“Plans For New Disney Park” Once Cost Texas Community Millions

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Mickey Mouse at Walt Disney World Resort as part of the 50th Anniversary Celebration

Credit: Disney

If you live in any region of the United States outside of Florida and California, you’ve probably heard rumors or stories at one point or another that a Disney Park was considered to be built in your area.

One Texas community, however, paid dearly for the thought that the next Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort would be coming to their area.

Sleeping Beauty Castle
Credit: Disney

Thomas W. Lucas Jr., of Plano, once performed a heist that left many investors and community members in the North Texas region absolutely stunned. Of course, he didn’t get away with it.

From 2006 to 2010, Lucas raised more than $60 million from hundreds of investors convincing them that he had “insider knowledge” on an all-new Disney Park and Resort coming to the area. “Frontier Disney DFW,” as it was called, was set to have several theme parks, a water park, a new airport, a maglev train, hotels, villas, sports facilities, and a shopping mall. Lucas’s presentations even included elaborate maps, floor plans, and mockups of the property set to be the biggest tourist attraction in the state of Texas.

mickey sleeping beauty castle
Credit: Disney

The only problem? None of it was true. Disney Employees testified at his trial that there were never any plans for a property to be developed in Texas.

The scheme conned two kinds of investors: those who invested in options to buy land near the phony development and those who actually bought land near the property, reports from Courthouse News indicated.

In the end, Lucas was sentenced to 17.5 years in federal prison on seven counts of wire fraud and one count of making false statements to an FBI agent by Fifth Circuit Judge Jerry Smith in September of 2015. He was ordered to pay $8.5 million in restitution.

Cinderella castle at night
Credit: Disney

Lucas is currently serving out his sentence, which will end in 2033.

There is a current trend going around social media where many fans and political leaders are offering up their states for Walt Disney World Resort to take up residence, but we’d encourage you to be extra careful if you ever get a call from a private investor claiming to have insider information about a Disney Park and Resort coming to your community because most likely, it’s not actual or satisfactual, no matter how good it might sound.

Have you ever heard this story of Thomas Lucas at the phony Disney Park that was never to be? 

Let the expert team at Academy Travel help you plan your next magical vacation to Disney World’s water parks, four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the Disney Springs shopping and dining district! Or, how about a trip to Disneyland Resort to experience Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure, as well as the Downtown Disney shopping and dining district!

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