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Mega Millions Winner Could Build a New Florida Theme Park

cinderella castle and cash
Credit: Disney / Canva Editing

It’s something most kids enjoy (or at least I did). Building and opening your own theme park. And more than just a tiny carnival-type place in the middle of a parking lot. Something big – large enough to rival the best that Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Studios Orlando has to offer.

Disney-World-Guide-Map

Credit: Disney

Enter the Mega Millions Lottery

The big Mega Millions jackpot, now at $1.25 billion ($625.3 million cash), moves on to another drawing this upcoming Friday (August 4). At that figure, it is one of the largest prizes in Mega Millions history.

The jackpot prize has been growing as it rolls on since April 18. This upcoming Friday will be the 31st current run since no one has had a winning ticket with all the winning numbers. But what could you do if you had the Mega Millions jackpot of $1.25 billion? Build a new Florida theme park!

A New Theme Park?

Epic Universe concept art

Credit: Universal (Epic Universe)

For years talk of a new Walt Disney World Resort theme Park has been on the lips of Cast Members, Guests, and Disney fans. Yet here we are. It has been 25 years since the Walt Disney Company introduced a new Florida theme Park with Animal Kingdom, in 1998. And it’s been 24 years since Universal Orlando gave us Islands of Adventure in 1999.

Donald duck, goofy, and mickey mouse at Tusker House

Credit: Disney

Universal’s Epic Universe seems to be all anyone can talk about in the theme park business…and its estimated cost? $1 billion.

So logically, it stands to reason that if someone (or you…or me) were to win the Mega Millions jackpot prize, we could build our own Florida theme park. Granted, we cannot access intellectual properties such as the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Star Wars, or Marvel. But neither did the original Disneyland Park, and it did all right.

universal orlando resort harry potter wizarding world hogwarts robes

Credit: Universal Resort

Rides like the Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, and Space Mountain were all amazing enough to not have to rely on ties to a big summer blockbuster. Besides, all those licensing deals would eat away at the $1.25 billion jackpot prize winnings.

Location?

Lake Nona Campus

Credit: Disney

Land might be expensive to acquire the property, so we could look outside of Florida…but American Heartland is already doing that in Oklahoma. So let’s stay with Central Florida. And once a site is chosen (perhaps the former area Disney was going to acquire in Lake Nona…which was also a $1 billion project), construction can begin.

Disney Imagineers to Build a Brand-New Park and Resort in Oklahoma

Credit: Scott Gustin/ American Heartland

Attractions and Themed Lands

Think of all the lands, the technology, and the attractions that Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando, (or even SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens) never fully committed to. Sure, you couldn’t make a Disney Villains’ land with your winnings. But you could make a ‘Famous Villains Land’ and include historical figures and public domain characters such as Blackbeard, Dracula, Ebenezer Scrooge, Captain Hook, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Frankenstein’s Monster, and many others. You could also create your own lore and stories to support your attraction, such as Disneyland Park or the Magic Kingdom Park did with the Hatbox Ghost or the birds of the Enchanted Tiki Room.

walt disney world hatbox ghost haunted mansion jared leto disneyland resort theme parks guests upset

Credit: Disney

We can all hope that if there is a jackpot winner lucky enough to cash in this Friday’s Mega Millions ticket, they will do the right thing. Forget buying themselves a new house or car or going on vacation….and build a new theme park resort (in Florida).

RELATED: Universal’s Epic Universe Is “Bursting Out of the Ground,” Ready to End Disney’s Reign in Orlando

 

About Steven Wilk

Steven has a complicated relationship with Disney. As a child, he visited Walt Disney World every few years with his family. But he never understood why kids his age (and older) were so scared of Snow White or Alien Encounter. He is a former participant of the Disney College Program (left early…long story), and he also previously worked in Children’s publishing, where he adapted multiple Disney movies and TV shows. He has many controversial opinions about Disney…like having a positive view of Michael Eisner, believing Return of the Jedi is superior to The Empire Strikes Back, and that Toy Story Land and Galaxy’s Edge should have never been built (at least not at Hollywood Studios). Every year for the past two decades, Steven has visited either Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Aulani or went on a Disney Cruise. He’s happy to share any and all knowledge of the Disney destinations (and he likes using parenthesis a lot…as well as ellipses…)