Could Regional Parks Be in Disney’s Future? Josh D’Amaro Sets the Record Straight

Josh D'Amaro
Credit: Disney

Disney is expanding, but perhaps not in the way you might be thinking. When it comes to regional theme parks, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, Josh D’Amaro is setting the record straight.

Cinderella Castle in the MAgic kingdom

Credit: Disney

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Earlier this year, Disney’s largest theme park competitor, Universal Studios, announced plans to build its next theme park in Texas. Universal’s big news was quickly followed up with more drama with the ongoing feud between the Walt Disney Company and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, which prompted officials from other states (whether jokingly or not) to offer Disney the opportunity to move.

Universal’s move to announce a Park in the Lone Star state, along with a “horror-focused destination” in Las Vegas, has prompted Disney fans to wonder if the Mouse could soon be making similar decisions. Josh D’Amaro has officially cleared the air, though, so here’s where Disney stands on the possibility of smaller, regional Parks.

Josh D'Amaro Destination D23

Credit: Disney

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During this year’s J.P. Morgan conference, D’Amaro answered a question in response to whether or not Disney would follow suit with Universal’s precedent in announcing smaller regional Parks. Reuters reported that D’Amaro said, “Focusing on our core assets is where we should be spending most of our opportunity.”

D’Amaro’s comments are consistent with previous comments from Disney CEO Bob Iger, who has repeatedly expressed the importance of focusing on the company’s core properties, particularly when it comes to content streaming on Disney+.

Parr House Concept Art in Cotino

Credit: Disney

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Disney’s Regional Projects

As of this writing, the only confirmed regional destination (or rather, residences) outside existing Disney theme parks and Resorts is the company’s plan for Storyliving communities. The first, Cotino, is already under construction in Rancho Mirage, CA, but Disney has already said that other similar communities will be planned in the future.

In addition to Cotino, the Disneyland Resort, and Walt Disney World Resort, Disney operates two additional hotels at Vero Beach, FL, and Hilton Head Island, SC. And, while not one permanent location, Adventures by Disney offers guided trips to several destinations across the U.S. We would be remiss to leave Disney Cruise Line out of Disney’s outside-the-theme-parks lineup as well.

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."