2:46 PM - Yet more rumors of Disney building new parks...
A week or so ago, yet another rumor of Disney considering building a new theme park in America started circulating. This time, the rumor was that it would be near Branson, Missouri, a huge tourist destination. As a Disney fan who was a fan long before internet activity made rumors so fast spreading, I'd like to chime in with a few quick comments.
First, it is well known that Disney buys up land secretly for projects. I'm not just talking about the mega purchase of Disney World in the 1960s, either. That was a world ago. But, it does give us a few indications of how Disney would be prepared to do something like this - using different companies created just for the purpose and such.
More important is looking back to Disney's America from the early 1990s. This was just a few years before the World Wide Web, so news travelled in different ways -- newspapers, internet newsgroups via college students, etc. Again, Disney had acquired options to all the land they needed completely through outside companies and organizations, and didn't reveal what they were up to. The story from news of the day was that, at that presentation, they (Disney) showed up with a suitcase full of Disney Dollars. Cute.
Denial has also been part of the Disney way since Walt was alive. There's a famous interview with a Florida newspaper reporter who questioned Walt directly about Florida, and Walt just gave back all kinds of reasons why a tourist destination there would be a bad idea. As she has since said, "he wasn't a very good liar." But lie Disney would do, denying things or claiming things to their advantage. Remember how theme park rides go in "hiatus" all the time, even though they never return.
So, while there may be no truth to the rumors of Disney building in Missouri, there is a history of Disney wanting to build in Missouri, and many things fit past patterns used by Disney.
While there may be no truth to the rumors of Disney building in Texas, Disney did build in Texas -- as an outside contractor doing a People Mover type system for one of the airports. I grew up in Texas and this was a big deal, and during their visit, Disney folks visited Texas landmarks and such (touristy things) and no doubt contributed to the "Disney is exploring Texas." Since Texas has three theme parks (well, had, Astroworld is gone but Fiesta Texas and the original Six Flags remain), it's certainly established as a theme park destination. Again, no leap of logic needed here.
So even when the plans make it to announcement, with concept art and everything, they can still change (Disney's America). With Disney now publically saying they plan to build small recreation centers (like a Disney Quest, or fancy hotel, or whatever) it's very likely Dsney IS considering building things around tourist areas. Maybe not a theme park. And maybe not in Missouri.
But, then again, maybe. We'll never know, until Disney officially tells us.
Meanwhile, speculate away, but remember, we have tons of "facts" of what Disney has done in the past that can be used to explain what they might do in the future. When folks just speculate and make things up without such history, it reminds me of the old saying about those who don't pay attention to history. . . You know the one.
Anyway, just something I wanted to drop a note about. Yes, Disney explored Texas. A central Disneyland was something they wanted to do back in the 70s and such, but it never happened. There are endless plans Disney has talked about (in annual reports and side comments at press events).
Never say never. But don't get your hopes up :)