Disney Buys More Land in Florida West of Magic Kingdom
Even though The Walt Disney Company is laying off construction workers and keeping its theme parks closed in the short term due to the coronavirus crisis, the Mouse House is still playing the long game when it comes to the theme park business. A new report says that an entity related to Disney has bought more than two dozen acres of land near the western edge of the Magic Kingdom for a little over one million dollars. But what exactly will the company use its new land for?
The Orlando Business Journal reports (via Inside the Magic) that Celebration Co., The Walt Disney Company’s real estate development division, spent $1.05 million on 26.3 acres of land on the southeastern shore of Reedy Lake, just west of the boundary to the Magic Kingdom park. WDWNT shared this photo of the region:
So what is this new purchase for? That part remains a mystery, but the OBJ says “Disney’s real estate deals can be for various reasons, including freeing up conserved land at its current resort or gathering what it can for future growth plans.” I’ve seen some speculation that the company could develop a lakeside hotel as a more secluded option for guests; if that’s their plan, this purchase might serve as part of the grounds for that project. It could also just be a way to meet their previous commitment to conservation while developing elsewhere on their property. They’ve invested millions and are working with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida water management districts, and groups like Audubon of Florida and The Nature Conservancy on the 12,000 acre Disney Wilderness Preserve, and the company has set aside nearly one third of its land at Walt Disney World as a dedicated wildlife conservation area.
Disney has been buying up more and more land near their Florida parks over the past couple of years – almost 3,000 acres in various spots since the fall of 2018. They could have bought this land as a preventative measure, ensuring that no one else swoops in and builds so close to the edge of Disney property, or even with the intention of selling it to someone else down the line, since land is retaining its value even during the current global pandemic.
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