For the first time in several years, Walt Disney World is buying new parcels of land. According to recently released property records, last week Disney acquired 965 acres of land southeast of the town of Celebration. The land is known publicly as a part of the B.K. Ranch parcel and sits less than 10 miles away from Walt Disney World. This large land purchase was made for $23 million and was finalized last Thursday, according to WFTV.
And though no specific comment was made about the potential use for this land, we might have a bit of an idea about what Disney is planning for this newly acquired acreage...
Making room for current expansions through conservation
Whenever a big land purchase is made, the natural conclusion many theme park fans jump to is that a new park is on the way. After all, the worst-kept secret in Central Florida is Universal's development of a 2015 land purchase into a new theme park, reportedly named Universal Fantastic Worlds. However, though Walt Disney World fans may be wishing for that long-awaited fifth park at the resort, this new land purchase unfortunately isn't something that would help advance plans for a new park, especially since the location is quite far from the resort, north of Intercession City, near SunRail's Poinciana station.
So if this new land purchase isn't specifically for construction, what could Disney be using this large parcel of undeveloped land for? The answer is likely conservation. As you might already know, Disney is committed to being environmentally responsible, and company policy requires a certain number of conservation acres to be held relative to Walt Disney World's developed acreage. And with so many expansions and projects in the works, Disney's stores of conservation land may be running low, which is why they have purchased this new parcel, which is too far away for a theme park or hotel, but close enough to be local to the resort, making it perfect for conservation purposes.
Could this be paving the way for a more meaningful development soon?
Though we don't exactly know how much developed vs. undeveloped land there will be at Walt Disney World after all of their new hotels and attractions are constructed, we'd guess there will be at least some surplus land left over that they can use to offset future growth, which MAY include another theme park. But we have our doubts about that happening any time in the near future...