ORLANDO, Fla. — Walt Disney Disney opened its fourth theme park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, in 1998.
The opening capped off a 16-year growth on the resort, which started in 1982 with the opening of Epcot, adopted by Disney-MGM Studios (now Disney’s Hollywood Studios) in 1989 and the development of accommodations and water parks.
Because the opening of Animal Kingdom, one query has continued to bubble up — “Will Disney finally construct a fifth theme park?”
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“Oh, completely. I believe we’ll see a fifth theme park,” creator Rick Foglesong mentioned. “It’s vital to recollect once you take a look at this tourism market that some 80% of the individuals who come right here have come her earlier than. Due to this fact, it is necessary for Disney to innovate.”
Foglesong, whose ebook “Married to the Mouse” particulars Disney’s historical past in Central Florida, notes that choices made by two key figures paved the way in which for a fifth park ought to Disney select to construct.
The primary is Walt Disney, who sought to purchase up as a lot land as doable to facilitate future growth.
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“As a result of the Disney firm was capable of get the land low cost, they purchased much more land than they wanted,” Foglesong mentioned. “The story is that Roy, the brother, challenged Walt as as to if or not they wanted this a lot land and Walt mentioned, ‘Look what occurred out in Anaheim, the place we grew to become landlocked.’ In order that they ended up with all this land.”
The following pivotal second got here within the mid-80s when the Disney board charged its new CEO Michael Eisner with growth.
“They are saying, ‘We would like you to construct extra accommodations. We’ve got acquired numerous property.’ Michael Eisner did a research to determine property that may by no means be used for a theme park,” Foglesong mentioned.
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By plotting out land for accommodations and leaving land for theme parks, the corporate set itself up for the growth that carried it via the top of the twentieth century.
However since then, speak of a fifth park has been simply that, speak.
Whereas Disney continues to set attendance data, Foglesong mentioned that no choice about growth shall be made frivolously, and the corporate could select to proceed to broaden and renovate its current parks relatively than construct a brand new one.
However he mentioned because the tourism market continues to develop, he expects a fifth theme park will finally turn into a actuality.
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