1923 Main Street: Disney Travel Style Podcast

Details are a little fuzzy, but one thing is clear: if Disney doesn't get the guest experience right in all this talk about big expansion plans they risk alienating their existing core group and the 700 million new guests they're targeting.

Disney's Global Parks Expansion Plans Sound Great, But Details are Lacking and there are some Risks 

In the last episode, we discussed the potential future developments for Disneyland and, as if on cue, Bob Iger and Disney executives shared a little more this week about the Disney Company's future park investments around the globe. Here's what we know and what it may mean for you, the Disney traveler.

The Disney Company is working on plans to increase the timing and investments in Parks, Experiences and Products globally. They plan to almost double the spend over the next 10 years to roughly $60 billion, including both American and international parks and Disney Cruise Line (not to mention DVC).

Disney CEO Bob Iger and Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro met with Wall Street analysts and investors at Disney World to discuss how they plan to invest in experiences that leverage the ever-growing library of Disney stories.

Which Disney Stories Will Come to Life?

Not unlike Destination D23, this presentation was a lot of talking with little detail. 

Disney does plan to fuel future growth with stories that haven't had a significant presence in parks. We know that Frozen-themed lands are coming to Hong Kong Disneyland, Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris and Tokyo Disney Resort, and that a Zootopia-themed land is coming to Shanghai Disney Resort. But Disney specifically stated it will explore even more characters and franchises, including some they've never done before.

“We have a wealth of untapped stories to bring to life across our business,” said D’Amaro. “Frozen, one of the most successful and popular animated franchises of all time, could have a presence at the Disneyland Resort. Wakanda has yet to be brought to life. The world of Coco is just waiting to be explored. There’s a lot of storytelling opportunity.”

No Shortage of Park Space for Disney to Build

In a shot likely aimed at Universal, Josh D'Amaro said “We stand alone when it comes to scale and while our scale is impressive, we have no shortage of space or regions of the world in which to tell new stories.”

Disney Parks has over 1,000 acres of land for possible future development to expand theme park space across its existing sites – the equivalent of about seven new Disneyland Parks.

Focusing on Converting Disney Fans into Disney Travelers

For every park visitor today there are 10 other Disney consumers who've never visited a park. So DIsney has a plan to convert those 700 million Disney fans to become park guests. That's a lot of people in Disney Parks.

This sounds great if you're a Disney exec, but could prove to be a nightmare for Disney travelers who sometimes have to navigate parks that are already over crowded. How they do this is critical.

“Ultimately what is most important to us is the relationship that we have with every guest,” said D’Amaro. “Guests can spend a day with us at our Parks, a week with us on a Cruise, or the rest of their lives with us through Disney Vacation Club membership.”

What Disney needs to consider is that every guest includes existing loyal Disney travelers. It will be a balancing act to bring in that many more new visitors, without disrupting the experience for everyone (and that includes convoluted tech processes for just about everything).

Having enough hotel space is critical to making this vision work. While they did not mention hotels, they did talk about Disney Vacation Club (DVC). 

The DVC expansion strategy is currently to have a thousand new "keys" (aka DVC rooms) coming on board by the end of 2024. That's a lot of new DVC members. 
  • 340 DVC rooms came online with the opening of DVC Disneyland Hotel in September and 
  • there will be approximately 360 Fort Wilderness cabins opening in 2024, 
  • plus approximately 270 new Polynesian Villas also in 2024.
Having every possible guest become a DVC member is clearly a "key" strategy for Disney.

So what does that mean for the future of Disney travel and the management of crowd levels and an overall enjoyable experience? Only time will tell. For now let's focus on the positive fact that somehow somewhere, there will be a new park or parks at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

Thank You for Listening to the Disney Travel Podcast

Thank you very much for listening to this episode, Amelia and I hope that you enjoyed it. If you did, we would be very grateful if you could rate, review and subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts/iTunes (or on whichever app you choose to listen). A brief review about what you liked most about an episode truly helps to keep the show going by exposing it to new listeners. We look forward to continue producing new episodes each week.

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Contact 1923 Main Street

Thank you for listening to the Disney Travel News Podcast at 1923MainStreet.com. As always, we love to get feedback and questions from our listeners and to hear your suggestions and ideas for future episodes.

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Thank you for listening and have a magical day!

Mike Belobradic and Amelia Belobradic

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Creators & Guests

Amelia Belobradic
Amelia Belobradic is co-host of 1923 Main Street: The Disney Travel News Podcast.
Mike Belobradic
Mike Belobradic is the creator and co-host of the Disney Travel News Podcast at 1923MainStreet.com and a longtime expert on Disney travel.

What is 1923 Main Street: Disney Travel Style Podcast?

1923 Main Street® is an award-winning* Disney travel podcast hosted by Mike Belobradic and Amelia Belobradic. This is your source for the latest Disney travel style news, tips and advice.

Join Mike and Amelia for fun-filled informative discussions as they share the latest Disney travel style news every week. Get the latest style news for travel to Disney destinations, including Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort, Disney Vacation Club (including Disney Aulani in Hawaii and Disney's Vero Beach Resort in Florida), Disneyland Paris and more.

In each episode, Mike and Amelia discuss everything Disney inspired style, from what to pack for your Disney vacation, what to wear in the parks, styling your wardrobe for Disney special events and more. Mike has over 50 years and 100+ weeks of onsite Disney travel experience, while Amelia brings a younger perspective to the table with 14+ years and nearly 40 weeks of onsite Disney travel experiences at the age of 16. Mike Belobradic is the founder of 1923 Main Street, a casual clothing line #InspiredByTheMagic of Disney and beyond.

*1923 Main Street: The Disney Travel Podcast won the Canadian Podcast Award for Outstanding Kids & Family Series in 2022 and has been nominated for Best Podcast Awards at the People's Choice Podcast Awards and the Canadian Podcast Awards.