Disney World Plans Ambitious Expansion In Florida, But Releases Few Details


The Walt Disney Company has proposed a $60 billion investment plan that includes an expansion of the Magic Kingdom near Orlando, Fla., although the company is being quiet as a mouse when it comes to details.

“It’s probably the largest expansion ever at Magic Kingdom,” Michael Hundgen, Walt Disney World site portfolio executive, told reporters this week at the company’s Walt Disney Imagineering facility in California.

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A Disney team is conducting research trips and exploring concepts, CNN reported. Hundgen didn’t offer details about when the new project would be built or what the focus would be.

Disney is feeling some heat from a major rival. Universal Orlando Resort plans to open a third theme park, Epic Universe, in 2025.

During Disney’s annual shareholder meeting Wednesday, the company posed a shareholder question: “Why hasn’t Disney prepared anything, or placed more than just a handful of attractions to be ready for this in 2025 at Walt Disney World?”

CEO Bob Iger’s answer: “That just couldn’t be further from the truth.”

Iger said a legal settlement reached last week between Disney and the state of Florida “will actually enable us to pursue the kind of significant investment in our Florida parks that you’re talking about.”

Before a high-profile fight with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Disney envisioned an ambitious growth plan, one that called for up to 14,000 new hotel rooms, another major theme park and several smaller parks.

Disney expects those projects to generate $17 billion in spending and 13,000 new jobs.

Jeff Ostrowski can be reached at jostrowski@commercialobserver.com.