After hinting last week that some big things might be in the works for the Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney has confirmed that they are embarking on a massive $60 billion expenditure plan for Disney, Parks, Experiences, and Products over the next ten years.
This business segment includes Disney’s domestic and international parks as well as its fleet of cruise ships. With Disney effectively doubling its spending on theme parks over the next decade, we can expect a lot of changes and announcements in the near future. But with official details scarce about what exactly Disney is planning to do with this major investment, you might be wondering exactly what Disney could possibly be planning. And there is an answer to that… kind of.
Disney commits to featuring “unexplored stories” in new theme park attractions and expansions
Image: DisneyOver the past year, Disney has been talking a lot about ideas that they have for the future of their parks. From villains- and Coco-themed lands in the Magic Kingdom to Indiana Jones, Encanto and Zootopia at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney has a lot of concepts about what they want to do with their next phase of theme park growth and expansion, but not a lot of concrete plans just yet.
However, Parks chairman Josh D’Amaro recently made some comments that hint at the company’s overall plan with these new developments, saying that Disney is looking to specifically develop attractions based on IP they have not used before.
“In terms of bringing the latest Disney-Marvel-Pixar intellectual property to the parks, we haven’t come close to scratching the surface. And we have learned that incorporating Disney I.P. increases the return on investment significantly,” D’Amaro said, adding Frozen “could have a presence at the Disneyland Resort,” and “Wakanda has yet to be brought to life. The world of Coco is just waiting to be explored.”
A strong focus on Walt Disney World, as attention shifts to Epic Universe
Image: DisneyFor most of its history, Walt Disney World has been OK simply ignoring its central Florida competition, confident that its brand name was enough to keep it comfortably ahead in the theme park wars. However Universal Epic Universe is shaping up to be a game changer, and once this park opens in 2025 it actually stands a chance at helping Universal Orlando Resort de-throne Walt Disney World as the most popular tourist attraction in Orlando.
And while many have wondered how Disney might respond now that Universal is a credible threat to them, we now know that at least $17 billion of the aforementioned $60 billion has been set aside specifically for Walt Disney World, likely to build new attractions quickly to help keep Disney on top even as Universal opens its cutting edge new park with killer IP-themed lands based on Nintendo, Universal Monsters, How to Train Your Dragon and more.
In a statement, Disney says the company has “over 1,000 acres of land for possible future development to expand theme park space across its existing sites – the equivalent of about seven new Disneyland Parks.” The next ten years are definitely going to be interesting for Disney fans, as the company gears up for its biggest theme park investment in the modern era. Hopefully we’ll hear more about what’s on the horizon soon!