Disney is Not Interested in Regional Park Expansion, Says Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro

Lisa Stump

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Disney is Not Interested in Regional Park Expansion, Says Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro

Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro spoke at the JP Morgan Global Technology, Media & Communications Conference regarding Disney’s plans to focus their opportunity and expansion on their core assets, claiming additional, regional parks were not of interest to the company at this time.

Josh D'Amaro talked about park performance and expansion today.

Disney to Focus Opportunity on Core Assets

When prompted specifically about building additional parks in different regions of the United States similar to what Universal recently announced, Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro stated Disney currently does not have any interest in that type of expansion. In response to commentary on Universal’s Texas park and Las Vegas year-round horror attraction announcements, D’Amaro said:

It must be interesting for them. For us, we think that focusing on our core assets is where we should be spending most of our opportunity. As I said earlier, we think that there’s so much potential there, that that’s where well continue to focus our efforts.

Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro

D’Amaro’s statement confirms that Disney does not plan to open an additional park in a new region, instead focusing their resources and efforts on the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. Universal announced their Texas park will be opening in the coming years as a family-friendly addition to their portfolio.

Increasing Park Capacity

Josh also explained during the interview that one of the primary ways Disney increases capacity at the parks is by adding attractions. Recently, Tron: Lightcycle / Run was added outside the “berm” or border boundary of Magic Kingdom, increasing the park’s actual space and adding capacity with an additional attraction.

Adding a ride or show to a theme park increases capacity because many visitors spend time waiting in line or experiencing the attraction itself, which in turn allows more people to navigate the park comfortably. In Disneyland, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway was added in January. The reimagining of Toontown also opened recently. These two additions increased the respective park’s current capacity as well.

D’Amaro then stated that Disney believes there is plenty of opportunity within the parks’ footprints to increase capacity inside current bounds by way of additional attractions or reimagining spaces. In addition, he stated they have space both in and beyond the park berms, claiming they can utilize this space outside the current boundaries “pretty aggressively” at both Magic Kingdom and at Disneyland in Anaheim. Check out the full story here.

Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser featured

Other Announcements

During the JP Morgan Global Technology, Media & Communications Conference, Josh D’Amaro made other announcements as well. He claimed that Disney World’s closure of the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser in September will enable them to claim a tax write-off of approximately $300 million. Check out the full article on this announcement here.

He also spoke on the overall financial success of the company, that park attendance at Walt Disney World would be “moderated,” this year with the end of the 50th Anniversary Celebration, and that international parks were performing admirably in both capacity volume and guest spend.

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