There’s a new rumor of Disney resurrecting its Disney’s America theme park idea in Virginia. A college with some prime Virginia real estate is closing despite significant fundraising efforts of locals and alumni to save it. Conspiracy theorists see a gloved hand at work behind the scenes. Because Disney is the imagined dark partner in this deal, and people get all riled up about any prospect of a new theme park opening near them, the rumor has created some relatively big waves in that neck of the woods.
My two-cents is that the rumor is a very big stretch. I don’t see Disney making any huge capital expenditures domestically (beyond what we already know is coming (see below)) for another decade or so. Even for as cheap a theme park as Disney’s America was originally planned for.
In addition to overseas projects like finishing Shanghai Disney, buffering Disneyland Paris, and expanding Hong Kong Disneyland, Disney’s domestic parks and resorts division has Avatar, Toy Story, and the big multi-park Star Wars push ahead of them right now. No need for another theme park in the US. Many of the ideas for Disney’s America ended up in DCA anyway, so it’s almost like they already built it.
My biggest caution to anyone caught up in this conspiracy theory is not also get caught up in a real estate fraud situation like was recently settled in Texas. Scammers like to say Disney is moving in and then try to sell you nearby property telling you the money will roll in once Disney makes it official. Unless you discover an old family deed to some property in Anaheim near Disneyland, you’re probably out of luck for a big payday related to a Disney theme park.