Indiana Jones may be receiving his own theme park land at Walt Disney World. The treasure-hunting franchise had migrated over to Disney when Lucasfilm was acquired (along with the Star Wars IP) in October 2012. However, leveraging the franchise’s monetary potential has been slow-going ever since. Although they have already produced several movies, games, and TV shows (not to mention the many novels and comic books) within the Star Wars saga, Disney and Lucasfilm have remained mostly quiet with regard to the Indiana Jones series – but not for much longer.
Aside from greatly expanding the Star Wars galaxy on-screen, The Walt Disney Company has also spent the last few years building Galaxy’s Edge (their Star Wars-themed lands) at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, and now it looks like Disney Parks & Resorts wants to continue mining Lucasfilm’s library for additional theme park land ideas. In addition to Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford returning to the long-running franchise with Indiana Jones 5, it seems that Indy may receive his own theme park land.
Orlando Informer reports that Disney Imagineering plans on incorporating the same immersion approach they took with Pandora: The World of Avatar for an Indiana Jones Land. The idea would be to replace Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s DinoLand U.S.A., with half the rides being demolished and replaced, and the other half being re-themed for Indiana Jones-themed rides. Interestingly, though this rumor hasn’t been confirmed, it’s certainly plausible that Disney Imagineering has thought up ways to restructure DinoLand into an Indiana Jones Land.
The notion of replacing half of DinoLand with new attractions makes sense, but what may cause people to rethink the rumor is the idea of re-theming the other half. The fact is, Disney Parks & Resorts established a precedent for this type of overhaul by re-theming The Twilight Zone’s Tower of Terror ride at Disney’s California Adventure earlier this summer into the Marvel-themed Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: BREAKOUT ride. According to the rumor, DinoLand’s flagship ride, Dinosaur, will be overlayed into Walt Disney World’s own Indiana Jones Adventure (based on Disneyland’s Indy ride), since both rides share a similar track system. Plus, as attendees and annual pass holders can attest to, Disneyland’s Indiana Jones Adventure has been one of the park’s most popular rides ever since it opened in 1995 (despite its constant breakdowns), so it makes sense that Disney would want to use that as their flagship ride for their Orlando resort.
Considering the reports that suggest park attendance has barely increased for Disney’s Animal Kingdom this summer, despite opening their Avatar-themed land, it’s conceivable that Disney Parks & Resorts would want to build ideas around their more consumer-drawn properties, hence their past decisions to build Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land. Perhaps next up on that list is, indeed, Indiana Jones Land.