Disney does not intend to follow Universal’s lead and build regional theme park experiences. The idea of Disney building new parks in other locations around the country was put to rest by Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, in a Q&A session during the JP Morgan Global Technology, Media & Communications Conference.
D’Amaro touched on several Disney topics, including the closure of the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, Disney’s future investment in Florida, and more. When asked about Disney building smaller theme parks around the United States, D’Amaro said it might be an interesting idea for Universal but it’s not something Disney is interested in at this time.
Instead, D’Amaro said Disney plans to focus on their existing theme parks and resorts. That includes a planned spend of $17 billion at Walt Disney World over the next 10 years. D’Amaro hinted that future investments at Walt Disney World may include the ‘blue sky’ ideas from the D23 2022 presentation with new lands going into Magic Kingdom.
The confirmation that Disney won’t build smaller regional theme parks isn’t surprising despite the ongoing conflict with the Florida government. People have begged Disney to move Walt Disney World (an idea that’s not even remotely possible or realistic) and to invest more in other states. But, that concept could harm the Disney brand by stretching it too thin and wouldn’t have the best ROI compared to investing into Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
Of course, Disney’s plans could always change and they might one day make a new experience in a new state. But, for now, the most cost-effective decision (and the one with the best return on investment) is to continue building out the existing parks and resorts.