The Walt Disney Company decided to make a multi billion-dollar investment in its amusement parks . Specifically, it plans to invest a total of $60 billion over the next decade in the parks it has in California, Florida, Asia and Europe as well as in creating new cruise lines.
The budget will be used to build new attractions based on characters and stories that do not yet have their space in the parks and with the intention of improving the experience of their visitors. This was announced by Josh D'Amaro, president of Disney parks, experiences and products, who explained that films like "Frozen" and"Black Panther" do not, as yet, have attractions in their parks:
We have a wealth of untapped stories to bring to life across our business. 'Frozen,' one of the most successful and popular animated franchises of all time, should have a presence at the Disneyland Resort. Wakanda has yet to be brought to life. The world of Coco is just waiting to be explored. There’s a lot of storytelling opportunity.
The right move?
However, the company's shareholders did not view the new investment favorably. The giant will allocate double what it spent last time but it does so in the midst of a major crisis that has led Bob Iger to consider selling TV assets such as ABC Network, Hulu, FX and National Geographic. Not to mention the million-dollar loss it suffered with its latest film releases.
For this reason, investors do not believe that they should make such an investment and they demonstrated this when, on Tuesday, Wall Street closed with a 3% drop in the share price of the Walt Disney Company. Given this, the company's CEO, Bob Iger, tried to reassure shareholders by ensuring that remodeling the parks would bring benefits and help mitigate the enormous crisis that the company is experiencing:
We’re incredibly mindful of the financial underpinning of the company, the need to continue to grow in terms of bottom line, the need to invest wisely so that we’re increasing the returns on invested capital, and the need to maintain a balance sheet, for a variety of reasons. The company is able to absorb those costs and continue to grow the bottom line and look expansively at how we return value and capital to our shareholders.
Florida, among the Disney parks that will have a large investment
It is also surprising that one of the parks that has a huge investment is Florida. The dispute between Republican Governor Ron DeSantis and Bob Iger continues. However, Disney decided to remodel some of the facilities at this location, including updating the well-known Epcot. Josh D'Amaro explained what new features will be introduced in the Florida park:
And this includes things like the transformation of Epcot. It includes things like there’s a new Star Tours attraction coming, we have a new Tiana attraction that’s coming. So, we’re thinking pretty aggressively about where we can take things in Florida.
To this end, Disney announced in May that the Florida park will have an investment of $17 billion, which could lead to the creation of 13,000 new jobs in the state over the next ten years.