Disney teases Frozen, Black Panther and Coco experiences for Disneyland

Disney teases Frozen, Black Panther and Coco experiences for Disneyland

Disneyland may — or may not — be getting new themed lands, rides or experiences based on Frozen, Black Panther, Coco and Avatar as the Disney leadership continues to tease Blue Sky concepts as tantalizing possibilities for the Anaheim theme park.

Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro floated the possibility of new lands or attractions based on Frozen’s Arendelle, Black Panther’s Wakanda and Coco’s Santa Cecilia during an investor summit on Tuesday, Sept. 19 at Walt Disney World in Florida.

“We have a wealth of untapped stories to bring to life across our business,” D’Amaro said during the investor summit. “Frozen, one of the most successful and popular animated franchises of all time, could have a presence at the Disneyland Resort. Wakanda has yet to be brought to life. The world of Coco is just waiting to be explored. There’s a lot of storytelling opportunity.”

SEE ALSO: Disney doubles theme park investment to $60 billion over next decade

D’Amaro and Disney CEO Bob Iger have been teasing a lot of Blue Sky concepts lately as long-term possibilities for Disney theme parks that once would have been kept under wraps as carefully guarded secrets at Walt Disney Imagineering.

Iger has been touting an Avatar experience for the Disneyland resort that Imagineering is working on with producer James Cameron. No name, date, location or further explanation of the “experience” has been provided.

D’Amaro teased equally murky plans for a new E-ticket dark ride at Avengers Campus in Disney California Adventure during the recent Destination D23 event in Florida — once again with no official name or opening date for the attraction.

What kind of “presence” will Frozen take at Disneyland or Disney California Adventure? Are the Black Panther and Coco projects intended for the Disneyland resort or some other Disney theme park? Is the Avatar “experience” a land, ride or walk-through attraction?

The Frozen “presence” could be an Olaf slushie in Fantasyland. The Avatar “experience” might be a new churro flavor at DCA. The Black Panther teaser could be for character meet-and-greet in Avengers Campus. But it seems unlikely Disney would trot out Iger and D’Amaro for such announcements.

There’s likely one reason for all the pie-in-the-sky possibilities floating over Anaheim: DisneylandForward.

The Frozen, Black Panther and Coco teasers came as part of a broader announcement that Disney plans to double its investments in theme parks to $60 billion over the next decade.

A big pile of those billions could end up in Anaheim over the next decade if the city approves the DisneylandForward plans in 2024.

The DisneylandForward proposal seeks to update a 1990s Anaheim city plan to allow for a mix of theme park, hotel, retail, dining and entertainment on the eastern and western edges of the Disneyland resort.

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The long-term planning proposal dangles six possible projects based on Frozen, Tangled, Peter Pan, Zootopia, Toy Story and Tron as the types of lands and attractions Anaheim is missing out on under current city planning and zoning guidelines.

Concept art for DisneylandForward features Disney theme park projects around the globe intended to provide a “flavor” of what future expansion could look like at the Disneyland resort. The projects presented included the Tangled, Frozen and Peter Pan themed lands at Tokyo Disneyland in Japan, the Zootopia themed land, Disneytown retail district and the Tron roller coaster at Shanghai Disneyland in China and Toy Story Land and Disney Springs shopping district at Walt Disney World in Florida.

Hints of a Black Panther themed land in a conceptual map for DisneylandForward sent the Disney blogosphere into a frenzy in 2021. Disneyland officials tamped down the flames of speculation at the time — and now D’Amaro is stoking the embers again.