For decades, Walt Disney World Resort has been comprised of four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT –, two water parks — Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach –, and a number of hotels for almost every budget. While those theme parks are all incredible in their own right, fans have also been begging Disney for a brand-new theme park. Many want to see Disney embrace its villains with a “dark” Magic Kingdom, but that has never come to fruition.
However, on January 11, we learned that Disney does indeed have a kind-of plan for a fifth theme park at The Most Magical Place on Earth! The Reedy Creek Improvement District held its annual planning meeting and shared information on its “long-term land use” plan. As many of you may know, there are still thousands of acres at Walt Disney World that remain undeveloped. And now, Reedy Creek is revealing what they have in mind for at least some of the available area.
According to the details released at the meeting and reported by Touring Plans, Reedy Creek has areas mapped out to build “two minor Parks”, which are most likely to be two more water parks.
Here’s where things start to get interesting. The long term land use plan was updated to allow for the addition of two more minor parks. What are minor parks? Our very own detail-oriented Len Testa asked that question just to be sure, and he was told “like water parks”. This doesn’t mean that Walt Disney World will certainly and suddenly be doubling the number of water parks it offers. Obviously, they operated their water parks at half capacity for most of the years following the pandemic closure, so they don’t think they have a capacity problem.
And then, there was the potentially massive news. While no concrete plans are in the works and nothing has been revealed, Reedy Creek did say that land had been set aside for Disney Imagineers to create a fifth theme park! Guests visiting Walt Disney World Resort have frequently complained that the Parks are overcrowded, so a fifth theme park could definitely help to ease some of those crowd problems. That is, if Disney doesn’t majorly increase capacity because of the fifth park.
Disney may also be taking a harder look at building a fifth theme park because of its competition down the road — the Universal Orlando Resort. Universal is currently building its third theme park — Epic Universe — which will bring new lands and new attractions to the Resort. Universal is quickly catching up to Disney and is hard at work on convincing Disney Guests to come to its theme parks instead. If Disney wants to keep up with its fast-growing competition, a fifth theme park is the way to do it.
Again, Disney has not announced that they are actively working on a fifth theme park. But it is incredibly exciting to know that the option is there and that the land space has already been set aside! One thing that may throw a wrench in the whole thing is that Reedy Creek is set to be dissolved this June. Last year, Disney got into a fight with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the state passed a bill to dissolve the district.
All we can do is wait and see what happens, while keeping our fingers crossed for a new Park!