Disney Will Invest Huge in Theme Parks Soon

On Tuesday, September 19th, The Walt Disney Company filed an SEC document that you can read in its entirety here. I’ll spare you the aggravation of reading 32 pages of Investor Relations particulars. Here’s all that you need to know. 

Disney will invest hugely in its theme parks soon. How much money are we talking about? According to the legal filing, Disney will spend $60 billion on theme parks and experiences over the next decade. Yes, another Disney Decade is at hand. Here’s what we know about what’s happening. 

How Much Is $60 Billion?

Let me start by calibrating your expectations. Disney officials pointedly reminded fans that the company spent $30 billion on similar offerings during the past decade. Once we factor inflation into the equation, it’s closer to $38 billion. 

Also, we already know where some of that money will go. Disney Cruise Line will introduce the Disney Treasure in 2024. Then, the Disney Adventure will set sail for the first time in Southeast Asia in 2025. Finally, a sibling to the Disney Treasure and Disney Wish will hit the water in 2026. Even though Disney got a deal on the Adventure, that’s nearly $3 billion right there. 

Don’t get me wrong. Disney will still have plenty of money to spend on park expansion. I just don’t want you to think that Disney is sure to announce a fifth gate at Walt Disney World and a third gate at Disneyland Resort soon.

Could Disneyland Resort Add a Third Theme Park?

Now, I’ll turn around and acknowledge that these two possibilities exist. In fact, the DisneylandForward plan at Disneyland Resort just updated its paperwork on the official Anaheim website. Those filings suggest the possibility of a third theme park on the Disneyland campus.

Disney even leaned into the idea during an investor discussion Tuesday morning. Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, stated that Frozen could add a presence at Disneyland:

D’Amaro added Black Panther and Coco as other films that Imagineers could turn into theme park stories. Meanwhile, Disney officials told Disneyland reporters that other potential expansion projects include Frozen, Peter Pan’s Flight, Tangled, Toy Story, Tron, and Zootopia. 

Notably, variants of these ideas exist around the world. Many of them are either existing themed lands and attractions or are coming soon. Disneyland officials have updated the Anaheim City Council on proposals that make any or possibly even all these projects feasible.

Before that can happen, the council members must vote on the updated plans, as Disneyland currently abides by ordinances signed in the 1990s. However, Disney expects this proposal to advance.

Once Disneyland possesses the ability to expand, Disney appears likely to add at least three and possibly as many as eight themed lands on the Disneyland campus. Whether Disney calls this expansion an entirely new themed land or not barely matters. It’s a dramatic addition to the existing Disneyland Resort offerings. 

On Wednesday, one analyst suggested that Disney California Adventure could expand by 50 percent. That’s the kind of space Disney can use to improve the parks.

What Should We Expect at Walt Disney World?

Disney officials already told us at least part of what’s coming to Walt Disney World. During Destination D23, D’Amaro and Imagineer Bruce Vaughn stated several plans. 

Among them, Disney has promised to re-theme DinoLand U.S.A., with a Central Americas theme. This area would feature stories from Encanto and Indiana Jones. Disney’s Animal Kingdom may also add a Zootopia-themed land in a different section of the park. And that’s just the expansion coming to one park!

Disney had previously referenced what lies beyond Big Thunder Mountain at D23. Those blue-sky plans came up again during Destination D23. This project would expand Magic Kingdom beyond its current Frontierland boundary. 

During the Tuesday morning interviews, Disney officials didn’t mention specifics, though. Instead, D’Amaro offered this quote: “We want to keep growing and investing and have ambitious plans in Florida.” 



The Parks Chairman also stated, “For the benefit of our guests, our cast members and the economy of Central Florida, we hope the conditions will be there for us to do so.” Obviously, Disney’s battle over Reedy Creek governance has caused some hesitation about committing resources in the short term. 


Still, Disney stressed the staggering growth potential at its theme parks. According to a corporate statement, “Disney Parks 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.” 

In other words, Disney owns the land to build several themed lands or possibly even a theme park or two. Now, it has committed $60 billion toward bringing those blue-sky into reality over the next decade. Since Disney has made an official SEC filing, this is happening. 

PS: Disney also indicated it’ll add “1,000 new Vacation Club ‘keys’” over five years. That’s a 15 percent expansion to DVC inventory!

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