Imagineers inside Tiana's Bayou Adventure

Disney Investing Billions in its Theme Parks and Cruise Line

Last September, Disney announced that it would spend $60 billion on its theme parks and the Disney Cruise Line over the next decade. That doubles the investment the company has made in the last ten years. More importantly, we just learned on today’s Disney earnings call that 70% of that number – roughly $42 billion – is earmarked for capacity-expanding projects. This is welcome news for Disney fans upset with the company’s recent history of destroying beloved attractions in order to build Disney IP rides.

Even though I love Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, I will always miss The Great Movie Ride. Why couldn’t we have had both?!

Iger avoids fifth gate discussion

Disney CEO Bob Iger was asked about a possible fifth park in Orlando. With Epic Universe set to open in 2025, many analysts believe a fifth Disney World gate is inevitable. Iger didn’t necessarily say no to a fifth park but did deflect the question:

“We’re already hard at work at, basically, determining where we’re going to place our new investments and what they will be. You can pretty much conclude that they’ll be all over, meaning every single one of our locations will be the beneficiary of increased investment and thus increased capacity, including on the high seas where we’re currently building three more ships.”

Bob Iger

As for timing, Iger said that things will start opening in 2025, and that “there’ll be a cadence every year of additional investment and increased capacity.” Disney theme parks have 1,000 acres of land available for expansion. I hope we’ll get more news about future projects at this year’s D23 convention in Anaheim. Recent conventions have been heavy on “blue sky” ideas and thin on details.

Disney theme park expansion blue sky concept - Zootopia and Moana lands in Disney's Animal Kingdom
Disney released this “blue sky” concept art for a Zootopia and Moana lands inside Animal Kingdom back in 2022

Yesterday’s earning call went well for Iger and Disney. Investors loved the message as the company’s stock is up 12% today. In addition to Disney Experiences news, we learned about an Epic Games collaboration and a Moana 2 theatrical release.