Disney and Bob Iger Confirm All Future Park Expansion Plans To Be Silenced Immediately

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A digitally edited image showing Disney's Mickey Mouse holding a "Quiet Please" sign in front of a castle, with a man having duct tape over his mouth in the foreground. The sky is clear with some fluffy clouds.

Credit: Inside The Magic

Disney CEO Bob Iger and The Walt Disney Company have confirmed that plans for expansion at the Walt Disney World Resort parks will be kept under wraps not to hinder the possibility of “flexibility” for growth. Here’s the rundown.

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Credit: Becky Burkett/Disney/Walt Disney Archives/Canva

Bob Iger and Disney Want To Keep Disney World Expansion Plans Secret for the Next Ten Years: Flexibility To Blame

During Wednesday morning’s MoffettNathanson Media and Communications Summit, Disney’s CEO Bob Iger shared in-depth insights into the company’s strategic direction for its parks and resorts while shedding light on significant upcoming initiatives and investments.

Iger underscored the importance of return on invested capital within Disney’s parks and resorts division, labeling it one of the company’s most lucrative segments. “I examined the return on invested capital in our parks and resorts division throughout my tenure, and it was remarkable,” he remarked.

Throughout the discussion, Bob Iger drew attention to the parks’ performance in the previous quarter, highlighting that all parks had achieved record-breaking revenue, per capita spending, and attendance, except Disney World. “We witnessed record revenue, per capita spending, and attendance across all our parks, except for Disney World, which still maintained robust performance,” Iger articulated.

Additionally, in a question-and-answer session at the MoffettNathanson Media and Communications Summit on Wednesday, May 15, Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed that most forthcoming investments in the Disney Parks will be centered around intellectual property (IP).

But fans and guests paid close attention to the fact that Iger wants to keep all future expansion plans secretive so as not to hinder the ability to be flexible if things have to change, which made many folks uncomfortable listening to the Q&A panel with Mr. Iger Wednesday morning.

Disney CEO Bob Iger posing with Mickey Mouse in front of a sunny, palm-lined Walt Disney Company building.
Image Credit: Inside The Magic

Keeping expansion plans secretive can create a sense of frustration and uncertainty among guests eager to know what to expect from Disney World or Disneyland Resort in the coming years. Guests often plan their trips well in advance, sometimes even years ahead, and having insight into future developments helps them make informed decisions about when and how to visit the parks.

When expansion plans are kept under wraps, it can lead to speculation and anxiety among guests, as they may feel uncertain about whether their favorite attractions will remain, what new experiences will be available, or if any significant changes could impact their vacation experience.

Without transparency about future developments, guests may hesitate to visit the parks, fearing that their expectations may not align with the reality of what awaits them. As a result, maintaining secrecy around expansion plans could deter guests from planning trips to Disney World or Disneyland Resort, ultimately undermining the parks’ appeal and guest satisfaction.

Iger’s decision to keep things under wrap comes from the desire to have more IPs within the parks, and if a newer IP does better or worse, then Disney can switch things up without messing up their image or the company’s reputation.

Discussing his vision for the future of the theme parks, Iger began by reflecting on his return to the CEO role at the company. Throughout his tenure, he highlighted his analysis of the return on invested capital (ROIC) within the theme parks, emphasizing the significant impact of IP-themed attractions and lands on the company’s success.

“I examined the return on invested capital in our parks and resorts division throughout my tenure, and it was remarkable. I inquired about our investment plans for the next decade and realized that if we expect to significantly enhance free cash flow generation, as we have and continue to do, then we have an opportunity for investment. Why not direct investment into the business with the highest returns?” remarked Mr. Iger.

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