The Walt Disney Company just bought 230+ acres near its golf courses, according to a breaking report from the Orlando Business Journal. And of course, Disney fans want to know if a fifth theme park is coming to Walt Disney World.
From the OBJ…
An entity related to Burbank, Calif.-based The Walt Disney Co. has purchased roughly 235 acres west of the Orlando theme park’s golf courses.
Disney’s Compass Rose Corp. on Dec. 23 bought the land near Walt Disney World — Central Florida’s largest employer — for $6 million, or roughly $25,531 per acre, from Winter Garden-based Lake Reedy LLC, according to Orange County records. The seller had purchased the land for $1.3 million in August 2005, county records showed.
The seller and Disney (NYSE: DIS) representatives were unavailable for comment.
This immediately leads to fan speculation that a fifth theme park could be coming to Walt Disney World. While there has been chatter about a fifth gate for years, Disney seems focused on expanding its four existing theme parks and building more hotels… for now.
Universal’s announcement of its upcoming Epic Universe theme park (which is all but certain to included a Nintendo land) may have prompted Disney to dust off some concepts for a fifth gate.
According to Orlando Business Insider, the land may not be used to expand Disney’s theme park empire, but rather to build more upscale residential, hotel and shopping projects.
“It could be used for a more upscale, exclusive getaway that feels isolated on the edge of Disney property. They can have their own lake with the amenities of a getaway spot,” according to John Gerner, managing director of Leisure Business Advisors LLC.
Still, the idea of there being a fifth gate is pretty tantalizing, especially given that there will be increased pressure to outdo Universal’s latest offering.
This isn’t the first major land purchase Disney has made in the area over the past year. In December 2018 =, Disney bought the 965-acre B-K Ranch LC in Osceola County from Astatula-based BFT Capital Corp. for $23 million, Osceola County property records showed.
In January of this year, Disney-related 215 Celebration Place LLC purchased 1,575 adjacent acres for $11 million, from the estate of Frank E. Brown.
What are your thoughts? Is Disney ready for a fifth gate or should they continue to focus on and maintain the existing park?
[Source: Orlando Business Journal]