In a move that reflects new life in its theme-park division, Walt Disney Co. announced plans on Tuesday to go ahead with a fourth amusement park in central Florida featuring animals - both real and imagined.
The new $750 million park, due to debut in 1998 as “Disney’s Wild Animal Kingdom,” will feature close encounters with live wild animals such as hippos and giraffes as well as mechanical creations of unicorns and dinosaurs spread over 500 acres, Disney Chairman Michael Eisner said in unveiling the plans at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Fla.
He called it “a celebration of animals that ever or never existed.” The park will be part of the Disney World complex that currently includes the Magic Kingdom, Epcot Center and the Disney-MGM Studios.
The new Disney project will have little impact on an expansion of Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., the company said. Having scrapped plans for a $3billion resort earlier this year, executives are working on a scaled-down addition.