TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — While the state of Florida works on a plan to take over the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which governs the land that makes up Walt Disney World, RCID board members reportedly weighed possibilities for expanding the theme park.
Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the plan to have a state-controlled board take charge of Reedy Creek on Jan. 6.
In comments on Thursday, he reiterated that goal, saying at an event in The Villages that corporations should not control their own governments and that the Walt Disney Company would “be displaced from control” of the land, but promised to make the company pay the debts it owes.
“The corporate kingdom has come to an end, and that will be the case when this is enacted,” DeSantis said. “They’re on the hook for the debt.”
According to a report by the Orlando Sentinel, despite the potential shakeup, Reedy Creek leaders spent Wednesday working on plans to add a new theme park to Walt Disney World, in addition to other expansions.
The Sentinel cited Len Testa, who owns a vacation planning site and attended the meeting. Testa said in a blog post on his travel planning site that RCID was working to get approvals for future plans now, while the current board is friendly to Disney, as opposed to what could happen should Florida successfully create its state-controlled board.
Referring to the RCID comprehensive plan, which covers governance, logistics, and potential developments, Testa said a previous plan that was meant to run through 2020 was adapted to instead run through 2032.
The 2032 Comprehensive Plan was adopted in May 2022, according to minutes published from May 25, 2022.
On Testa’s business site, TouringPlans.com, a blog post said the meeting with RCID board members had introduced a land use approval resolution for a major park and two minor parks to “comply with Reedy Creek’s 2032 Comprehensive Long Term Plan.”
In the RCID documents from the May 25 meeting, the plan referred to an older document, the 2020 comprehensive plan, which included projections of adding one major theme park, two minor theme parks, and multiple hotel units, resort units, and a golf course, as well as plans for new office and retail space. However, the plan itself says there are no current plans to build these items.
That said, Testa told the Orlando Sentinel that he didn’t believe Disney would build new parks in the near future. Instead, he said he think Disney will “focus on updating and enhancing its existing parks.”
If the plans are approved, a fifth theme park, more resorts, and possibly two smaller parks could enter planning stages. Right now, Walt Disney World has four major parks and two water parks, in addition to multiple other attractions, resorts, and golf courses.