Skift Take

Disney is investing billions, but it won't be in regional theme parks.

Walt Disney Corporation on Monday dismissed the idea of building miniparks in the U.S., saying the media company would instead spend on its major theme parks and cruise ships.

“Focusing on our core assets is where we should be spending most of our opportunity,” Disney parks chief Josh D’Amaro said at a J.P. Morgan conference, in response to a question on whether the company planned to join Comcast Corp’s Universal in building small parks.

An ongoing legal dispute between Disney and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has recently led some other U.S. states to express interest in possible investments from the House of Mickey Mouse.

Former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley last month tweeted that “my home state would happily accept” Disney’s theme park jobs and investment “if you want to leave Florida.”

Earlier this month, Disney shelved plans to build a $1 billion corporate campus in Florida that would have housed 2,000 employees.

It has sued DeSantis, a possible Republican presidential nominee, for allegedly “weaponizing” state government in retaliation for its criticism of a Florida law banning classroom discussion of gender identity with younger children.

The political developments have not, however, impacted Disney’s business results, said D’Amaro, who heads the Parks, Experiences and Products business at the company.

He also hinted Disney could open a theme park in the city state of Singapore — the home port for its new cruise ship.

Running a cruise ship in that region “gives you some indication of how guests are receiving the brand and what the opportunities might be going forward,” he said.

Disney shares were down 0.5 percent in a broadly stronger market.

(Reporting by Samrhitha Arunasalam in Bengaluru and Dawn Chmielewski in Los Angeles; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

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Tags: construction, disney, disney parks, florida, parks, politics, theme parks

Photo credit: Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D'Amaro on at Skift Global Forum on September 20, 2022 Skift

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