Without a doubt, the Walt Disney Company is constantly developing plans on bringing the Disney experience to a bigger worldwide audience. From its films to its theme parks, resorts, and cruise line, Disney has been spreading its products to a larger audience every year. Its theme parks currently sit in North America, Europe, and Asia, but did you know there were plans to build a Disney resort in Australia? Find more details after the break!
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, back in 2007, Disney pitched building a resort in Sydney, which would feature:
themed hotels, a marina and ferry wharf, two new light-rail stations, a retail space, an entertainment quarter and a residential development.
Entitled Disney Wharf at Sydney Harbor, the resort would also have incorporated an area for education and another space called Fantasia Gardens, with hedges shaped into the likeness of Disney characters. Think of the Sorcerer Mickey below from Epcot’s Garden & Flower Festival and you may have a better understanding of what Sydney’s Gardens would have looked like.
Additionally, a theme park area was planned with attractions based on films such as Peter Pan, Dumbo, and Finding Nemo, which would have essentially given Sydney its very own Disneyland. Other park elements including the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, where young girls are turned into princesses through dresses and makeup, and character interactions would also have made it to the park.
However, “Project Lester,” as it was secretly referred to, failed to pass the planning stages after some initial excitement about its prospects. After an assessment of the huge project, the costs that it would bring to the government, and the effects on the local communities, plans were abandoned.
Disney, which is always secretive about its future plans provided a comment to the Herald:
A spokeswoman for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts said the company was always looking to grow its business and ”as part of that process, we have conversations with many different entities”. The company would not comment on the Sydney proposal.
The Shanghai Disney Resort in China is the latest addition to the Disney Parks family, with its opening planned for the end of 2015. There are undoubtedly a number of additional plans that are in development for parks and resorts in other parts of the world. Further, we know of other plans that did not make it to the building phase, and likely do not know of many more. A new Disney resort is always an exciting proposition, and although plans for a Sydney, Australia resort stalled, I cannot wait to hear where the company will take its hugely successful Parks to next.