There’s been a lot of consistent and exciting news regarding changes, new attractions, and updates at Walt Disney World Resort. It seems of late that nothing is staying the same! From the addition of Pandora: World of Avatar, a new gondola system, to resort refurbishments, we’ve often used the line “Disney is sparing no expense to give their guests a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Well, according an article published by the New York Times this morning, “sparing no expense” may be a massive understatement. We all know that Disney is at the for-front of new technology and customer experience…its no secret. But what we didn’t know…Disney is so dedicated to guests experience that they are currently spending more on their theme parks than they did in the acquisition deals of Lucasfilm, Pixar, and Marvel!
We don’t want to get into the numbers too much, but to put that into perspective: Disney will spend around $ 24 billion on new cruise ships, park attractions, and resorts over the next five years! If it was appropriate to insert a “WOW!” emoji, I’d do it here! That’s a lot of money! But as Disney is so well dedicated to their 56 million annual guests to Walt Disney World (and all other Disney property guests) we can find peace in that they are putting profits back into the experience for us!
Disney boasted an operating profit for their parks and resorts of $4.5 billion, increasing more than 100%! Of course this isn’t including other branches of the Walt Disney Company, but it’s good to know that a very large sum of that profit is going back to make the experience more thrilling, magical, and just flat-out better for you and me!
So, how do you spend $24 billion? Let’s take a look! Walt Disney World and other Disney parks are currently undergoing a “worldwide transformation” to quote the original writer. Bob Chapek, Disney’s theme-park chairman, has called it “enhancement on steroids.” New attractions, refurbished and upgraded resorts (some new ones too), even whole new worlds are being installed as I write this! Here’s a look at some of the new features that has Mr. Chapek, Mr. Iger and Disney guests so excited:
- Walt Disney World
Guardian of the Galaxy Rollercoaster
Skyway Gondola Station
New Fireworks Shows
Future Showcases at Epcot
Mickey Mouse Ride
Star Wars Galaxy
Star Wars Resort
Other new and re-themed rides
To get a better idea of the actual size of future projects that Disney is currently undertaking, check out these maps highlighting new and refurbished attractions compliments of The New York Times.
Epcot Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
1. “Guardians of the Galaxy” roller coaster 2. Space restaurant 3. Skyway gondola station 4. “Ratatouille” ride 5. Future Showcase (overhauled) 6. Fireworks show (overhauled) (NYTimes, 2018)
Disney Studios Park at Disneyland ParisMarne-la-Vallée, France
1. “Frozen” land 2. “Star Wars” land 3. Marvel superhero land 4. “Iron Man” roller coaster (overhauled) (NYTimes, 2018)
Hong Kong Disneyland Lantau Island
1. “Avengers” ride 2. “Ant-Man” attraction 3. “Frozen” land 4. “Moana” stage show 5. Castle and amphitheater (overhauled) (NYTimes, 2018)
California Adventure Anaheim, Calif.
1. Marvel superhero land 2. Pixar Pier (overhauled) (NYTimes, 2018)
Hollywood Studios Lake Buena Vista
1. Mickey Mouse ride 2. “Toy Story” land 3. “Star Wars” land 4. “Star Wars” resort (NYTimes, 2018)
Y’all! That’s just Walt Disney World. Massive changes are coming to Disneyland Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris as well. Oh yeah…don’t forget cruise lines and other non-park resorts. It’s incredibly ambitious, but Disney guests have come to expect more and more, and Disney representatives are willing to listen and build it!
Disney’s initiative to invest their return into guests experience says a ton. For those that don’t like the annual ticket increases…this is absolutely a variable at play. Sure…we’ll pay an extra five bucks to experience new thrills that bring awesome technology and shows to the parks. Fans of Disney parks expect a certain standard when they visit, and it’s nice to know that the brass who make the big decisions not only understand this, but also maintain a constant exceeding of those presumptions!