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According to Experts: Fifth Theme Park to Be Constructed at Disney World

disney world 5th park
Credit: Disney/Canva

Disney World will begin construction on a fifth theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort in an effort to remain competitive in Central Florida, per an industry expert.

cinderella castle magic kingdom

Credit: Disney

The Central Florida Theme Park Wars

The Central Florida theme park war continues as it has since 1990 when NBCUniversal built its first theme park location in Florida to compete with the Walt Disney World Resort.

At the time of Universal’s theme park debut in the Sunshine State, Disney World was already home to three unique theme parks: Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, then known as Disney-MGM Studios.

mgm studios

Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Announces Free Theme Park Admission for Resort Hotel Guests in 2025

In May 1999, when Universal first welcomed guests to its second theme park location in Orlando called Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Disney had already added a fourth theme park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, outnumbering Universal’s theme parks two to one.

Since 1999, no new theme parks have been added to either of the mega theme park resorts in Orlando. Rather, both Disney and Universal have instead chosen to fortify their existing parks with new themed lands, including a massive expansion of Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom in 2012, the creation of Avatar: The World of Pandora at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 2017, and the additions of Toy Story Land and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2018 and 2019, respectively, at Disney World.

galaxy's edge and toy story land

Credit: Becky Burkett

Universal Orlando Resort beefed up its theme parks with the additions of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at Universal Islands of Adventure. 

Universal Makes a Huge Announcement

But in early 2023, Universal Studios made an “epic” announcement. Though the resort hadn’t added a new theme park in years, Universal appeared to be making up for lost time.

A brand-new theme park–the third gate at Universal Studios Orlando–was in the works, and it would open in 2025. Initially, the news was not earth-shattering.

After all, it had been more than 20 years since Universal added a new theme park, and aside from Volcano Bay Water Park, the resort still only had two theme parks. It was time.

epic universe themed lands

Credit: Universal

In late January 2024, Universal unveiled the names of the themed lands inside Epic Universe, Universal’s massive new theme park, and it became glaringly obvious that Universal has a good shot at becoming the victor of the Central Florida theme park wars.

In addition to an amazing new theme park, Universal has also announced two new resort hotels, and the most amazing thing about them is their nightly rates, deemed reasonable by most standards, especially when compared to the nightly rates of many of Walt Disney World Resort hotels.

universal studios japan

Credit: Universal Parks & Experiences

Related: Here’s What They’re NOT Telling You About Universal Orlando’s Newest Theme Park

Disney World Has to Do Something to Stay Competitive

Walt Disney World will likely have to make a move now to keep up with Universal.

In fact, Dennis Speigel, CEO of International Theme Park Services, says that Universal’s newest addition will put things in Universal’s favor in Central Florida.

Universal Orlando Epic Universe land and details

Credit: Universal

This is going to tilt the axis of the theme-park world, I believe, in Orlando,” Spiegel said. “This park is going to perform at enormous numbers.” He estimates that between five and six million people will visit the park during its inaugural year alone.

In 2023, Disney took steps to further the possible development of a villains-themed land at Disney World, and during the Destination D23 event in late 2023, Disney unveiled artists’ renderings of a new themed area that will replace Dinoland, U.S.A. at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The new area will reportedly feature a “Tropical Americas” theme.

Disney Imagineer Bruce Vaughn also shared information about plans for another expansion at Magic Kingdom, calling it the “largest ever” expansion at the park that will include attractions, rides, restaurants, and other offerings.

magic kingdom expansion

Credit: Disney

Related: Entire Land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Is Closing: Here’s What to Know

In September 2023, Disney Experiences Chairman Josh D’Amaro said that the company has “a wealth of untapped stories to bring to life across our business,” which could easily mean a fifth theme park is in the works–one that could serve as the stage on which those stories could play out.

Additionally, Disney execs confirmed that there are more than 1,000 acres available on Disney World’s property that can be used for the future development of a new theme park or the expansion of an existing one at the resort.

A Fifth Disney World Park is Coming

Spiegel says he’s heard things about a fifth park at Disney World for years now, and he thinks that the announcement of Epic Universe will serve as a catalyst for Disney to finally make their move.

universal studios orlando and cinderella castle disney world

Credit: Universal/Disney

You’re going to see a big announcement,” he said. “They’re going to add a fifth park.

As of the time of this post, Disney Company execs have yet to make the official announcement, but preparations for park expansions, along with the company’s announcement of an infusion of $60 billion into its theme parks division over the next ten years, seems to line up with that.

What theme do you think Disney should develop for its fifth park? Let us know in the comments!

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!

23 comments

  1. It’s not coming anytime soon

  2. With all the talk of big expansions to Magic Kingdom and new lands at Animal Kingdom, I cannot see Disney doing a 5th park any time soon. I think it would be decades away as slowly as they build things. They also has a severe lack of cash flow right now. The $60 billion will barely cover upkeep of all their parks and perhaps a new land or two. They’ve only committed $2 billion to the entire Disneyland Resort. Word is, most of that $60 billion with go to the Chinese parks’ development. And maybe new expansions to DVC in Florida. I’m pretty sure that money would also cover their cruise lines. A couple of new ships would take up a lot of that money.

    Here’s a quote from the Disney website: “The Walt Disney Company is developing plans to accelerate and expand investment in its Parks, Experiences and Products segment to nearly double capital expenditures over the course of approximately 10 years to roughly $60 billion, including by investing in expanding and enhancing domestic and international parks and cruise line capacity.”

  3. You can make another land. But if I can reopen the Rocket Rods at Disneyland here California.

    • I’m crossing everything for a 5th park. What ever Disney build can they please make the attractions actually work consistently!!! Can’t tell you how many hours Rise of the Resistance has been down recently.

  4. Disney can’t finish a Cake Shoppe…good luck getting an entire park 😂😂😂 With their recent loss in court, Epic Universe, and a looming takeover, I don’t foresee anything from Disney

  5. Disney lost. Accept your defeat and stop trying to keep you fans hanging on by their heartstring. They have been through enough with your penny pintching shenanigans.

    • I can not understand why Disney would invest one more penny in fascist florida after the way that florida has treated them recently.

      • What did Florida do to Disney? Make them finally pay taxes and be subject to the same rules every other corporation has to go through? Oh the horror.

        • Hey Paul’s mom,
          Disney has ALWAYS paid ALL the taxes they owe. They have paid ALL federal and state taxes. You have been listening to far to much right wing disinformation on that one. IE- they have been lying to you.
          The only difference is on property taxes. Even this Disney paid. As a matter of fact Disney paid MORE property taxes than is legally allowed to be charged in Florida. The difference is Reedy Creek was the tax assessor so all property taxes paid by Disney staid in the Reedy Creek district. That is the only difference. Hopefully now that you know the truth you will stop spreading disinformation. Thanks!

          • Disney had many more breaks than the other parks which left them much less competative until Disney started raising its prices basically outpricing most families who turned to Universal. It was exempt from certain regulations on how it used its property, ease of constructing new buildings, rides, improvements

  6. I think that Disney could improve on f they’d stop being a woke company and get back to being a family entertainer!

    • They are both the same thing. Woke is another word for principled.

      • really? how many want to go to a theme park principled on young children being told they can be the other gender and it is totally acceptable? that nature does not apply to them because they are special. not my grandchildren!

    • I am as much of a diehard Disney fan as there ever will be. I was a a Cast member at WDW for 13 years. I think this is the KEY problem here. Disney is too “woke” and needs to return to family values. It could only make things better for the Company’s image if they do!

  7. Well…Universal will have 3 theme parks compared to Disney’s 4 theme parks. Not sure the sky is falling. We will see large expansions in Disney parks but not another all new park.

  8. $60 billion investment….$1 billion to parks expansion and $59 billion to executive compensation and outlandish bonuses!

  9. Disney should really consider opening an exclusively Marvel themed park with more action oriented rides for thrill seekers, plus completely rework Epcot into a Star Wars themed park. The Spaceship Earth can easily be converted into a Death Star and can have a Skywalker Saga “calm ride” inside similar to the existing ride they have now, and the countries around the lake can be converted into planets instead. Imagine going from Tattoine, to Hoth, to Dagobah, to Coruscant, etc. instead of country to country with unique dishes and experiences at each “planet”. Couple that with moving existing Star Wars content like Rise of the Resistance to Epcot and redesigning the SW Hotel experience (made much more affordable) for a completely immersive experience. Can also theme rides around the park to each trilogy, creating an experience like the Falcon Smuggler’s run but where it’s set in the Original Trilogy era, a Naboo Starfighter ride where you battle droid starfighters, a shoot em up type ride destroying battle droids with clone troopers, and more content like Rise of the Resistance for the new trilogy.

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