Voz media US Voz.us

Walt Disney Parks, willing to invest $17 billion in its Florida parks

A year after the start of its war against DeSantis, the entertainment giant announced a new business plan that will include the construction of a fifth park.

El parque de Walt Disney World, en Burbank, Florida. Este parque podría ampliarse tras aprobarse en junio de 2024 el nuevo plan de inversión de Walt Disney Parks.

(Cordon Press)

Published by

The war between DeSantis and Walt Disney Parks appears to have come to an end. Two months after both parties reached an agreement, the entertainment giant announced that it intended to invest $17 billion in its Florida parks. This new business plan would also include the construction of a fifth amusement park with the intention of once again attracting tourists to one of the company's most fruitful places.

But to do so they had to have the approval of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board that Governor Ron DeSantis appointed last year. And so it has come to pass. This Wednesday, the five members of this body gave their approval to Walt Disney Parks' investment plan in what is a first step forward so that the entertainment giant can carry out its new proposal.

They did so during two public hearings. In them, the district's planning and engineering manager, Katherine Luetzow, detailed the plan that Walt Disney Parks proposed for the nearly 17,000 acres of land it owns within the district. A plan that would last, at least, for the next 15 years:

Disney is currently planning up to $17 billion of capital investments within the district in the next 10 to 20 years, with a commitment of $8 billion in the next 10 years. There are provisions for by local initiatives, including a minimum of 50% of goods and services related to the design, development and construction, to be retained with Florida businesses. There is $10 million going to attainable housing projects, and there are provisions for land, as well as wetland and threatening endangered species mitigation credits being donated to the district.

What is the agreement between Walt Disney Parks and the Central Florida Oversight Board?

The agreement, which must be ratified in a second vote that will take place on Wednesday, June 12, will allow Walt Disney Parks to build a fifth major theme park at Disney World as well as two smaller water parks.

In addition, AP reported, the supervisory board will also allow the company to increase the number of rooms in the main hotel from the almost 40,000 rooms it has to 53,000.

Not only that, the entertainment giant will also be able to allocate a greater amount of space for the shops and restaurants already installed in the park and will maintain control of the heights of the buildings, an essential requirement for the company to create an immersive environment.

A plan that, according to statements reported by ABC News, Woody Rodríguez, director of external affairs for Disney Parks, will be beneficial for both parties. For this reason, the businessman did not hesitate to take a few minutes to thank the board for its support in the investment:

I especially thank your district administrator who definitely hit the ground running. The development agreement will enable us to continue to invest significantly in the district to benefit all parties. We hope that the board votes to approve it at your next public hearing. Thank you.

Words with which the vice president of the board, Charbel Barakat, agreed, who, in statements reported by The Washington Post, assured that the members of the body appointed by DeSantis are "very excited" about the agreement:

We’re heading towards a brand new day, and I think we’re all very excited about where this is going. I only wish we could have gotten here sooner, but I’m glad we’re getting here today.