks haven’t quite done before.

While there is no real confirmation of what this will look like, it’s certainly an interesting time to be a Disney Park fan!

About Priyanka

Priyanka is a writer, artist, avid reader, and travel enthusiast based in Chicago. In her free time, she is probably walking by the lake, catching up on the latest releases on TV, or spending inordinate amounts of time rewatching Moana, Encanto, and her Disney Channel life-long favorites Zack and Cody wreak havoc on the Tipton.