Will Walt Disney World Get a Wakanda Themed Land?

Disney Adventurer

Rumors have long persisted of a Wakanda-themed land being developed for Walt Disney World. A variety of potential locations have come up over time, for everywhere from Future World in Epcot to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Initially, these rumors appeared to be just fan speculation for a land based on an incredibly popular film. Black Panther is an incredibly popular film, and any attraction based on this film would be exceedingly popular. Disney’s use of Marvel is also incredibly limited in Disney World due to the pre-existing deal with Universal that prevents the park from using any characters or character families that appear in Marvel Superhero Island. While his appearance is small, the character of Black Panther does appear on artwork in the land, meaning Disney can’t use Black Panther in Disney World. But the question remained if the location Wakanda and its characters could be utilized. 

This is something we still do not have a definitive answer to.

But what complicates this is what we learned in the Disneyland Forward plan for expansion of the Disneyland Resort. This plan involved adding several already existing Disney attractions to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, including Pandora World of Avatar, Toy Story Land, Expedition Everest, and more. But there was one land in these plans that do not exist anywhere else, and that is an easily identifiable Wakanda land, as its defining feature is a giant Panther statue.

This means that Disney had designed a Black Panther land for somewhere. Disneyland Forward was not a plan ever intended to be built. It just was designed to show what could be built in an area of land using plans of Disney attractions that already existed.

The only new attraction in the entire plan was this Black Panther area, meaning that Disney has developed a Black Panther theme park land for somewhere in the world despite it not being built.

The real question is where was this intended for?

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We can eliminate the two parks of the Disneyland Resort, as it would not make sense to put that land in this new plan if it was intended for a different location in the two parks.

France does not make a lot of sense as there is already a massive Marvel expansion planned for Disneyland Paris.

The three Asian parks also do not make a lot of sense. Hong Kong is in the middle of a Marvel expansion at the moment. Shanghai probably makes the most sense so far as it has relatively little Marvel presence, but they are already in the middle of an expansion plan and prior to the pandemic there were rumors for several other expansions, none of them involving Marvel. Tokyo has no Marvel presence, but there is no room for an expansion of this size at the two parks.

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That leaves us with Walt Disney World. It is really the only park that it makes sense a Wakanda land was planned for. Not only does it have enough room for a land based on only one Marvel set of characters, rather than the whole franchise, but it is also limited on which characters it could use, and this could be a way to allow Walt Disney World to have a Marvel land.

Where was this land planned for, we do not know. There are certainly a lot of options, it could feasibly fit in any of the four parks of Walt Disney World, most easily in Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, or Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Now, will this happen?

Disney is not exactly investing in new projects right now. After the pandemic, Disney has been delaying basically every project they were in the middle of, and the only major new project announced since March 2020, the Princess and the Frog attraction replacing Splash Mountain in Disneyland and Walt Disney World, has yet to begin construction.

It is likely this project got lost in the shuffle and will now never see the light of day.