Disney CEO Drops Bombshell, Reveals New Theme Park Plans

in Disneyland Resort, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger in front of Cinderella Castle

Credit: Inside the Magic

Disney CEO Bob Iger had some major news to share in his latest comments, including new plans for the Disney parks.

The Walt Disney Company, often simply referred to as Disney, is one of the most iconic and influential entertainment conglomerates in the world. Founded in 1923 by Walt Disney and Roy O. Disney, the company has become synonymous with family-friendly entertainment and beloved characters. Disney’s rich history is marked by groundbreaking achievements in animation, film, television, and theme park industries.

Bob Iger close-up
Credit: Thomas Hawk, Flickr

One of Disney’s most notable contributions to the entertainment world is its exceptional animation legacy. The release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937 marked the first-ever full-length animated feature film, setting the standard for animated storytelling. Over the years, Disney has continued to captivate audiences with classics like Cinderella (1950) and The Lion King (1994). These films have not only entertained generations but also left an indelible mark on popular culture.

One of the key facets of Disney’s empire is the Disney Parks, which have gained worldwide recognition. The first Disneyland park opened in Anaheim, California, in 1955, and it was followed by Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, in 1971. These theme parks offer visitors a chance to step into the enchanting worlds featured in Disney films. From the iconic Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom to the thrilling rides in Disney California Adventure, these parks provide immersive experiences that have made Disney a top destination for tourists from around the globe.

An evening photo of the Cinderella Castle inside of Disney World, Magic Kingdom
Credit: Inside The Magic

In recent years, Disney has expanded its portfolio through acquisitions, most notably the purchase of Lucasfilm, Marvel Entertainment, and 21st Century Fox (now 20th Century Studios). These acquisitions have further enriched Disney’s content library and bolstered its presence in the entertainment industry and the theme park industry.

However, that doesn’t mean that everything has gone completely as planned for the company. In its latest earnings report, it was shared that Disney is set to lose right around $400 million in streaming this year. While some of the entertainment sectors of the company hadn’t been exactly what Disney wanted, the Parks & Experiences continue to be a major revenue driver, bringing in a record $32.5 million.

The Walt Disney Company building
Credit: The Walt Disney Company

As the Disney parks continue to be a major driver for the company, CEO Bob Iger just shared major news about the future of theme parks for the company. During the call, Iger shared that the company has a plan to “turbocharge” investments in Disney Parks & Experiences.

“Given our wealth of IP, innovative technology, buildable land, unmatched creativity, and strong returns on invested capital, we’re confident about the potential from our new investments,” Iger said, shared by reporter Scott Gustin.

This is incredible news for fans who are wanting to see expansions at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort, as well as other theme parks around the world, including Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disneyland Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Shanghai Disneyland.

While no specifics were given on what these “turbocharged” new plans for theme parks and experiences would be, it was later shared by Kevin Lansberry that the planned investments over 10 years to “turbocharge” Experiences segment will “ramp up” towards the “back half of that 10-year period” with more gradual increases in the first few years, according to reports from Gustin.

Tree of Life on Discovery Island
Credit: Disney

As for what we know, we know that Disneyland has already announced an Avatar-themed experience coming in the future. At Walt Disney World, there will be a retheme of DinoLand, U.S.A., and an expansion at Magic Kingdom in the future. The timeline for these projects has not been announced.

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is expected to be open in “late 2024,” but no other details have been revealed at this time.

There have been numerous rumors of Disney World adding a “fifth gate,” but that has not been confirmed. There are expected to be major expansions at the Orlando location in the next 10 years, so it certainly seems possible that we could see a fifth theme park constructed, but we’ll have to patiently wait to see if that’s included in the plans.

For now, we’ll have to be satisfied with the newly revealed Disney park plans that we’ll see them “turbocharge” the experience segment in the near future.

What do you think of these comments from Bob Iger and plans from Disney? Let Inside the Magic know below!

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