Walt Disney World & Florida Plot New Development Agreement Worth Up To $17B


After years of acrimony between Disney and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the 2 sides are engaged on a brand new growth settlement that would supply assurances and guardrails for the Bob Iger-run behemoth because it plans to develop close to Orlando. In trade, the State of Florida would see as much as $17 billion in funding from Disney over “the next ten to twenty years.” It additionally units the stage for a fifth park on the resort.

While the cessation of hostilities is sweet for all concerned, the financial dedication from Disney is extra a renewal of vows than an new promise. The company has repeatedly promised over a number of years to take a position $17 billion in and round Disney World and rent over 10,000 new parks staff within the state over the ten years. The new settlement cites the identical financial funding, however extends the timeframe. But given all that’s occurred between the events in Florida, state and native officers are probably grateful to have any reassurance.

One new deal level within the proposed settlement is a minimal spend on Disney’s half.

“In furtherance of its plans to make significant capital investment in the Project during the term of this Agreement, Disney agrees to make at least an initial capital investment of $8 billion dollars within the first ten (10) years of the term of the Agreement, consisting of capital investment in existing infrastructure, new construction and technology investment.”

There can also be a promise of a “minimum development” of 5 main theme parks in Orlando.

Additionally, there’s a provision that Disney could “convert hotel/motel land use entitlements to up to an additional 225,000 gross square feet of office uses within the District Jurisdictional Properties.”

That merchandise could be further flexibility, but it surely additionally may make room for Disney to restart its plan to maneuver roughly 2,000 Parks, Experiences & Products staffers and their households to central Florida from California. That plan, which was placed on ice virtually precisely a yr in the past, would add not simply jobs, however extra tax income to the $1.1 billion Disney already pours into the state’s economic system.

The new settlement would exchange a really favorable 30-year growth deal the then Disney-controlled board signed at its final assembly earlier than the present DeSantis appointees stepped in. It requires a remaining vote subsequent week to develop into official.

Disney simply locked down an identical revised growth settlement with the City of Anaheim for Walt’s unique park. That deal provides Disney elevated flexibility to create blended use environments and new zoning permissions enabling it so as to add further points of interest. Dubbed DisneylandForward, the multi-decade growth plan is tabbed at $1.9 billion. The firm final fall touted a $60 billion funding dedication to its parks worldwide over the following 10 years, although particulars have been scant.

Another power probably driving the Disney offers is Epic Universe, a extremely anticipated $1 billion growth at Universal Studios Orlando set to open subsequent yr. Universal’s parks unit is driving excessive ofter opening its first Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood final yr and saying regional parks in Las Vegas and Texas.

In response to a query about competitors from NBCU through the firm’s final earnings name, Disney CEO Bob Iger mentioned, “We’ve been aware of Universal’s plans for a new park for more than a decade. And we have a sophisticated approach to analyzing the needs of all of our businesses and strategically deploying capital.”

He then obtained one other shareholder query about why extra particulars about Disney’s promised complete $60 billion funding in its parks haven’t been shared. Iger stored his feedback pretty transient. “You know, we have a lot of projects in development,” he mentioned. “Many of them are known to us. But we disclose these at a cadence and when we really feel we’re ready, and we have something more tangible to show people.”

Experiences, the division that encompasses theme parks and client merchandise, reported a ten% rise to $8.4 billion, whereas working revenue climbed 12% to virtually $2.3 billion in the newest quarter.

The uptick was pushed by worldwide led by Hong Kong DisneylandWalt Disney World and the cruise line had been stable. But Disneyland, regardless of rising attendance and per capita spend, noticed outcomes dip year-on-year on greater prices, together with labor, mentioned CFO Hugh Johnston on an earnings name with analysts.

A giant shock — he mentioned Parks progress within the present fiscal third quarter will likely be flat for a couple of causes together with “some normalization of post-Covid demand as it relates to demand. While consumers continue to travel in record numbers and we are still seeing healthy demand, we are seeing some evidence of a global moderation from peak post-Covid travel.”


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