Disney Shares BIG UPDATE on Park Expansions
Published: February 8, 2024
The Disney Parks you know and love could be changing in a BIG way.
Disney has teased potential expansion plans for NEW themed areas “Beyond Big Thunder Mountain” in Magic Kingdom and discussed a DinoLand U.S.A. re-theme in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. They’ve also talked about a $1.9 BILLION expansion at Disneyland. But those plans shared with fans have essentially just been “Blue Sky” ideas — a.k.a. nothing that is officially confirmed. But, we’ve seen hints at the expansion projects in the past, and now it seems Disney is dropping some more clues about what’s to come!
On February 7th, Disney held its earnings call (and released its earnings report) for the first quarter of the 2024 fiscal year. We got all kinds of info about different things happening within the Disney Company, but perhaps most importantly for Disney World fans, we got an update about the potential expansion at Disney’s parks.
In case you’re not familiar with these ideas generally, Disney previously shared some potential ideas they’re looking at to expand Magic Kingdom. This could include lands “Beyond Thunder Mountain” that are themed to Coco, Encanto, or maybe even the Disney villains.
In terms of Animal Kingdom, Disney is looking at potentially re-theming the DinoLand area to feature new experiences inspired by Encanto and Indiana Jones (previously, areas themed to Zootopia and Moana had been teased for this space as well).
On the West Coast, DisneylandForward is the name for the proposed changes and new additions. At a recent Anaheim City Council meeting, we learned that Disney is committed to spending $1.9 billion over the next decade under this proposal. Disney included projects themed to Coco, Black Panther, Tangled, Frozen, Zootopia, Peter Pan, Tron, and Toy Story in its proposal.
So now, let’s get to the updates! During the earnings call, Disney CEO Bob Iger was asked about the potential theme park expansions, and he said, “We’re already hard at work at determining where we’re going to place our investments and what they’re going to be.” He seems to be referring to the $60 billion investment plan Disney announced towards the end of 2023. Essentially, Disney is looking to invest $60 billion the the Parks, Experiences, and Products segment of the company over the next 10 years.
Disney also confirmed that 70% of that investment in the parks is “earmarked for incremental capacity-expanding investment,” which to us sounds like park expansions!
Iger noted that every park location will have new stuff, and those new additions will start to roll out in 2025. From there, Disney plans to have “a cadence of new stuff every year.”
Now, keep in mind that these ideas all seem to be in the “Blue Sky” phase at the moment, meaning they are being worked on but not officially confirmed to be coming to the parks. The ideas, the potential rides, the potential lands, etc. could all change once Disney makes a more concrete decision regarding what expansions/re-themes they’d like to do.
With Universal set to open a brand NEW theme park in 2025 (Epic Universe), Disney might be feeling the pressure to deliver a new park of its own or at least some incredible new lands, so we may get more news about all of these ideas soon.
In the meantime, stay tuned for the latest updates!
What do you think about Disney’s expansion plans? Tell us in the comments!