Disney’s Magic Kingdom Expansion Compared to the Scale of New Fantasyland, Star Wars, and Avatar

We are LIVE from D23 Expo at the Disney Parks panel sharing nonstop updates for new experiences, rethemes and more coming to Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line and Disney's International Parks!

You can follow along for all our D23 Expo live updates on our main page which covers everything that has been shared so far!

Update: NEW Details About Magic Kingdom Expansion

At the Destination D23 event, Disney shared that the Magic Kingdom Expansion “Beyond Thunder Mountain” will be the biggest ever for the park. Imagineers are planning something that is similar in scale to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Pandora – The World of Avatar, both massive projects that have been hugely successful for Disney and popular additions to the parks.

This expansion will include adding new attractions, shows, restaurants, and more! Disney will share more details about the Magic Kingdom expansion in the future as they work more on this project.

Given the announcement at Destination D23 that Encanto & Indiana Jones will be coming to Animal Kingdom, we can expect that Encanto will likely not be coming to Magic Kingdom as a concept for the expansion.

Previous D23 Expo Announcement: Magic Kingdom Expansion Planned

Live from D23 Expo, Disney revealed a teaser for a Magic Kingdom expansion! We were walked through a step by step of what it looks like when Imagineers…. imagine! Disney teased an expansion in the design phase behind Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Walt Disney World.

Chairman of Disney Parks Josh D'Maro began this conversation with this explanation,

Way early in the creative process, it's what our Imagineers call “Blue Sky.” I want to be clear with everybody in here though. We're not up here daydreaming, these things we're going to talk about they are very real, they are very serious discussions that I'm having with our team about the future of our parks and experiences.

During this conversation, Imagineers and Disney Animation took us on a wild journey of what ifs and what could be and showed a variety of possibilities for what this expansion could include which began with the question, “Do you ever wonder if you could travel to the other side of Big Thunder Mountain, what could be there?”

Concepts included popular Disney fan ideas like the much discussed Villains land featuring Maleficent at the center of the concept art from a land featuring the village from Coco or an area focused on the magic of Encanto.

Descriptions of these possibilities touched on what it would be like to fly into the World of the Dead on your alebrije after celebrating Día de Muertos with Coco and his family.

Or what if we wanted to talk about Bruno? What if Mirabel is your guide through the magical house in Encanto? What if you could step up to a door and find your own magical gift? What would Antonio's treehouse be like? Bruno's Tower? One thing I noticed, there was a definite emphasis to include more Encanto in the parks by both Imagineering and Disney Animation which makes this idea the most likely in my opinion!

And my favorite, they addressed a long held desired land by Disney fans… a Villains themed land! What would it look like to have a land dedicated to our favorite Disney Villains? (My answer? It would look awesome…!)

As Josh D'Maro called it, a ‘thought starter' visual was shown and it featured all three ideas merged together as the answer to… What is beyond Big Thunder Mountain?

As I wrote in our article on the Animal Kingdom expansion with Moana and Zootopia, I do expect that we will see these areas come to fruition but that Disney just did not want to promise massive expansions way out over the next ten years. These are massive projects and it is exciting to see what they have in the pipeline. The Disney Parks teams are faced with walking a fine line of what to announce of long term plans as things change over time and the realistic timeline on getting these complex areas online is likely years.

Regardless of what Disney decides, there are definitely plans in the works for a Magic Kingdom expansion which is an exciting prospect!

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About Lindsay Brookshier

Lindsay is a college English instructor and has years of writing experience through various nonprofits, charities, newspapers, and online magazines. As the content director of Mickey Visit, she oversees article content and leads our fantastic team of writers to meet guest vacation needs. You can still find her writing weekly content to help make your Disney Parks trip fantastic here on Mickey Visit and Disney Dose- you can also view her recently featured posts on Disney Parks travel on Visit Anaheim, Nerd Wallet and SFGate. Lindsay comes from a dedicated Disney family and enjoys taking her son to the Disney parks as often as possible.

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