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Could We See an Indiana Jones Land at Walt Disney World?

“Snakes. Why’d  it have to be snakes?!” The most famous line from the Indiana Jones trilogy. Yes, you heard me right I said trilogy, sorry Crystal Skull, we’re pretending you didn’t happen. Over the years, we’ve seen Indiana Jones in the parks in various capacities, from the stunt show at Hollywood Studios, to the roller coaster at Disneyland Paris and of course the flagship ride at Disneyland California (also Tokyo Disneyland). There are rumbles (see what I did there?) in the Disney universe that we could be seeing Indiana Jones increase his presence at Walt Disney World. Could it be true? What rumors are out there and what changes could we be seeing? Let’s dig through the rumors and see if we find the lost ark!

Indiana Jones show entrance
Indiana Jones Stunt Show – Hollywood Studios

 

Disney’s History with Indiana Jones

In October of 2012, when the Walt Disney World acquired Lucasfilm the Indiana Jones franchise already had a presence in the theme parks. In the US, at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, there were attractions based around the famous adventurer. At Walt Disney World was the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular and a scene in the Great Movie Ride. You’re missed everyday Great Movie Ride! Over at Disneyland is arguably the best themed attractions in the US, Indiana Jones Adventure, at least that’s what Serena tells me. One day I’ll ride it, one day!

Since the acquisition, we’ve seen Disney go all in on Star Wars, from movies to merchandise and of course the new Star Wars Galaxy Edge Land. Rightfully so. We haven’t seen the same with Indiana Jones yet, could the giant rock be getting ready to start rolling? Did someone grab the golden idol?

Filming of Indiana Jones
Harrison Ford and Steven Spielburg 

 

The Clues

Believe it or not, Harrison Ford is gearing up for another Indiana Jones movie. At 76 years young (“Don’t call me Junior!” HA!), Disney has announced a new installment of Indiana Jones saga to be released in July of 2021. Filming is just waiting on a final sign-off of the script and for Steven Spielberg to wrap on his current project West Side Story. You chose poorly, Steven! Both Spielberg and Ford have committed to deliver a new Indiana Jones movie.

After the successful revamp of the James Bond series with Daniel Craig it would make sense that Disney would reboot Indiana Jones. Originally, Lucasfilm created the character of Indiana Jones as a direct reaction to the James Bond movies that came out in the late 70’s. Jones was designed to be the unpolished, adventure seeking, everyday man that James Bond was not. It was highly successful!

Disneyland Indiana Jones ride
Indiana Jones Ride in Disneyland

 

Where, What, and When – Timing is Everything

Digging through timelines and reading between the lines we have a theory in the DVC Duo household around what could happen. Disney has two clear options in looking at which park an Indiana Jones land could go. Rumor has it, both Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios are fighting over who should get it. The first option is the obvious one, redo Dinoland in the Animal Kingdom, as the Dinosaur attraction is a rethemed clone of the Indiana Jones Adventure in Disneyland. It would be an easy win for Disney to switch Dinosaur and they could easily add a second attraction in the place of Primeval Whirl. Every Disneyphile would rejoice, well not everyone….we love Dinosaur!  

There is one catch, is around rethemeing Dinosaur. Fun fact, when Walt Disney World constructed the Dinosaur building they adjusted the overall height of the building and made it shorter to improve sight-lines. Usually this wouldn’t be an issue, but adding the effects (rolling rock) of the Indiana Jones attraction would require Walt Disney World to raise the roof of the building to fit everything. Thanks for the insight Jim Hill from Jim Hill Media!

Knowing that major changes would have to occur to the Dinosaur building that would make us believe that Hollywood Studios is the best option. Indiana Jones has been a cornerstone of the park since 1989. Where the current stunt show is located there is plenty of room for a large (e-ticket) type attraction and second mid-level type of ride. Similarly to how Pandora is currently set-up with Flight of Passage and Navi River Journey. Immediately our minds go to the mine car scene in The Temple of Doom, feel free to steal that idea ,Walt Disney World, no royalties needed!

Regarding timing, we probably wouldn’t see work start prior to October 2021. With Star Wars Galaxy Edge opening in late fall 2019 (::cough, cough:: December 2019) Walt Disney World will need all attractions open to handle the masses. Rumor has it that the shows at Hollywood Studios will be used for queues and ways to “entertain” guests waiting to go into the new land. We should also factor in the 50th anniversary celebration that will kick-off January 2021 and run for 12 to 15 months. Starting any type of construction would make logical sense in late 2021.

In addition, a trend we’ve seen with Disney World is waiting to see if a movie is a “success” prior to adding/updating an attraction to the theme parks. Similar to the plan over at the Jungle Cruise. By October 2021, Disney will know if the new Indiana Jones is a success or not, based on the projected July release date.

We’re definitely excited to see how everything plays out. We’re hoping to see a transition from Harrison Ford to a new “Indy” that would carry the legacy forward. It would be amazing to see Indiana Jones revived both in the movies and the parks! What do you think? Are you ready for more Indy? Let us know below or on our Facebook Page!

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