The Beloved Disney World Area Going Extinct In 2024

Say goodbye to Dinoland U.S.A. at Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida. Like the prehistoric creatures that give the attraction its name, Dinoland is going extinct, as Disney World looks to reimagine an entirely new theme.

This news comes out of the latest Destination D23 fan event in September 2023 at Disney's Contemporary Resort in Florida. Dinoland has been part of the Animal Kingdom park since opening in 1998. It's celebrating its 25th anniversary with Animal Kingdom this year, and there's no exact timeline yet for when it will close to make way for the retheme.

At Destination D23, Bruce Vaughn, chief creative officer for Walt Disney Imagineering, told the crowd, "We're looking at reimagining Dinoland into something completely new. We're focusing on a region of the world sometimes referred to as the 'Tropical Americas.' This is the area around the equator here in the Western Hemisphere. Basically, the northern part of South America, stretching up into Central America."

Animal Kingdom already has areas themed to Africa and Asia, so the Tropical Americas theme will complement those. It will balance the zoological theme park more toward living animals and cultures, even as the park continues drawing visitors with Pandora — The World of Avatar.

The latter area, based on James Cameron's sci-fi blockbuster — the highest-grossing movie of all time — opened in May 2017. Dinoland's replacement marks the first development of a major new park attraction since then. Like Pandora, the Tropical Americas area could draw inspiration from movies.

Dinoland might give way to Encanto and Indiana Jones

During the announcement of Dinoland's reimagining, the band fired up the Grammy-winning song "We Don't Talk About Bruno" from the 2021 Disney film "Encanto." It also launched into the familiar music from the "Indiana Jones" movies, leading Bruce Vaughn to joke about how Imagineering is "whipping up some new ideas."

"It all starts with the foundation of the Tropical Americas region," he said. "And as we've been talking about stories from this part of the world, 'Encanto' and 'Indiana Jones' just rose to the top."

When Dinoland first opened, its main draw was the ride "Countdown to Extinction", later renamed simply "Dinosaur." With a backstory set in Diggs County (a pun on excavations), the area also debuted other attractions like "The Boneyard" playground and the quick-service dining spot, Restaurantosaurus.

Over the years, Dinoland added more refreshment stands and gift shops, the show "Donald's Dino-Bash," a Launchpad McQuack character greeting spot, and attractions like Fossil Fun Games and TriceraTop Spin. Another ride, "Primeval Whirl," closed in 2020 and has since been demolished.

TikToker @themouselets speculates that Dinosaur's "Time Rover" ride vehicles could be reworked into jeeps for an East Coast version of the "Indiana Jones Adventure" attraction at California's Disneyland. Florida is already home to the "Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular" show. However, Disney has said that the "Encanto" and "Indiana Jones" ideas are only being considered, and it hasn't yet announced further details of Dinoland's reimagining into the Tropical Americas.