Disney has made yet another land purchase near Walt Disney World. The company has purchased about 235 acres of land just to the west of the golf courses that make up the western border for the property. The Orlando Business Journal reports that Disney paid $6 million for the nearly 235 acres.
This latest purchase comes about a year after Disney bought about 1,000 acres and then over 1,500 more acres near Celebration, Florida. The Orlando Business Journal reports that the recent string of land purchases places Walt Disney World at an estimated 30,000 total acres.
Aside from needing to update the trivia question on the Magical Express that asks how many acres Walt Disney World covers (the current answer is 25,000), what does Disney have planned for all this land? There are two possible scenarios.
Disney may just be scooping up this land in an effort to prevent others from developing buildings so close to their property. A huge complex of buildings – or competing hotels – so close to the edge of Walt Disney World wouldn’t be ideal for Disney’s interests. Keeping a buffer near the edge of their property is a smart business strategy.
The other possible plan for this land is the much more fun one to discuss – new construction at Walt Disney World. Disney could build something relatively excluded on this land seeing as it sits on the distant edge of the property. A boutique resort could make a lot of sense here. Guests would be removed from the hustle and bustle of the heart of Walt Disney World while still being close enough to easily enjoy all of the property’s theme parks and amenities. All of that being said, the most likely plan may center around construction elsewhere.
Disney’s agreement with the state of Florida requires them to set aside a percentage of their land for conservation. Disney may be scooping up more and more land in order to use the new purchases for conservation, allowing for the development of other land around Walt Disney World that’s currently designated for conservation. That would free up land that can be easily integrated into Disney’s existing systems (utilities, transportation, etc.).
Does this mean a fifth theme park is imminent? Probably not right away, but we firmly believe a fifth theme park is in Disney’s long-term plans at Walt Disney World. Consider these recent land purchases and the creation of new resorts the initial steps for what could see a fifth theme park announced within the next 10-15 years.