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Welcome To Screamscape!

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From new ride announcements, construction reports and the latest rumors: Screamscape always has something new to report.

 

 

 

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News & Rumors

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Walt Disney World Resort
Orlando, FL

 

 

 

----    THE LATEST BUZZ    ----
    (2/26/2024) Demolition Permits Filed For Former NBA Experience Attraction
    (2/9/2024) Disney World Sets 2024 Opening Date For Typhoon Lagoon
    (2/5/2024) New Construction Permit Files For Former Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser
    (1/8/2024) Disney+ Subscribers May Qualify For Walt Disney World Free Dining Plan Add-On
    (1/7/2024) Blizzard Beach Status Update + Efforts To Bring Back Reedy Creek Improvement District
    (12/29/2023) Polynesian Resort DVC Tower Construction Update (MORE...)

Resort Rehabs - The following information is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate.
Typhoon Lagoon - NOW CLOSED through March 16
Blizzard Beach - March 17 through TBD (Likely Oct/Nov 2024)

 

icon_STOPGeneral Resort News - (2/26/2024) According to various reports some demolition permits have been filed for the failed NBA Experience attraction at Disney Springs. You know… that big dumb idea that someone thought was a good idea to replace DisneyQuest with?
     Seriously though… I believe the demo permits are simply for some interior work to take place within the structure, and not demolition permits for the entire building once again. I am curious what Disney could be planning to do with this location going forward, and while many might appreciate a DisneyQuest-2, I really wouldn’t count on that ever happening. So I guess the question is, what else could they put inside there that might be more successful?
 
    (2/9/2024) According to the WDW website, Typhoon Lagoon will officially reopen to guests once again on March 17, 2024. Once again, Blizzard Beach, which is currently open, will close for refurbishment on the same day. So there you have it… Disney is still unwilling to open both of their waterparks at the same time.
    Is anyone else disappointed that Blizzard Beach is only open in the winter months under this new schedule they’ve adopted since the COVID shutdown? For me it was always fun to visit Blizzard Beach in peak summer, to enjoy that stark contrast between Orlando’s blistering heat while surrounded by a themed environment that looked like it was supposed to be frozen but just refused to melt.
 
    (2/5/2024) It seems Disney may have decided on something new to do with the, now closed, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser ultra-themed resort complex. According to a post at MSN, Walt Disney World has filed a new permit to begin “general construction” on the site back in late January. So far we’ve heard no hints about what may be planned for the site just yet.
 
    (1/8/2024) Walt Disney World is offering a new special perk for guests who are also subscribers to the Disney+ streaming service. According to the release from Disney, subscribers who purchase a 4-night / 4-day Disney Travel package that includes an on-site resort room at one of the approved hotels can receive a free “dining plan” addition to their package if visiting between July 1, 2024 and Sept. 30, 2024.
    Follow the link for all the official details on how you can get this special offer.
 
    (1/7/2024) It may just be that they haven’t finalized the park schedule this far in advance yet, but if you check the hours of operation for Disney’s Blizzard Beach waterpark, it currently only shows that it is open through to Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024.
    Ever since the resort-wide closure in 2020 due to COVID-19, Walt Disney World has so-far refused to open both of their waterparks at the same time, despite the fact that there are no more attendance restrictions in place and that crowd levels have returned to their peak-form once again. The new typical operations schedule over the past couple years has seen Blizzard Beach open sometime in the Fall (typically October or November) and closed last year on March 19, 2023, at which point Typhoon Lagoon reopened for the warmer Spring, Summer and early Fall Months.
    Even if Blizzard Beach doesn’t close in February, it seems a solid bet that it will likely close down sometime within the following 30-days if Disney attempts to follow the same general schedule.
 
    (12/17/2023) Disney Springs has opened a major new restaurant this week called Summer House on the Lake. The waterside restaurant experience is said to feature a menu using “sustainable and local ingredients” as well as featuring a “Cookie Bar” featuring 15 different types of oversized cookies and bars. Follow the link for more information about the kind of seasonal menus being offered.
 
    (12/1/2023) Would you believe that a politician in Florida is now proposing to introduce a new bill to the state that would go back and restore Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District as it was before Gov. DeSantis took it apart? I don’t know if there is a chance in hell of it actually happening, but this is Florida, and anything is possible.
 
    (10/1/2023) Can you successfully file a lawsuit against a waterpark for receiving a “wedgie” from a waterslide? We are about to find out, as one “Emma McGuinness” has filed a suit against Walt Disney World after a visit to Typhoon Lagoon caused an “injurious wedgie”  from the Humunga Kowabunga slide in 2019.
    Depending on when you visited Typhoon Lagoon, this slide started off as a pair of just semi-steep straight down slides from the top of the mountain where rides land in a trough of water at the bottom after passing through an enclosed rocky cave portion over the lower third of the descent. Years later the slide was upgraded to allow for three enclosed-tubes slides to take the descent side-by-side instead of the previous 2 open top slides, increasing the former capacity by 50%.
    In 2019, this would have definitely been the newer version of the slide but regardless of which version, these style slides at any waterpark are well known for causing a good wedgie to any rider who fails to cross their legs tightly as instructed. According to the report from MCguinness, the impact into the water at the bottom caused her swimsuit to be “painfully forced between her legs and for water to be violently forced inside her.” In pain, upon standing up, the suit claims that “blood began rushing from between her legs”, and she was then transported to a nearby hospital for further care.
    They are now seeking $50,000 in damages against Walt Disney World over the incident, claiming that Disney did not provide proper warning to riders about the risks of that particular waterslide, and that Disney did not provide her or anyone else with “proper protective swimwear.”
 
    (9/22/2023) With the fate of the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser about to set sail into the history books forever, a long time industry friend of Screamscape, Dave Cobb, was able to secure his voyage on the attraction just before the final days. As a well known voice and creator within the attractions community, I do value his opinion greatly and he has shared his own first-hand experience on the Halcyon Starcruiser which is worth reading.
    Towards the end of the journal, there is some talk about what could become of the Starcrusier once it closes, including some possible ideas about rebooting the attraction after reengineering the experience and the pricing to make it resonate more with with your average Disney guest.
 
    (4/4/23) A rundown of the latest happenings with Bob Iger and the future of Walt Disney World has been posted to Fool this week, and it’s a doozy. When asked about the ongoing issues between Disney and Florida’s Governor DeSantis, Iger ‘voiced his frustration’ with the state’s retaliation against Disney, when Disney is also Florida’s largest taxpayer. He also dropped a mega-bomb of sorts, claiming that Disney was currently expecting to spend a mind-boggling $17 BILLION DOLLARS on their Florida resort over the next 10 years. Yes… that’s BILLION with a “B”!
    Can you even begin to imagine what Disney could build with $17 Billion? In addition to that huge sum, Iger also mentioned the expectation of creating up to 13,000 new jobs in Walt Disney World over the same time period. Again… I’ve got to think that Disney may be in the early phases of planning a 5th theme park for their Florida resort. That would certainly explain both the huge investment numbers as well as the large number of jobs, as it will take an army to design, build and then finally staff an all new theme park.
 
    (4/1/23) The latest rumblings say that as Disney’s own Reedy Creek Improvement District board made some changes on their way out the door to limit the power of district has over the theme park request, they may have also approved plans for a 5th major theme park. This seems to be based on a document you can see posted on Reddit that shows that the resort property’s plans approved now through 2023 include permission to build one more major theme park, as well as up to 2 more minor theme parks (like Typhoon Lagoon).
    Keeping in mind this is not entirely new, as the long term land-use plan for the Walt Disney World property has actually ear-marked sites in the resort for decades where they can build several more theme parks if the need arises. So just as they were about to lose control of the special district, they at least seemed to set some permissions in place to allow for possible expansion over the next decade… but only if the need arises.
    Does this mean Disney will build a major theme park and two minor parks between now and 2032? Certainly not… the chance of that kind of growth happening is nearly impossible, and yet the pressure being applied on Disney by the ongoing growth of Universal Studios in Orlando who is now building their 3rd major theme park can not be denied. Bob Iger’s own comments on how the company wants to operate going forward seem to almost hint that a new park may be considered. Iger confirmed that Disney will continue to limit attendance in the parks to improve the guest experience by keeping the controversial reservation system in place. At the same time he also agreed that they can’t just keep raising prices to increase their profit margins, and yet they want to continue to grow. So if you aren’t going to let more people in to the parks you have, and if they really aren’t planning on placing major price hikes for the guests they do let in, the only way to continue to grow their theme park business is to add more parks.
    Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the last major theme park to open at Walt Disney World, did so way back in 1998. If Disney were to begin working on a 5th WDW theme park now, it would probably be about 5 years at the earliest for it to open… so roughly 2028… an astounding 30 years after the opening of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. When you consider there was only about 27 years between the opening of the Magic Kingdom in 1971 and the opening of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the huge gap in development seems even more shocking. Over the years since, Walt Disney World has spent more time building resort hotels and the development of Disney Springs than anything else. It has only been in the past decade or so that we’ve seen a renewed focus on updating and renovating the four existing parks with new lands and attractions. There was New Fantastyland and now Tron at the Magic Kingdom, Toy Story Land, Galaxys Edge and Runaway Railway at the Studios and Pandora: The World of Avatar at Animal Kingdom. Now as they work to finish up plans to renovate Epcot, the next logical step might be to turn their focus on the idea of building an entirely new theme park experience.

 

2021_0818_DisneyGenieServiceDisney Genie / Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane - (10/25/2023) The attraction reservation nightmare is about to get worse at Walt Disney World. While Disney has yet to talk about this publicly, according to Travel Weekly, WDW President Jeff Vahle shared the news with a group of 400 Travel Agency owners that the ability to make “pre-trip reservations” for attractions will be coming to Genie+.
    It’s as if Walt Disney World didn’t learn from their mistakes the last time, when they turned FastPass+ into a living nightmare for all other guests by allowing WDW resort guests to pre-book three attraction FastPass+ reservations each day up to 60 days in advance of their trip. If you don’t remember how that worked out the last time, essentially imagine walking into the Magic Kingdom first thing in the morning and now PAYING for Genie+ (rather than the free FastPass+ program), only to discover that you can’t get a Lightning Lane pass for anything you really want to ride until that evening because the resort guests already pre-booked everything two months prior.
    Now, we don’t know the rules for this new system yet, but honestly, the current system is not great as is. In my opinion, and based on how bad FastPass+ got towards the end, pre-trip reservations for Genie+ are only going to make your experience worse… a lot worse. Just for fairness sake, I still don’t think that any reservation of any kind (Genie+ or Individual Lightning Lane, or Virtual Queue Boarding Groups) should be possible until a guest actually physically enters the park itself.
    Oh, and in case you haven’t read this yet, please do check out my article about how the current system has brought about the slow death of spontaneity during your Disney theme park visits.

 

Ticket Pricing Updates - (10/11/2023) A little good news came from Walt Disney World today, as they confirmed that anytime Park Hopping access would return for guests with valid park hopper tickets or annual passholders starting January 9, 2024.
    This is also the same date that “reservations” are no longer required to buy date-specific tickets to the parks, though that isn’t quite the same as dropping reservations entirely, because Disney can always just “sell out” entirely of tickets on any given day if they wished to do so. At least this is a step in the right direction, since you will be able to buy a ticket for a date and visit any park you wish, and park hop as well provided you pay for the add-on.
    For Annual Passholders, I wish I had better news, as passholders still have to play the reservation game to gain access to the parks, however there is some light there as well. As current passholders are aware, you can still visit the park of your choice after 2pm without a reservation… just not on the weekends at the Magic Kingdom. HOWEVER… sometime in January 2024 (date not locked in) you can start to look for “Good-to-go Days” on the calendar, which will be days that all passholders can visit without needing a reservation.
    Oh… speaking of Passholder pain, Disney did just announce across the board price increases are in place for all tiers of Annual Passes. On average you’ll see a price increase of between $30-50 bucks, with the top tier pass rising to a whopping $1449. Oh… and before I forget, the price of parking at the theme parks also just jumped from $25 to $30.
 
    (11/18/22) According to CNN, Walt Disney World will raise ticket prices to their parks on December 8, 2022. While Disney World ticket prices already were a bit confusing before with all the tiers and a different price between the Magic Kingdom and the other parks, it’s becoming even more complicated now, with entirely different pricing ranges being set for each other parks.
    According to CNN, the new price ranges will be:
Magic Kingdom - $124 to $189
Epcot - $114 to $179
Disney’s Hollywood Studios - $124 to $179
Disney’s Animal Kingdom - $109 to $159
    It was noted that the pricing for Disney’s Animal Kingdom will actually remain the same as it is today, seemingly as some kind of reflection that the park hasn’t added anything new in the past few couple years compared to the other three parks.
   On the positive side of things, they also mentioned that if you are just buying a single-day ticket to one park (no park hopping) you will no longer have to make a park reservation to visit that day. Otherwise Reservations are still required for all other ticket types.
    The idea of having unique pricing for each park is also an interesting one that goes against the grain of Disney’s long established concept that all the park’s would have the same ticket price, even though some were more popular than others. For years people who argue that park’s like Disney’s Animal Kingdom should have been priced less than the other parks since it offered less to do and was often referred to as a half-day park experience.
    Over the past few years, Disney began to charge a little more for guests to get into the Magic Kingdom, but the other three parks would be offered at the same price as each other, until now. With Epcot now being home to Walt Disney World’s two newest rides, and the Hollywood Studios park having become very popular due to its own new rides, including the Star Wars themed Galaxy’s Edge, it is interesting to see Animal Kingdom offered as the lowest price option.
 
    (11/24/21) In an interesting bit of news, Walt Disney World has actually pressed the pause button on the sale of most of their Annual Passes once again, after just starting to sell them again in late August. As of Sunday, you can no longer purchase the Pirate Pass, Sorcerer Pass or Incredi-Pass, which are the top three tiers of passes sold. The Incredi-Pass was the only version available to those who live outside of Florida, unless you were a Disney Vacation Club member, and then you could have purchased the also-paused Sorcerer Pass. The only pass still being sold is the lowest tier pass, the Pixie Dust Pass, which is only available to Florida Residents and has the most blackout days, being primarily only available for use during most weekdays.
    The good news for existing passholders however is that the pause in sales only affects the sale of NEW passes. Existing passholders will be given the option to renew their passes and keep them going.
    While no official solid excuse was given, it may be due to a mixture of the resort entering the busy Holiday season to finish out the year, as well as the return of International tourism to the resort, which is expected to be off the charts for the rest of the year. If this is the case, we may see passes return to being sold sometime in early 2022 once again.
 
    (2/7/19) When it comes to the price of admission, how much is too much? Surprisingly, despite what your initial take is, when you get down to it, this really is more of an individual choice question. Doubly so when it comes to Disney fans and the price of admission into Disney theme parks which have steadily been on the rise each year for the past several decades. This week I decided to take a look at past price increase trends from Disney and even predict where the price is going between now and 2030, based on past increases, all in my latest article for BlooLoop.

 

icon_STOPLate 2024 - DVC Tower at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort - (12/29/2023) A nice photo construction update of the progress being made at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort has been posted to MouseSteps, looking over the new DVC resort building.
 
    (11/7/2023) MouseSteps has posted a new construction update for Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, including a look at the new tower under construction.
 
    (7/17/2023) A construction update showing off the current progress on the new DVC tower at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort has been posted to MouseSteps this week.
 
    (5/20/2023) MouseSteps is back with a look a the construction of the new DVC Tower over at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.
 
    (4/22/2023) While we’re on the subject of Disney DVC properties today, MouseSteps has posted new construction photos of the new DVC tower going up at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. The new tower is expected to be ready sometime in late 2024. Follow the link to check it out.
 
    (3/17/22) Disney isn’t finished rebuilding their Polynesian Village Resort it seems. The company has announced a new large DVC tower will be coming to the resort to replace the existing “Luau Cove” area, looking to replace the closed Spirit of Aloha dinner theater that has been closed since the pandemic started and was just confirmed as being closed permanently.
    Like all big projects, the time-table is a bit fluid, but the concept art says it could open as soon as 2024.
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2024 - DVC Cabins at Fort Wilderness Campground - (4/22/2023) The expansion of the DVC (Disney Vacation Club) brand throughout the Walt Disney World Resort properties continues with this week. Walt Disney World announced that the 350+ stand-alone cabins at the Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground will be replaced with updated versions that will become the next DVC timeshare vacation property at the resort. The basic footprints will remain the same, but the cabins will be updated to be more modern and more ‘environmentally friendly’. Look for the transformation to be complete sometime in 2024, and like other DVC properties at WDW, regular non-DVC guests are still able to make reservations to stay here as well.
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2021_1023_DisneyWayPhase3-NewResort???? - New Magic Kingdom Resort - (10/23/21) Is Walt Disney World planning some kind of new resort for the Magic Kingdom area?  New permits filed by Walt Disney World for a “World Drive Phase III” now show plans to move the existing Floridan Way road as it approaches the Grand Floridian. The roadway will turn to the left and cut through a small section of the Magnolia Golf Course that will essentially wipe out Hole 16 to get around a backstage work and parking area and then head North again with an all new road to eventually reconnect with the existing road at the intersection of Maple Rd.
    I drew up a quick graphic showing the approximate location of the new planned route for Floridian Way and how it would open up a rather large piece of land just to the north of the Grand Floridian along an undeveloped section of the Seven Seas Lagoon. Well, almost undeveloped… you may recall that Disney management FINALLY completed the “decades in the making” walkway from The Magic Kingdom to the Grand Floridian resort with the construction of two bridges and a pathway. While the pathway was announced a long long time ago, the reveal of this new piece of the puzzle makes me wonder if they finally had a good reason to finish this pathway after all these years to provide walking access to the Magic Kingdom from any possible new resort they might choose to put there. (The distance isn’t far enough to bother with adding yet another monorail stop between the park and Grand Flo…)
    Now don’t go expecting to see a new building rising in the next year or so. This is a fine example of Disney’s long term strategy at work here, and I think they’re just setting the stage for something special to come in the future… but not until they are ready.

 

OTHER WALT DISNEY WORLD PROJECTS:

 

icon_STOPReedy Creek District Status -   
    (1/7/2024) While I wouldn’t expect to see any changes happen anytime soon, some Florida state legislators have voted to move forward with a new bill that would essentially “reverse” the actions taken by Governor Ron DeSantis in taking control of the former Reedy Creek Improvement District from Disney. According to this report, they claim the process of rushed, too many existing staff members have departed, the new board members “don’t have enough experience”, and now things are sort of a mess and “there are just things out there that are falling apart.”
    While it may not move ahead as a complete reversal, there are those on both sides of the political line who do admit that they would be willing to see some changes and modifications made to how things are now to improve the situation for everyone, rather than just hand it back over to Disney completely.
    Meanwhile the article also mentions that a federal judge is expected to make a ruling soon over a related lawsuit Disney itself has filed against DeSantis and the board that could have a big impact over the situation as well.
 
    (5/13/2023) Just a quick update on the Florida VS Disney legal wranglings. After Disney appeared to finally have enough and filed a lawsuit against the state, the Governor instructed his staff to file a counter lawsuit against Disney. In the latest earning call, Disney CEO Bob Iger commented on the issues, including pointing out that Disney’s long established “special district” is nothing new or unique in the state of Florida.
    Iger pointed out that “There are 2,000 special districts in Florida to foster business and investment,” including one at the nearby Daytona Speedway. “It’s easy to say Reedy Creek benefits us, but it’s misleading not to say how it benefited the state of Florida.”
    Disney is Florida’s largest tax payer, and deposited over $1.1 Billion into Florida’s coffers last year alone, as well as being the state’s largest employer. Iger also pointed out that the state has no set rules as to how the various special districts are established or run, and that there was never even talk about dismantling the Reedy Creek special district until the company spoke out against state legislation last year.
    “This is plainly a matter of retaliation.” According to the Hollywood Reporter, Iger concluded the earnings call with a message aimed directly at Florida’s Governor DeSantis, “Does the state want us to invest more, employ more people and pay more taxes or not?” This is clearly in reference to a proposed $17 billion Iger says that The Walt Disney Company has planned to invest in the Florida theme park resort in the coming years. Clearly Iger is implying that the $17 billion could easily be invested in their properties outside of the state of Florida.
 
    (4/29/2023) The ongoing battle between The Walt Disney Company and Florida Governor DeSantis has been a non-stop assault on our senses for months now. First the Governor took issue with Bob Chapek’s leadership of the company in early 2022, and when he was replaced by returning Bob Iger in late 2022, many hoped that a peace would be made. Instead DeSantis seems to have doubled-down in a refusal to back off on the relentless assault on Disney’s presence in Florida as a show of strength while preparing to make a play for the US Presidency.
    No matter on which side of the issues you may fall, the situation has resulted in what can only be described as a complete media circus, with the Governor now taking political blasts from fellow Republicans as they all seek to position themselves in a run for the Oval Office in 2024.
    Now I stay away from Politics as a general policy here on Screamscape, unless they impact the operations of our theme park operator friends out there and this has definitely had an impact on how Disney ran things at the Walt Disney World Resort. Apparently things reached a breaking point over at the Mouse House as Disney has now officially filed a major lawsuit against Governor DeSantis, claiming that his actions “threatens Disney’s business operations, jeopardizes its economic future in the region, and violates its constitutional rights”
    Regretfully Disney has been left with no choice by to take legal action, further stating that “having exhausted efforts to seek a resolution, the company is left with no choice but to file this lawsuit to protect its cast members, guests, and local development partners from a relentless campaign to weaponize government power against Disney in retaliation for expressing a political viewpoint unpopular with certain state officials.”
    “In America, the government cannot punish you for speaking your mind”.
 
    (4/12/2023) Forbes is back again with yet another update about how Disney may be preparing to launch a 5th theme park in Florida. This time, they also take a close look at the ongoing power struggle between Disney and Florida’s Govenor DeSantis. This includes a good breakdown of how the well timed announcements from Bob Iger about planning to spend about $17 Billion in the state or Florida over the next decade, along with the creation of 13,000 new jobs, may be Disney’s secret weapon in getting DeSantis to back off a bit. Or at least keep things in a stalemate until DeSantis removes himself from the equation with an attempt to run for President.
 
    (4/28/22) According to the latest update on the situation posted to CNN, it seems that the state of Florida’s plan to dissolve the Reedy Creek special tax district that Walt Disney World operates within may not be able to happen after all. According to a statement made by Reedy Creek, the 1967 law that created the special tax district also includes text stating that the state of Florida “will not in any way impair the rights or remedies of the holders … until all such bonds together with interest thereon, and all costs and expenses in connection with any act or proceeding by or on behalf of such holders, are fully met and discharged.”
    So in other words, it seems to be saying that the state of Florida actually can’t actually do what they are trying to do, unless the bond debts are fully paid or taken care of. This doesn’t m mean that the state of Florida couldn’t somehow make other arrangements to get those debts paid, but it does indicate that the issue of the current bond debt will be a key item to address if they wish to continue this course of action.
    As mentioned before, and confirmed here again, the Reedy Creek Improvement District currently has almost 1 billion in outstanding bond debt. A statement released from Reedy Creek says, “In light of the State of Florida’s pledge to the District’s bondholders, Reedy Creek expects to explore its options while continuing its present operations, including levying and collecting its ad valorem taxes and collecting its utility revenues, paying debt service on its ad valorem tax bonds and utility revenue bonds, complying with its bond covenants and operating and maintaining its properties”.
 
    (4/23/22) A lot has been flying through the headlines as of late, as the current Governor of Florida has now taken personal offense to the negative reactions that the Walt Disney Company has had to his latest political actions and agenda. I’m not going to get into that bit of politics right now but the end result has been the loss of any financial support or monetary donations to his campaign funds in addition to words of disapproval and non-support from the empire that Walt Disney started.
    Unfortunately it appears that in a bit of anger Governor Ron DeSantis quickly threw together a new bill to essentially get revenge on the Walt Disney World property by revoking the creation of the “special district” that was created for Walt Disney World over 50 years ago, known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District. Essentially the creation of this special district allowed Disney to create and run their own form of mini-government for their massive property, giving them the advantage to being able to take quick action in order to build what they need to build quickly, but also allows them to fund and build their own infrastructure around the resort property. In other words, the very road system you drive upon once entering Disney property was built, paid for, and maintained by this same Reedy Creek special district. If a pot hole developed in the main road to Epcot, rather than going through weeks and months of government red-tape to have it fixed, they were able to just pick up the phone to report the problem and get a work crew sent out to take care of it ASAP. The special district also means that all the on-site fire departments, water and sewer treatment plants and other important public works functions were all funded and paid for by this special district.
    The political “spin” on the revoking of this special status seems to try and make it sound like Walt Disney World is getting to keep all the tax dollars that are paid to the Reedy Creek district, but those funds are going to pay for the infrastructure and not somehow padding Disney’s large pockets. In fact, the Reedy Creek Improvement District actually apparently operates at a loss and currently has almost $1 billion in debt.
    As the district currently resides in both Orange and Osceola Counties, if the DeSantis’ bill go into effect and the Reedy Creek district is dissolved, not only will those counties now be on the hook for Reedy Creek’s debt, but they will also be responsible for coming up with the funds to continue to operate all the existing infrastructure (fire, water, sewer, public works, power, roads) that Reedy Creek and Disney were previously in charge of overseeing.
    This is where it gets really bad… the only way to attempt to make up these funds will be for Orange and Osceola Counties to raise the property tax on their residents. According to reports the tax controller of Orange County has already estimated that they would have to raise property taxes by as much as 25% and the number could be even higher for residents of Osceola County. So obviously it goes without saying that the residents here are not in favor of this plan, and the local county governments are really unlikely to be in favor of this plan as well.
    So other than a personal attempt to unruffle DeSantis’ feathers, it seems that the only negative for Disney here will be the loss of essentially being able to ask themselves for permission when it comes to building new projects. They will still get to essentially build whatever they want, they’ll just have to send the plans through their local county office as Universal and SeaWorld already do. Oh, and those potholes are going to take a long longer to fix. But as someone who was once a former home-owner in Orange County when I lived in Florida, I’m damn glad I don’t live there right now if this is the way things are going.
    It is also worth pointing out that the Reedy Creek Improvement District is hardly the only special tax district set up in the state of Florida. Florida is home to dozens of other special districts spread-out throughout the state that are not currently under attack by the Governor, including one for the Daytona Motor Speedway. From this point of view, I do wonder if Disney would be able to legally defend itself (and possibly file a lawsuit against the state of Florida) from being attacked so directly, but that’s a question way above my pay-grade. Meanwhile Orange and Osceola Counties are facing “financial ruin” from this poorly thought out plan of action. As a politician who's career would seemingly depend on making the lives better for those who elected him to office, this course of action by the Governor does seem counter-productive to that cause of self-preservation.
    You can read more in a great report explaining it all from a local Orlando reporter below.

 

 

 

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Track Record

Walt Disney World Resort
Orlando, Florida
Walt Disney Theme Parks

Abbreviation: WDW
Opened: October 1st, 1971
www.disneyworld.com

Tickets:
prices are now based on tiers depending on how busy the park is expected to be.

Open: Year Round

Newest Developments:
2017 - Miss Adventure Falls @ Typhoon Lagoon

2016 - Disney Springs

2012 - Art of Disney Animation Resort

2009 - Character’s In Flight, Bay Lake Tower, Animal Kingdom & Treehouse Villas

2005 - New slides added to Typhoon Lagoon waterpark


2004 - Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort

2003 - Disney’s Pop Century Resort

2001 - Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge


 

 
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