Decoding Disney’s Massive Magic Kingdom Expansion Announcement

It’s certainly no secret that Disney World has undergone massive changes since it first opened.

Cinderella Castle

New parks have been added, rides have been updated and changed, lands have been expanded, and so much more. Disney doesn’t seem to be slowing down its updates anytime soon, with new rides and restaurants on the way. But, we might be most excited about the expansion coming to Magic Kingdom, and we’re breaking it all down.

Back in 2022, Disney teased a major Magic Kingdom expansion that could include Coco, Encanto, and Villains-themed lands. And then, they announced a $60 billion expansion planned for the next decade in its Parks, Experiences, and Products section of the company.

Concept Art for Magic Kingdom

It’s been confirmed for some time now that Disney definitely has future expansion plans for Magic Kingdom that are “the largest ever for the park.” Disney keeps using the phrase “Beyond Big Thunder Mountain” and compares the scale to things like Pandora — The World of Avatar and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. This plan is set to add “new attractions, restaurants, shows, and more!”

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

But, ultimately, these were just “Blue Sky” projects, meaning they were potential ideas and not confirmed expansions — until Disney shared they planned on filing a permit for storm drainage and other foundational work sometime in the near future.

We’re excited about the potential for Coco, Encanto, and Disney Villains lands, but nothing has been officially confirmed by Disney in terms of what sort of lands or theming might be part of this expansion.

Back in February 2023, the Reedy Creek Improvement District (which is now called the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District) released its 2023 long-term land use plan. It appeared to show an updated land usage designation for the area just north of Frontierland.


Land that the district once deemed “Unsuitable” is now said to be “Marginally Unsuitable.” Essentially, this means that the land that was once considered unavailable to be developed can now potentially be developed.

However, the area directly next to Big Thunder Mountain has been redesignated from “Suitable” to “Marginally Unsuitable.” Although it can be used for this new project, Disney could have to do extensive development of the land.


But, what could that development look like? An Encanto land was previously teased, but now we know that will actually be put in Animal Kingdom. Disney could include it at both parks, but we’re not sure they would.

Animal Kingdom Expansion Plans

Coco land was also part of the original concept art released for this project. Right beyond Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, it looks like you would step right into the plaza from the film. It looks like there is a tent where the musicians were performing and there is a water fountain and flags hanging between buildings. We think there could also be plenty of space for shops and a restaurant as well.

Concept art

The Villain-themed land doesn’t seem to be as fully fleshed out as the others, but it looks like the entrance is some sort of arch that seems to take you into a dark forest. This is fitting for many Disney films already, so the entrance seems like it would take you right out of the worlds of Coco and Encanto and into an evil villain’s lair.


Ultimately, this project will take years to complete, but it’s a good sign that things appear to be moving along. Hopefully, Disney will announce just what sort of lands will be part of this expansion sometime soon. With the next Disney earnings call coming up on May 7th and D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event taking place later in August, we’re hoping we get some news then!

Disney World

Stay tuned to AllEars as we keep an eye out for the latest announcements about the Magic Kingdom expansion and more Disney World news!

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2 Replies to “Decoding Disney’s Massive Magic Kingdom Expansion Announcement”

  1. It will probably be like Star War expansion. Looks good. Shopping. Restaurant, 1 maybe 2 attractions with a 2 hr wait, and when you leave there, you end up saying, is that all there is?

  2. This one is easy—Villains Land ONLY! MK is the one park where individual attraction stories traditionally fall into broader themed lands. A full land surrounding one concept isn’t needed or desired. Keep those to the other three parks. A Villains Land is a natural modern extension of the classic park and would/could accommodate a countless array of different characters and attraction ideas. The drawings of Coco and Encanto Lands were introduced at the peak of DEI. Put storytelling and imagination at the center of new ideas all the while maintaining faithfulness to 50+ years of what’s worked in the MK. Heck, we might even be able to see the Br’er Characters reintroduced in a Villains Land after being cancelled!