Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro talked with EW about the Indiana Jones reimagining of the DINOSAUR ride at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The details of the blue sky concept are not set in stone, but D’Amaro emphasized that this is “where our heads are” about possible updates to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Tropical Americas Land
Back in September 2022, Disney shared a blue sky concept that would see “Moana” and “Zootopia” replace DinoLand U.S.A. in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. At Destination D23 a year later, they announced they had switched gears and would turn the area into a Tropical Americas land featuring “Encanto,” “Indiana Jones,” and possibly “Coco.”
D’Amaro told EW that the concept art isn’t necessarily final but it highlights “where our heads are” as his team continues “dreaming” up plans for the future of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Disney is almost doubling their Disney Parks budget to $60 billion in the next 10 years. “We’ve got so many stories to tell, we have so many things we want to make even better in the theme parks. My plan is to continue to share that with the guests. I know people are like, ‘My gosh, I can’t believe he’s saying this. Is he serious, is he not?’ The answer is, we are absolutely serious,” D’Amaro said. “We know what this business is capable of, we know what our fans expect of us, and we’re going all in. You’re going to see more and more of that. As we make our way through some of these ideas, some of them will become real, and we’ll say that’s specifically what we’re going to do, but I want our guests to be on the journey with us.”
Indiana Jones and Animal Kingdom
D’Amaro addressed questions of how the “Indiana Jones” franchise would fit in with Disney’s Animal Kingdom. “Encanto” and “Coco” both heavily feature animals, but they are few and far between in “Indiana Jones.” The park also has a strong connection to conservation.
D’Amaro said that he’s not ready to go “deep into” specifics about the attraction yet but is optimistic about the potential.
“Animal Kingdom is about exploration and adventure,” he said and referenced his time as VP of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. “I was fortunate enough to have run that theme park, so I know how special it is, and I think there are a lot of stories that we can stay true to Animal Kingdom and express new properties in there, and that’s what you see us starting to do.”
Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland (subtitled Temple of the Forbidden Eye) has the same track layout as DINOSAUR in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, so it would be easy to turn the DinoLand ride into the Indiana Jones ride. However, Indiana Jones Adventure is set in India, not the tropical Americas. However, the Tokyo DisneySea version — Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull — is set in Mexico.
The original Indiana Jones Adventure opened in 1995. DINOSAUR opened as Countdown to Extinction with Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 1998. It received a few updates, including a name change, in 2000 to coincide with the release of the film “Dinosaur.” Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull opened at Tokyo DisneySea in 2001.
How do you feel about the planned Indiana Jones reimagining of DINOSAUR? Let us know in the comments.