April 21, 2024

D'Amaro Talks "Aggressive" Walt Disney World Expansion Plans, Future of Galactic Starcruiser



Published May 24, 2023, 6:20 a.m. by Violet Harris


Walt disney World is expanding at an aggressive pace. New theme parks, hotels, and even a cruise ship are in the works. Here's what we know about the future of disney World.

The Walt disney Company has been on an aggressive expansion tear lately. In the past few years, they've opened new theme parks (disneyland Shanghai and Walt disney World's Pandora - The World of Avatar), launched a new cruise ship (disney Fantasy), and even bought a major film studio (21st Century Fox).

And it looks like they're not slowing down anytime soon. Here's what we know about disney's plans for the future.

Walt disney World is getting two new theme parks

The first new theme park will be called "Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge." It's currently under construction at disneyland in Anaheim, California, and is scheduled to open in 2019. A version of Galaxy's Edge is also being built at Walt disney World in Orlando, Florida, and is set to open in 2020.

The second new theme park at Walt disney World will be based on the popular "Avatar" franchise. It's being built in the same area as Pandora - The World of Avatar, which opened in 2017. The new Avatar-themed land is expected to open in 2021.

disney is also planning to build a new hotel at Walt disney World

In addition to the two new theme parks, disney is also planning to build a new hotel at Walt disney World. The hotel will be called "disney's Art of Animation Resort" and will be located near the existing Art of Animation Resort.

The new hotel will be themed after popular disney animated films, such as "The Lion King," "The Little Mermaid," and "Finding Nemo." It's expected to open in 2022.

disney is working on a new cruise ship

disney isn't just expanding its theme parks, it's also expanding its cruise business. The company is currently working on a new cruise ship that will be called the "disney Wish."

The disney Wish will be the company's fifth cruise ship, and it's scheduled to set sail in 2022. The ship will be able to accommodate 2,700 passengers and will feature a number of unique amenities, including a "Rapunzel-themed" restaurant and a "Frozen"-themed deck.

What do you think of disney's expansion plans? Are you excited for the new theme parks and hotels? Let us know in the comments!

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this is news today with wdw news today

I'm Tom Corliss of wdwnt.com please like

this video subscribe and hit the

notifications Bell to make sure you

never miss the latest from the Disney

theme parks all around the world but

hear now the news for May 22nd 2023

Disney Parks chairman Josh tomorrow

spoke about the domestic U.S parks and

many other topics at the J.P Morgan

global technology media and

Communications conference this week he

specifically spoke about Disneyland in

Anaheim and the Magic Kingdom at Walt

Disney World and their ability to expand

capacity tomorrow stated that the parks

management teams and imagineers were

always hard at work to not only improve

the guest experience at the resorts but

to include additional capacity in

several ways Josh explained that one of

the primary ways to increase capacity is

by adding attractions recently Tron

lightcycle run was added outside the

berm or border boundary at the Magic

Kingdom increasing the Park's actual

space and adding capacity with an

additional ride adding a ride or show to

a theme park increases capacity because

many visitors spend time waiting in line

or experience the attraction itself

which in turns allows more people to

navigate the park comfortably in

Disneyland you may know that Mickey and

Minnie's runaway Railway was added in

January a similar thing where it was

outside the parks boundaries but you

enter through what was in the Parks

boundaries previously

there's also Star Wars Galaxy's Edge a

lot of that land was not in the park

before either

tomorrow then stated that Disney

believes there's plenty of opportunity

within the Park's Footprints to increase

capacity inside current bounds by ways

of additional attractions or reimagining

spaces in addition they have space bolt

in and Beyond the park berms claiming

they can utilize this space outside the

current boundaries quote unquote pretty

aggressively at both Magic Kingdom and

at Disneyland

uh Disney Parks have done this before

like I just mentioned Galaxy's Edge and

runaway Railway a great example that is

very very similar

um to what they've they've teased for

Magic Kingdom that Beyond Big Thunder

thing Hong Kong Disneyland in the uh

early 2010s when they added Toy Story

Land and uh Grizzly Gulch and Mystic

Point all of those are three lands that

are connected to each other they're all

adjacent and they're all just beyond uh

the train berm which is very similar to

what we saw in the art for the proposed

cocoa uh and Encanto and villains areas

in Magic Kingdom very similar so they

keep teasing this and if you keep

teasing it enough it means obviously

it's still in the works and it's still

planned and those plans are Beyond Big

Thunder might might just become a

reality Josh tomorrow also discussed the

17 billion dollar investment in Florida

that's planned for over the next decade

he stated that it did include the

already ongoing transformation of Epcot

the new Star Tours changes which are

coming in the near future and as well

Tiana's Bayou Adventure the reimagining

of Splash Mountain at the Magic Kingdom

in addition he claimed new capacity and

intellectual properties would be added

to the Florida Parks as part of this

investment tomorrow explain that with

intellectual properties such as Marvel

and Star Wars continually adding new

content imagineers and executives are

able to bring these to life in the Parks

just as easily and with as much

excitement as their older content he

used runaway Railway as an example of

using very old content property to spark

guest Delight stating that all the

properties in their portfolio are

incredibly powerful intends to continue

utilizing a range of these properties in

Parks moving forward to stop and talk

about this for a second

yet Mickey is an older property and we

won't get into the whole thing that

there was another Mickey ride originally

intended to replace the great movie

right it was called the Great Mickey

ride and it wasn't solely based on the

newer Mickey Mouse shorts so yeah Mickey

of course isn't Disney's oldest IP in

fact if you don't count Oswald which

they had to buy back later

but they also used the current shorts so

but I I think

obviously we just talked about the

villains land a lot of those villains

are older properties Maleficent uh

chernabag those are those are much older

IPS which I think

um I think more fans would be happy if

everything is not just based on current

stuff like if you can expand Magic

Kingdom and you have Coco and Encanto

living alongside uh you know uh pieces

from Sleeping Beauty and Fantasia and

things like that you offer a little

something for everybody right I mean

there are so many older properties that

I think they have still not utilized

really well that people love right

Jungle Book comes to mind Lion King

comes to mind

um there there are a lot of movies that

have worldwide appeal and are known by

everyone

that still have not been utilized and if

we you know personally I I know like you

I want to see original attractions again

someday but at the same time you know I

I love the Disney IPS I love the

cartoons and the animated features and

those things as much as the next Disney

fan and there's plenty of them I would

like to see if not you know personally I

don't care about Encanto but you know

um all these other ones I certainly do

care about and I think it'd be great if

with all this stuff coming up it's not

just Moana and zootopia and Encanto but

also Jungle Book and Lion King and

Fantasia and Sleeping Beauty and all

these you know these movies that have

staying power they've proved that

they're never going anywhere they're

always going to be in the public

conscious

um give them representation and in a big

way and I I you know I agree with that

so here's hoping that that happens and

we don't just stick to the usual status

quo which is like oh this movie's been

popular the last five years let's just

stick with those kind of things

when prompted at the conference

specifically about building additional

parks in different regions of the United

States similar to what Universal

recently announced Disney Parks chairman

Josh tomorrow's state of Disney

currently does not have any interest in

that type of expansion in response to

commentary on Universal's Texas Park in

their Las Vegas year-round Horror Nights

attraction announcements tomorrow

tomorrow said quote 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's where we'll continue to focus our

efforts tomorrow's statement confirms

that Disney does not plan to open an

additional Park in a new region instead

focusing those resources on Walt Disney

World and Disneyland Resort Universal

announced their Texas Park will be

opening in the coming years as a

family-friendly addition to their

portfolio

um I see your comments I read the

comments on this show on Universal Parks

news today I read those comments and I'm

often flabbergasted by the number of

comments that are that talk about how

Universal

um is pulling away by building a third

Park in Florida and by building these

Regional things now don't get me wrong I

think the horror nights attraction in

Vegas

is brilliant and will print money and is

probably more of what they should be

doing a sort of spin-off Park that

focuses just on DreamWorks kids

properties in Texas

I do think dilutes the brand a bit right

and I think it will convince people you

may not think this but it's going to

convince people that they don't need to

travel to Hollywood or Orlando

you know obviously there are things that

can convince them right whether they

want to see Super Nintendo World

um or or some other properties that are

an epic Universe Harry Potter stuff

um but it dilutes it a bit right I think

you know and Disney would do the same

and I think they understand that and

they understand already like when Animal

Kingdom the thing you have to remember

when Animal Kingdom opened in 1998 it

did not add

more tourists to Walt Disney World that

that's what they thought would happen

it's a thing that happens sometimes with

the other Parks they added but what it

instead did was pulled attendance away

from their other existing Parks so we're

talking about a time in history when you

know

personally I think those those other

Parks MGM at the time in Epcot Center

Drew particularly well at that time they

weren't in the state they had been

um you know before their most recent

expansions they were still drawing

really well so for people to decide like

oh well this trip we got to cut a day

somewhere so we can go to Animal Kingdom

maybe we just won't go to Epcot or MGM

um and I think

there's a decent chance that's what

happens with epic Universe right I think

we we maybe have hit a a ceiling here in

Florida as far as like the the amount of

time people are willing to come here on

a vacation and and people people only

have a certain amount of time off and a

certain amount of funds and when they

run out of both of those it doesn't

really matter they're going to sacrifice

somewhere so they might still come

um but but one one of the parks in the

area is going to be sacrificed from

their itinerary it's inevitable

um when you have this much to do

and I don't think Universal is

necessarily going to see the results

they want there I think epic universe

will be a big hit for for the IP that's

in it but I I think it could have a an

interesting effect on the all of the

existing Parks including universals to

Parks so we'll see if I'm right or wrong

in a couple years but just based on what

we've seen previously

um you don't want to dilute it and and

just because you build more doesn't mean

your attendance will go up just because

you add another gate doesn't mean

um that you're going to have attendance

that's you're not immediately going to

add the full capacity of that Park daily

as an added attendance to what you

already draw if that makes sense

Disney World's closure of the Star Wars

Galactic star Cruiser in September will

enable them to claim a write-off of

approximately 300 million dollars that's

what Josh tomorrow said uh during that

conference today he indicated that the

Star Wars Galactic star Cruiser did not

perform as well as Disney had hoped but

will ultimately lead to a significant

tax break for the company following the

hotel's closure depreciation is expected

to accelerate at a rate of 100 to 150

million per quarter over a span of two

quarters demara also spoke on the

excellent guest experience found on the

star cursor however since the Halcyon

did not bring in enough guests the

immersive experience will be closing

this fall

though on the surface this depreciation

may sound negative the company is

pleased with the value reduction because

of the taxation according to the IRS

depreciation is an annual income tax

deduction to allow you to recover the

cost or other basis of certain property

over the time you use the property in an

allowance it is an allowance for wear

and tear deterioration or obsolescence

of the property it's a mouthful and by

reducing the value of the galactic

starters or hotel Disney will be

required to pay less tax on the property

overall this does seem to indicate that

they will not be converting it into

something else because you I don't

correct me if I'm wrong not my area of

expertise I don't think you can write

that off and then reuse it because I

think if you reuse it then you

owe some of that tax money back right

don't quote me on that but so it's not a

great sign for the future of star

Cruiser as anything else but an

interesting note that Disney's happy

about their tax deduction as they

um you know destroy this thing that so

many great creative people and cast

members work to build but anyway

speaking of the Star Wars Galactic star

crews are all reservations for that

final voyage leaving on September 28th

leaving on September 28th uh those are

that that is now completely booked it is

gone according to the Walt Disney World

website you may remember that with the

surprise announcement they stated that

any voyages beyond that date would be

able to rebook with a 50 discount well

it seems a lot of those people that were

booked for November and December decided

it would be really cool to go on that

farewell Voyage I can't blame them and

they will be doing that so according to

Disney as of now there are no rooms left

on that final voyage again on May 26th

they will reopen bookings to everyone

with no discounts available at that time

I of course I'm very sad I really wanted

to be on that last Voyage but uh

wasn't meant to be

continuing on with the Halcyon sources

close to the project have indicated to

wwmt.com that the immersive experience

was scheduled to close temporarily a few

weeks later than September 30th anyway

prior to last week's announcement the

galactic star Cruiser was internally

expected to Halt the sales of

reservations dated after December 2023

and based on recent internal reports

this may have been to facilitate a

series of updates and changes across the

entire experience

rumors have been swirling for quite some

time that the star Cruiser would face a

transformation either to feature a

different set of story lines and

characters or to become a more

traditional themed hotel it was assumed

that an announcement would be made

regarding the closure that included

information about the star Cruiser's

future however the statements made by

Disney last week seem to confirm it will

not return as the two night immersive

experience it was before no matter what

it eventually does return as if it does

thank today's announcement about the tax

refund doesn't really uh or the tax

break doesn't really indicate that it

will come back at all imagineers though

were reportedly on the Halcyon as

recently as last week working on a

revamped Gaia Dinner Show as well as

going over new merchandise that was on

the way and new spiels for the

bartenders at the sublight lounge

obviously this is not the kind of

investment of time and money you would

make if you plan to close something

permanently so per sources all the cast

of the star Cruiser and these creatives

were surprised by the announcement

having received no warning that this was

a possibility

the question now is

um what's going to happen does is it

going to sit is it just going to sit

there is it going to be one of those

things like the people mover track at

Disneyland that we just stare at for all

of eternity I mean I would assume over a

certain amount of time after Disney gets

all their tax breaks maybe then they can

reuse the space for something I don't I

don't know but

um it may be one of those things we just

like the NBA experience we just stare at

it for a long time and no I'm not

comparing Galactic starters or the NBA

experience like one of those things was

a gross

a gross miscalculation of what people

wanted which is NBA experience as

opposed to something that was Innovative

and different and tried to reinvent and

I think successfully many aspects of the

themed entertainment industry

and I will say this again well here's

the thing of course in the end this is

this is what it's been in the Walt

Disney Company for a long time where in

the end the executives and the

corporation itself are not the ones to

suffer right they're going to get this

big tax break it's no you know uh

there's no skin off their teeth right

so

yeah I mean in the end it's it's the

creatives that worked for years on this

project it's the cast members that now

have to go work somewhere that they

really don't want to work after putting

their heart and soul into this thing and

the guests are the ones that are going

to suffer for this experience being

being uh

uh you know mismanaged and mispriced and

misadvertised in a lot of ways but but

that's that's the way this stuff always

goes that's why you get to be a bitter

30 something year old Disney fan like I

am because you relive this experience

over and over and over again

this program is this very bitter program

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it's a book today

the magic carpets of Aladdin attraction

Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom is

currently down and there's no reasoning

as to why but it's been down a lot as of

late it was closed again today after

being closed several days in the past

month some several consecutive days at

this point as well again it's unclear

what's happening what the problems are

there is no scheduled closure for this

ride but it's not doing well and it's

not a complicated enough ride for this

to be a problem maybe but maybe it

points again at the the maintenance

problems of Walt Disney World

um there is a very famous

um I know I'm going to a lot of tangents

today but for the sake of time I do like

this story

um famously Disneyland's Dumbo

um completely fell apart at one point

which necessitated them to reroute the

new dumbo that they had designed for

Disneyland Paris Euro Disneyland that

actually ended up being the one that

went to Disneyland in Anaheim and then

the one they were building for Anaheim

went to Paris instead a second one so

there is a historical uh there is some

historical context of this where these

one of these Disney spinner rides has

permanently broken at one point in the

past so it's it's not despite not being

a super complicated ride system it

happens and maybe

um you know bhc what happens with magic

carpets of Aladdin I know I have no love

loss for this thing and so if it went

away I would not be heartbroken but let

us sit on the comments how you feel

the entrance of mission space in Epcot

is showing excessive signs of wear

speaking of Walt Disney World

maintenance various portions of the

shiny Crimson orb that represents Mars

are showing heavy wear and tear and the

maroon glow characteristic of the

display is giving way to Bear greatness

and warped material underneath dirt is

also accumulated over all in the grooves

of the sculpture the structure hides of

course the entrance for both the orange

and green team missions of mission space

and both the guests and cast members are

regularly stationed underneath but it's

been a couple years since they

refurbished the exterior looks like it's

time to do that again

but while we're over in the mission

space area let's talk about the new and

exciting bites and beverages for

adventurous astronauts abound at space

220 Lounge in Epcot we took a trip to

the Stars to try out an entirely new

cocktail menu That's nine new drinks and

as well there was a new shrimp cocktail

a 24 shrimp cocktail and we have a

review on the site where we'll tell you

if that's worth it but also one drink I

want to feature and why you should go

read the review there's some very cool

stuff on the cocktail menu one of those

things is the black hole fashioned uh

it's Knob Creek bourbon Demerara whiskey

barrel aged Bitters and it is uh they do

this really cool smoked thing on it it's

the flavor flavor blast or whatever they

call it it's very very cool go check out

the review and actually you can watch

the review on it'll be on the season

finale of wdwaf that's Walt Disney World

after five which will happen this

Thursday at 9 00 pm on our WWNT TV

channel see Eric Jake and I uh try all

these all nine cocktails out we tried

nine nine cocktails in one sitting how

do you think it went find out on the

show this week again read the review if

you'd like it wwmt.com

figment the start of the journey into

imagination attraction at Epcot will

appear in a little Golden Book for the

first time this new publication will

become available in January of next year

2024 and features the one little spark

lyrics uh penned by the Sherman Brothers

both digital Kindle and physical

hardcover copies are currently available

for pre-order and priced at 5.99 the

cover art has not been released yet

and while this may be the first for

figment there have been a lot of Disney

attraction Little Golden Books the last

few years they're all very cool jungle

cruise Haunted Mansion Space Mountain

orange bird small world I highly

recommend all of them they're very very

cute I love them

and I'm very excited that figment is

getting one looking forward to this very

much

an entire new selection of apparel

kitchenware glassware Linens decorations

and accessories is available at the

volksgunst in the Germany Pavilion at

Epcot this predominantly comprises items

themed to Minnie Mouse and the Edelweiss

a rare mountain flower celebrated across

the Alps in Europe it's a really cool

new line check out all the items in the

line at wwnt.com

one of the most notable features of the

Toy Story themed Roundup Rodeo barbecue

at Hollywood Studios was the comically

giant pencil that was given the guests

to sign their their checks at the end of

their meals or at least it was until the

restaurant decided recently to retire

them as guests kept stealing the giant

pencils

from its opening in late March about a

week ago guest dining at the Roundup

Rodeo barbecue were able to sign their

checks with the comically giant pencil

which had a normal sized pen uh embedded

in the front of it the giant pen

helped to emphasize the feeling of

guests being shrunk down to the size of

a toy it was one of the more Charming

elements I will say it was one of my

favorite moments of Art

um initial visit to the restaurant but

some guests dining at the barbecue

decided they should take it home and so

they did and because of that they've

decided to not give out the pencils

anymore why are number one how are

people sneaking these out or they throw

them in a backpack I there is there is a

comical thought to someone like opening

like a trench coat and putting a giant

pencil in it I do enjoy thinking of that

but that's the truth is it's not what

happened of course another situation

like the sporks at Docking Bay seven and

Galaxy's Edge where a couple of guests

have ruined this now for everyone when

we talked to servers they were unsure if

the pencils will return but odds are

they they probably will not

a sneak preview of the upcoming

live-action remake of The Little Mermaid

is now playing in Walt Disney presents

at Hollywood Studios in addition to the

brief screening props from the film are

on display around the lobby and an

aerial meet and greet will be opening at

the location on May 26th to coincide

with the official wide release

the neon lit Marquis out front

prominently displays its limited time

showing as numerous posters adore in

various surrounding walls lamp posts and

automatic doors the props featured

inside are original and include an

engagement ring a spyglass a jade

mermaid Triton's conch shell and a

statue from Ariel's Grotto

toshio kagami age 87 is retiring as

Chief Executive Officer of the Oriental

Land Company which operates the Tokyo

Disney Resort

yumiko takano will be replacing kagami

as CEO

the change was announced during the

Friday olc board of directors meeting

and will be officially approved after

the sixth ordinary general meeting of

shareholders on June 29th kagami will

stay on in his position as chairman of

the Board of Supervisors takano is the

current Executive Vice President and

will be the allc's first female chairman

and CEO kagami was a driving force

behind Tokyo Disney Resort having been

appointed the director of the all Seas

real estate division back in 1976 six

years before Tokyo Disneyland opened by

1983 he was the managing director and in

1993 he was named Executive Vice

President in 1995 he became the

representative director and president

and two decades later in 2005 he

officially became chairman and CEO in

addition to representative director

kagami was inducted as a Disney Legend

in 2008. quote Walt was definitely a

wonderful person said kagami in a d23

interview but the fact that we were able

to bring the Disney Resort to Japan and

make it a success in Japan I believe

that we were able able to bridge these

two different cultures together the

world has to be a peaceful place and I

would like to see more and more of these

bridges built across the world of course

an individual with a tremendous impact

on the Disney Universe as we know it

right I mean Tokyo Disney Resort uh an

incredible place that keeps Walt's

Vision alive and does so for a culture

that that really appreciates these parks

and Resorts it's a beautiful thing and

he's uh kagami such a huge part of that

so we wish him well uh in the rest I

mean I would say some with semi

retirement he's still going to be on a

board but obviously he got a big

Standing Ovation at the last d23x1

rightfully so a tremendous tremendous

executive

for the absolute latest on these stories

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for the worldwide leader in Disney Parks

news this is Tom Corliss saying enjoy

the rest here today and of a Great Big

Beautiful Tomorrow

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