Disney seeks to develop more wetlands



Representatives from the Disney World resort in Orlando, Florida, have asked permission to purchase more land for additional building despite the destruction to wetlands it poses.

Melanie Shor, News Editor

As one of the world’s most popular theme parks, Walt Disney World is continuously renovating and expanding the park. As they take over more space throughout the area, the environment can be at risk for destruction.

For Disney’s long-term growth plan, Disney’s representatives have asked for permission to increase the use of wetlands for future development. Instead of impacting only 350 acres of this land, they are requesting a permit to raise that number to 575 acres.

Despite their original proposal, a more detailed analysis and additional planning has indicated that increasing the use of wetland acreage is a necessary step in order to ensure the park maintains a conscientious and flexible future development plan.

According to spokeswoman Jacquee Wahler, “This permit modification continues [Disney World’s] longstanding commitment to responsible growth and environmental stewardship in a way that will contribute to Florida’s conservation for years to come.”

Throughout the past two decades, Disney has developed the same amount of land that they are applying to use currently, which went towards the building of the town of Celebration and Animal Kingdom.

However, the plan is projected for the next 30 years instead of previously only 20 years.

In addition, Disney officials have stated that their goal is to develop as much as possible outside the wetlands and only destroy what is absolutely necessary.

The park has requested this additional land due to a rising influx of visitors and a high demand for extra space. Additionally, this land would have several uses throughout the park. Most of the parking lots, attractions, and general walking area of theme parks will receive more space along with other specific projects. Some of the planned projects include several additions to transportation routes, a major expansion of Hollywood Studios, two new lands dedicated to Star Wars and Toy Story, and extension of Western Way.

Although the park has continuously done what it best for the environment and the species that inhabit it, one area has so many potential benefits that officials are willing to risk negative environmental impacts.

Back in 2014, Disney purchased a 3,000 acre land called Mira Lago with plans to conserve and restore it. Recently, some of Disney’s planners have considered using some of the land for housing projects even though many environmentalists warn that if this land is impacted for development, it could have adverse effects on migration patterns and hinder the preservation of countless species.

Also, Disney covers approximately 27, 258 acres of land and is increasing with additional plots of land. With the area they occupy currently, there is already destruction of wildlife and plants that inhabited the land before Disney came, and with the addition of more construction on Florida’s wetlands, this has the potential to cause even more destruction.

As Walt Disney World continues to grow and expand, visitors will be given the opportunity to enjoy additional space and new exhibits; however, it could potentially harm the environment and trigger permanent damage.