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slyder1

1.1 Billion Dollar Theme Park in Newton County

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Possibly the end of an 18 year old Disney Rumor.

A request for road improvements for a $1.1 billion theme park in Newton County has led to new speculation about the Walt Disney Co.'s interest in southwest Missouri.

Rumors that a Disney attraction was coming to Branson were rampant in the mid-1990s. Now, Newton County Commissioners are investigating whether Disney could be linked to a theme park proposal made earlier this month.

Jerry Carter, Newton County Presiding Commissioner, said the notion arose after Todd Marshall, who said he represented a Springfield company called ARM Risk, attended the April 12 commissioners' meeting. Carter asked about changes on county roads leading to the location the company is considering for a theme park.

A list of specifications Marshall gave the commissioners included first-phase construction costs of $1.1 billion, land purchases of 1,000 acres with the park taking 100 acres, six hotels, 95 shops, 27 rides, 12 stages and 18 restaurants.

A possible Disney connection was raised when commissioners checked the company owners. On a form called "Registration of Fictitious Name" filed with the Missouri Secretary of State's office in March for ARM Risk, three owners are listed. Corporations routinely file such forms.

The owners are Michael Hill of Wilmington, Del.; Robert Brown, who lists his address as 500 South Buena Vista St., Burbank, Calif.; and Jason Johnson, who lists his address as Corporate Office, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

On the Internet, commissioners found that the Burbank address is corporate headquarters of the Walt Disney Co. Lake Buena Vista, Fla., is headquarters of Walt Disney World Resort.

Officials at Disney headquarters in Burbank said the company would not comment on the matter...

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Wow, that would be amazing.

Although, I do wish they would move the park a few miles south into our wonderful little state.

If I was a betting man, I would definately say it Disney related.

Disney became notorious when building Disney World over 50 years ago for purchasing, and operating through fictitious subsidiaries until the park was opened.

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How does that end the rumor? Now I'm more curious than ever whether Disney will be building a theme park in SWMO!!!! :dontknow:

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That would be one wacky, illogical place for Disney to build a theme park.

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Geographically, it is right between Dallas and Chicago. Other than that, I have no idea why there would be a park built there.

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That would be one wacky, illogical place for Disney to build a theme park.

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I agree. Although I'm still skeptical if this will ever happen. We've all seen requests for improvements and even greater rumors than this not happen. I'll believe it when I see dirt turned, and even that's not a definate gurantee. :camera:

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Yeah it is hard to imagine, and as usual we have to wait to see. I wonder if they are just guessing about people's interest because of the rumor and seeing what kind of response they get from talking about it. Anyways, there are some plusses for the area. It is in a geographic center of some metros and even the country, the land is cheap, there are other major attractions nearby (Branson + their theme park), and many minor attractions (Precious Moments Chapel, Eureka Springs, am I stretching it?), ???

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The reasons it seems kind of strange to me are that:

1) Disney, Sea World, and Universal have generally developed their theme parks in warm locations that you could keep open year round.

2) It's nowhere near a major airport. XNA and Sprinfield-Branson are both small and neither are all that close to this land.

3) Land may be cheap but unlike Texas it's going to be quite hilly and very difficult to convert to a theme park. Silver Dollar City is one thing but all of it's rides are smaller and simplistic. For Disney-caliber rides you would think that you'd have to flatten huge portions of land.

4) Where do your employees come from, and where would they live? Disney is really a short drive from 5 million people in Orlando, Lakeland and Tampa.

5) I actually would consider Branson competition for it, at least regionally. They aren't close enough to help each other.

If I were Disney I'd be going for San Antonio or somewhere near Houston.

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Maybe its not a Disney Park but Disney is investing in part of it.

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Good points. #1 is the real killer. Why would Disney unnecessarily take a huge bit out of its profits by putting a theme park in a place that would need to be closed at least 5/12 of the year?

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Hmmm....I don't know about 5/12 of the year. Silver Dollar City is only closed during January and February (maybe part of March), and they do fantastically well all the way up to Christmas. On one of our visits this past December, it was more crowded than I'd ever seen it, including the Saturdays in summer that we've visited. That is of course due to the unique and top-notch Chrismas extravaganza they provide; still, if they can draw the crowds in 20 degree weather, I would think Disney could, too. (If you haven't seen their production of The Christmas Carol, you really need to go. I've seen two shows on Broadway, and SDC's show was nearly as good as Miss Saigon, and better than Cats. The Christmas Carol is performed for free with admission, 4 or 5 times a day, every day. There's never an empty seat. It's that good.)

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I was think more the outdoor water and theme park rides. Is the actual theme park open that long? That would really surprise me. Magic Springs is only fully open 3 months of the year, for a total of 7 months during the year (including weekends).

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I don't think a Disney theme park would have any problems in winter weather.

#1: Most of the rides and attractions would be indoors.

#2: The park would be temperature controlled by giant heating ducts surrounding the outdoor sections of the park. Ever wonder why it's never too hot at Disney World or why there's never any mosquitos even though Orlando is in mosquito country? Environmental control. Disney World is surrounded by insect repellers and cool misters. Heck Disney World even has devices that pump laughing gas throughout the park to make sure everyone is having a gooodtime.

:thumbsup:

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If this theme park works out, I wonder what effect, if any, it would have on the American Christmas Village that was planned near Eureka Springs? I know it is not a theme park exactly but it does not sound too far off.

Americas Christmas Village

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I was think more about the outdoor water and theme park rides. Is the actual theme park open that long? That would really surprise me. Magic Springs is only fully open 3 months of the year, for a total of 7 months during the year (including weekends).

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Most theme parks in this part of the country close during the winter.

Six Flags over Texas in Arlington is open mid-March to October but much of this is weekends only. They only open the entire park May through August. DFW is several degrees warmer than SW Missouri in the winter.

Silver Dollar City is open full hours May to August with limited hours the other months and closures 2-4 days during the week depending on time of year. Celebration City goes June through Mid-August and is weekends only from mid-April to October and closes during the later fall, winter, and early spring. The water parks are obviously summer-only.

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Very interesting. I kind of hope it's not a Disney park though. It would definitely take away from the "magic" of going all the way to California or Florida.

Whatever it is I hope it's not something sterotypical of the area. :rolleyes:

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The reasons it seems kind of strange to me are that:

1) Disney, Sea World, and Universal have generally developed their theme parks in warm locations that you could keep open year round.

2) It's nowhere near a major airport. XNA and Sprinfield-Branson are both small and neither are all that close to this land.

3) Land may be cheap but unlike Texas it's going to be quite hilly and very difficult to convert to a theme park. Silver Dollar City is one thing but all of it's rides are smaller and simplistic. For Disney-caliber rides you would think that you'd have to flatten huge portions of land.

4) Where do your employees come from, and where would they live? Disney is really a short drive from 5 million people in Orlando, Lakeland and Tampa.

5) I actually would consider Branson competition for it, at least regionally. They aren't close enough to help each other.

If I were Disney I'd be going for San Antonio or somewhere near Houston.

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I'm looking at the 2007 operating calendar for SDC. They are never closed 4 days a week (other than Jan/Feb, as I mentioned). They are closed three days a week in December and March, and closed 2 days a week in April, September, October and November. I wouldn't say limited hours in winter (they open up later, noon or 1 compared to 9:30 am in summer), but they also stay open later in winter (9 or 10 pm compared to 7 or 8pm in summer). Granted, this is based on the fantastic light display and the Christmas shows, which are mostly inside. But, they also have their lighted character parade, several outdoor shows, rides, etc.

I guess what I'm sayin' is that the cold doesn't keep people away if you provide a great experience, along with lots of hot cider and cocoa.

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Celebration City is closing down?

Can't say I'm surprised, but I hadn't heard about that.

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Celebration City is closing down?

Can't say I'm surprised, but I hadn't heard about that.

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No, no. What he means is closed for the season. Celebration City was quite busy when I was there last.

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No, no. What he means is closed for the season. Celebration City was quite busy when I was there last.

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