OpEd: Encanto’s Casita Should Replace the Swiss Family Treehouse

With all of the success of Disney’s Encanto (2021), and the recent news that Lin Manuel Miranda spoke to Disney CEO Bob Chapek over the possibility of an Encanto theme park attraction, I began thinking of where this new story could go at Walt Disney World. Actor Josh Gad also suggested the idea, sharing that he believes Encanto would make a great addition to a Colombia pavilion in EPCOT’s World Showcase. Where else could Encanto go? I’m thinking about Adventureland in the Magic Kingdom!

Where Should Encanto Go?

The idea of adding a Colombia pavilion to World Showcase is a great one (the park is desperately missing a South American country in my opinion) however the magic nature of the story of Encanto lends itself more to the Magic Kingdom, and as a walkthrough attraction specifically.

Most of the movie takes place in Casita, the magical structure that grew out of Abuela’s miracle and houses the Madrigal family, and yet the locations in the film still seem so expansive and interesting. Part of this is that Casita is alive in a sense, always moving things and helping members of the family, and the house obviously benefits from the family’s gifts in making it more beautiful and functional. Since Casita is no ordinary house, it seems like it would fit in the Magic Kingdom where fantastical worlds are represented.

One of Casita’s magical abilities allows the members of the family to have grand rooms inspired by their gifts that appear bigger on the inside. This setup lends itself perfectly for a walkthrough attraction where Disney Imagineers could construct the attraction’s facade in a way that it would appear smaller than the interior.

Swiss Family Treehouse

In the Magic Kingdom, there is one walkthrough attraction that could be rethemed to accommodate the addition of Encanto to the park, the Swiss Family Treehouse. Inspired by Disney’s Swiss Family Robinson (1960), the attraction is now one of the quietest in the Magic Kingdom. It is a fun attraction for Disney fans to be sure, offering top-notch views of the park once Guests climb the six stories to the treehouse’s strongest point, but it is not the most popular.


Credit: Disney

Walkthrough attractions in general are not the most popular among Walt Disney World Guests. Many Guests are not looking for ways to spend any more time on their feet, and rather they are looking for their next ride or show so that they can take a seat. A walkthrough attraction that could really hold everyone’s interest though might work really well, and given the amount of small details embedded throughout the film a well-done walkthrough attraction could easily be enjoyed multiple times as Guests revisit to see what else they can find.

Ideally, if a Casita walkthrough attraction were to take over the site of the Swiss Family Treehouse, the area immediately outside of the attraction could be themed to Encanto, too. I’m thinking a snack cart serving arepas, maybe live musicians performing songs from the film, character meet and greets, even a small gift shop or merchandise cart…

Wherever Encanto could end up, I’d love to see it have some presence at Walt Disney World and would be curious to see what Imagineers do with this new Disney animated story!

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."

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