What do attractions like Haunted Mansion, The Enchanted Tiki Room, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Jungle Cruise have in common? They provide Disney fans with original characters and stories that originated in the Theme Parks rather than in a movie or on TV. As we look to 2023 and the next 100 years of Disney, the return of that originality is something that I feel the Parks need most.
When we look at all of Walt Disney Imagineering’s more immediate plans, be it the current construction projects or the “Blue Sky” ideas they shared at the 2022 D23 Event, they all have something to do with recent movies. Whether it is at Disneyland Park, Magic Kingdom Park, Disneys Hollywood Studios, EPCOT, or Disneys Animal Kingdom, they are all getting movie-based projects, which include Tron, Moana, Zootopia, Encanto, and Coco to name a few. And while they will undoubtedly produce unforgettable experiences, they will still be examples of more safe, recycled material.
Now, Imagineers have been able to use franchises like Star Wars to give us original Park characters by expanding upon the source material. And we have reason to expect some level of this plussing will happen when Splash Mountain turns into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, but these characters are still only as original as a sequel.
If I could have one Christmas wish for Disney Parks that did not involve ticket price, Genie+ or Park Reservations, it would be for the Imagineers to take the risk and give fans something entirely original again in the Parks. A fresh new story with new characters for us to fall in love with. But, hey, a guy can dream, right?
We at Disney Fanatic will continue to update our readers on Disney Parks news and stories as more developments come to light.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s and may not reflect the sentiments of Disney Fanatic as a whole.