Is a New Disney World Theme Park in the Works? Florida Vote

Is a New Disney World Theme Park in the Works? Florida Vote

Is a New Disney World Theme Park in the Works? Florida Vote

Fans of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, might be in for a treat after initial votes have been cast in favor of a massive expansion plan for the theme park.

A unanimous agreement was reached in primary voting between Disney and the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD) on Wednesday, which would allow for the existing theme park to expand outward, build additional hotels and retail spaces, and allow Disney the opportunity to create an additional theme park if the company desires.

The project is expected to cost upwards of $17 billion over the next two decades.

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“With Walt Disney World’s substantial investments, we anticipate economic growth, job creation, and support for local businesses, alongside environmental stewardship and workforce housing initiatives, benefiting Central Florida’s community,” District Administrator, Stephanie Kopelousos, told Business Insider in a statement.

This could mark Disney’s fifth major theme park in the area, which currently operates Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom.

The agreement will also see at least $10 million allocated toward housing projects and donating land “for public infrastructure improvements” in the area. Disney would be required to use local contractors for construction projects should the expansion plan get approved and would also be required to make sure that 50% of all contracted business be local to Florida.

Disney has not yet publicly disclosed or confirmed the plans for a new park, though the rumor mill has been churning for years.

Referred to as the “fifth gate” by Disney fanatics, Disney CEO Bob Iger referenced the potential project during a Q1 2024 earnings call back in February.

“We’re already hard at work at basically determining where we’re going to place our new investments and what they will be,” Iger said. “You can pretty much conclude that they’ll be all over, meaning every single one of our locations will be the beneficiary of increased investment.”

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Disney laid off an estimated 14% of its Pixar team last month as part of restructuring and moving toward more “quality” content over “quantity,” namely on its streaming service Disney+, per Iger’s remarks during a Q4 2023 earnings call.

Disney was up just under 10% year over year as of Thursday afternoon.

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