Disney Preparing to File Permits for Massive Magic Kingdom Expansion

Disney is officially in the preliminary stages of building a massive new expansion at Magic Kingdom. Water management permits are expected to be filed in the next few weeks for a new land (or lands) past Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Walt Disney Imagineering conveyed the news to several members of the media during a recent showcase.

The Magic Kingdom expansion, which has been commonly referred to as the ‘Beyond Big Thunder Mountain’ project, will reportedly be about 14 acres in size. Disney has previously discussed several lands that could live in the expansion, including Encanto, Coco, and a Villains lands.

CNN reported on some of the details about the addition to Magic Kingdom.

“It’s probably the largest expansion ever at Magic Kingdom,” Michael Hundgen, Walt Disney World site portfolio executive, said Tuesday during a rare media event previewing new Disney attraction designs and technology at its Walt Disney Imagineering facility in California.

He said the expansion will be about the size of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, which occupies about 14 acres. A Disney team is currently on research trips and going through concept design for this expansion area.

The ‘Beyond Big Thunder Mountain’ expansion would live – you guessed it – just past Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The area just north and to the west of the Frontierland attraction appears ripe for expansion. But, a lot of questions remain about the proposed addition.

What lands will make the final cut? Would Disney use the same theme, such as Encanto, in simultaneous expansions at two Walt Disney World parks? The update to Dinoland USA at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is expected to include Encanto in some capacity.

We also wonder about the future of Tom Sawyer’s Island and some of the logistics to handle the crowds heading to a new expansion in the back of Magic Kingdom. Tom Sawyer’s Island has a pretty big footprint and, if we’re being honest, relatively minimal interest from guests. We think it’s a great place to take a break from the craziness of Magic Kingdom. But, we can see Disney wanting to repurpose all that land.

Look for Disney to announce more about the Magic Kingdom project, the project at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and more at D23 this ummer.

Keep visiting NotesFromNeverland.com for the latest Disney news and information.

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David is a Disney travel expert who created Notes from Neverland in 2018 after visiting Disney theme parks countless times. Previously, David spent way too much time writing about sports, and was featured in Sports Illustrated, MSN, Yahoo!, and in many other publications. Learn more or contact us.

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