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How Disney Will Spend $17 Billion On Disney World Expansion

Walt Disney spends billions each year updating its theme parks. In Florida, where its flagship Disney World property contains four theme parks, two water parks, a massive shopping area, and many hotels, the company has completed a staggering amount of projects over the past decade.

These include adding the “Pandora: World of Avatar” land at Animal Kingdom, “Toy Story Land,” and the even more expansive “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Walt Disney (DIS) – Get Free Report also started a huge update at Epcot, adding the “Space 220” restaurant, “Frozen Ever After,” “Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure,” and the park’s first roller coaster, the ambitious (and massive) “Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.”

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In addition, the theme park giant built “Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway” and “Tron Lightcycle Run” at Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom respectively. Those aren’t the only investments Walt Disney made at Disney World over the past 10 years. That’s just the highlights.

Now, the theme park giant’s CEO Bob Iger has been using the number $17 billion when it discusses capital expenditures at its Florida park over the next decade. Iger has floated that number as part of the company’s ongoing battle with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

That fight could change Disney’s plans, but threats aside, Iger may move spending around, but with Comcast’s  (CMCSA) – Get Free Report Universal Studio opening its Epic Universe theme park in 2025, it seems unlikely that Iger won’t keep the new rides and lands coming at Disney World even in the current unfriendly political environment the company operates in.

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“Tron: Lightcycle Run is open at Magic Kingdom.

Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty

Here’s How Disney World Will Spend $17 Billion

Disney executives, it should be noted, don’t lay out exactly what will be built when at Disney World or any other of the company’s properties. That’s partially because Disney does not want Comcast to know its plans before the ground has even been broken.

You can’t keep an entire theme park being built under wraps, but Disney generally does a good job keeping its projects secret until they become real. Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro has publicly named a few projects that will be included in the $17 billion, Blog Mickey reported.

D’Amaro said he expected the company to be “aggressive” in its spending at Disney World. The $17 billion he added would include the ongoing overhaul of Epcot, a new “Star Tours” attraction at Hollywood Studios and other previously announced changes like the revamping of Splash Mountain into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, which is already underway.

The Disney theme parks boss was vague beyond that, but BlogMickey laid out where it expects some of the $17 billion to be invested.

“While he didn’t say them by name, there are two Blue Sky projects that we expect to happen at Disney World. One in Magic Kingdom will expand beyond the Big Thunder Mountain attraction and create Coco, Encanto, and Villains-themed lands. Another more immediate project is expected to replace the DinoLand USA section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom with Moana and Zootopia attractions,” the site shared.

Those are projects D’Amaro brought up at the recent D23 event. He did not commit to building them but did share that they were being talked about.

The $17 billion does not include the recently canceled Lake Nona headquarters project Disney was expecting to spend $1 billion on. That money would have come from a different part of the company’s capital budget.


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