Leo: Is Magic Land a Real Park in Florida?

Directed by the trio of David Wachtenheim, Robert Marianetti, and Robert Smigel, Netflix’s ‘Leo’ is an animated children’s film about Leo, an anthropomorphic lizard. After Leo learns that he has little time to live, he decides to ditch his life as a pet at an elementary school and seek freedom. However, Leo inadvertently finds himself bonding with the children in his class. In the film, the children desire to visit the Magic Land Park in Florida, which becomes a major plot point near the film’s end. Hence, viewers must be wondering whether Magic Land is a real theme park. SPOILERS AHEAD

Magic Land is a Fictional Park

In ‘Leo,’ the fifth-grade students at Fort Myer Elementary School and their class pets, Leo, a lizard, and Squirtle, a turtle, are the story’s primary focus. At the start of the school year, the fifth graders in Mrs. Salinas’ class discuss the “Academicathlon,” a competition between the class. The winning class is awarded a trip to the Magic Land Park, an amusement park popular among children. As the narrative progresses, the students band together and are motivated by their desire to win the competition to win the trip to Magic Land Park. The park is defined by its enthralling rides and overall magic and fantasy-themed setting.

The film is primarily set in Florida, where the fictional Fort Myer Elementary School is located. In reality, there is no amusement park named Magic Land Park in Florida. Hence, it is safe to say that Magic Land Park is a fictional setting within the film’s world. However, the Magic Land Park is likely inspired by the Magic Kingdom Park. The latter is a theme park in the Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida. It was opened in October 1971 and is owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company. It is among America’s most visited theme parks and is dedicated to fairy tales and Disney characters.

After watching the film, it is evident that the Magic Land Park is at least partially based on the Magic Kingdom Park, particularly because of the similarities between their names. Moreover, both parks are located in Florida and are known for their fantastical theme. In the film, the Magic Land Park is covered in a hue of purple, which is also one of the defining factors in the Magic Kingdom Park’s physical appearance. Hence, while the Magic Land Park in ‘Leo’ is a fictional setting, it is mostly inspired by Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park, but the makers likely had to avoid using the actual name and related IPs to avoid any legal conflicts.

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