Disney’s Real-Life Wakanda Land Development Gets Promising Update

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The unveiling of concept art for Disneyland Resort’s potential expansion under the DisneylandForward initiative initially captivated the Marvel Cinematic Universe fanbase back in 2021. The inclusion of Black Panther’s Mount Bashenga in the theme park concept art hinted at the tantalizing prospect of bringing Wakanda to life within Disney’s magical realms.

Since then, Disney has continually expressed its fervent interest in materializing the iconic African nation, and now, with a recent pivotal vote, the dream of a Black Panther-themed park experience has taken a significant stride forward.

On April 17, the Anaheim City Council gave its stamp of approval to DisneylandForward, mandating Disney to inject a minimum of $1.9 billion into park enhancements, accommodations, and entertainment ventures, potentially including a dedicated Wakanda theme park precinct alongside its existing attractions. While there are still procedural hoops for Disney to navigate, such as a forthcoming vote on May 7, the council’s green light represents a promising milestone in this ambitious endeavor.

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It’s crucial to underscore that Disney has yet to formally announce intentions to construct Wakanda or a Black Panther-themed experience. Presently, the sole confirmed project slated for development within DisneylandForward or the preexisting parks is a new Avatar land inspired by the forthcoming film “Avatar: The Way of Water.”

However, tantalizing hints have been dropped by Disney executives, with Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro alluding to potential plans for Wakanda. Rachel Alde, Disney’s senior vice president of global development and finance, echoed this sentiment, expressing a desire to explore untold narratives like “Wakanda,” “Coco,” “Frozen,” and “Zootopia.”

Moreover, Disneyland Resort holds a unique advantage as the sole stateside destination legally empowered to host a Marvel-themed park attraction, owing to contractual restrictions preventing Disney World from featuring Marvel characters.

This isn’t Disneyland’s first foray into integrating Wakanda into its park offerings. Initially, the signature attraction for Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure was envisioned as a Wakanda-centric battle before evolving into a concept centered around King Thanos and the Multiverse.

Additionally, in celebration of the release of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” in 2022, Avengers Campus introduced a host of Wakanda-inspired culinary delights, new character encounters, and thematic enhancements.

As anticipation mounts, fans eagerly await an official announcement from Disney regarding Wakanda’s inclusion in either of its parks or within the DisneylandForward expansion. With the approval process for DisneylandForward nearing completion, the company is poised to unveil more concrete plans. Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock’s assurance during the Anaheim City Council meeting that the resort is “committed to starting right away” adds to the anticipation.

The most opportune moment for such a revelation is anticipated to be during D23 this August, a customary venue for Disney to unveil its forthcoming slate of attractions, parks, and experiences. Given Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige’s previous involvement in announcing attractions at D23, hopes are high that this year’s event may herald not just a new ride, but an entire Wakanda-themed land, marking a significant leap forward in Disney’s storytelling ambitions.