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Disney Moving To New Orleans: Magical Transformation

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Disney's connection to New Orleans is a fascinating one that dates back to Walt Disney's childhood. While New Orleans was once a contender for the location of Disney World, the company ultimately chose Florida. However, due to current factors surrounding Walt Disney World, Disney World could be moving to New Orleans sooner than we think.

The Disney World presence in New Orleans will grow in the future. With the upcoming Tiana's Bayou Adventure ride and Tiana's Palace restaurant, which will open in late 2024. These new attractions have the potential to draw more visitors to the city, create new job opportunities, and increase exposure for local artists and musicians. Overall, Disney's connection to New Orleans is a unique and could have a significant economic impact on the city.

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The Potential Reasons Behind Disney World Moving to New Orleans

Frustration with the Florida government: 

Disney was tired of battling with Ron Desantis and the Florida government. They have finally decided enough is enough. This frustration with the Florida government could have been one of the reasons why Disney decided to move to New Orleans.

Walt Disney's Fascination with New Orleans: 

Walt Disney is known for his fascination with New Orleans. He had a childhood fascination with steamboats that journeyed from St. Louis, Missouri, down the Mississippi River to New Orleans. He also constructed a “New Orleans Square” in Disneyland in his Anaheim, California, park. This fascination with New Orleans could have been one of the reasons why Disney decided to move to New Orleans.

Potential economic benefits of Disney World in New Orleans: 

The move could bring potential economic benefits to the city of New Orleans. The opening of the park could create job opportunities for the city. This transition could also increase tourism in the area.

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Louisiana's willingness to sell land without stipulations: 

Lawmakers in New Orleans continued to be quite pushy for more cash, and Disney realized that Orlando was willing to sell him the land he needed without stipulations, but New Orleans would always want more. This could have been one of the reasons why Disney decided to move to New Orleans.

The Impact of Disney World Moving to New Orleans

The impact of Disney Parks move to New Orleans could be the potential economic benefits and job opportunities for the city, as well as the potential challenges of moving a theme park over 500 miles. Here are some points to consider:

Job opportunities

The move could create job opportunities for the residents of New Orleans. Disney World has over 77,000 employees. A lot of the cast members will need to move to New Orleans or find new jobs in Florida. This could lead to an increase in employment opportunities for the residents of New Orleans.

Potential risks

New Orleans tends to have a larger hurricane risk. This could pose a potential risk to the park and its visitors. However, Disney is still planning on building their anti-rain dome when they move to New Orleans, which will help alleviate some rain concerns.

Historical significance

The move could have a historical significance for the city of New Orleans. “Imagine how many people's lives would have been dramatically different if Disney World had been built here.” The move could have a significant impact on the city's history and culture.

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The Challenges of Disney World Moving to New Orleans 

Moving a theme park over 500 miles is no easy task. Here are some of the challenges that Disney may face in the move to New Orleans:

  • Logistics
    • Moving a theme park over 500 miles can be a logistical challenge. The move could be challenging due to the size and complexity of the park. The rides are more technologically advanced, and there are massive hotels that need to be moved. This could lead to delays and increased costs for the company.
  • Space accommodations
    • designing a physically distanced theme park requires more space accommodations for food preparation and service. The food facilities in this new park would need to become approximately 150% larger than current theme parks. Attractions and shows would also require more space, resulting in a 110-acre theme park growing to over 200 acres to accommodate the same daily attendance. This could pose a challenge for Disney in finding a suitable location in New Orleans.
  • Cost
    • Moving a theme park over 500 miles can be expensive. The move could be costly due to the logistics of moving the entire Walt Disney World resort to New Orleans. This could lead to increased costs for the company, which could ultimately affect the price of admission for visitors.
  • Employee relocation
    • Disney World has over 77,000 employees, and those cast members will need to move to New Orleans or find new jobs in Florida. This could lead to an increase in employment opportunities for the residents of New Orleans, but it could also pose a challenge for Disney in relocating their employees.

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The History of Walt Disney's Fascination with New Orleans

Childhood Fascination with Steamboats

Walt Disney's interest in New Orleans returns to his childhood and fascination with the big steamboats that journeyed from St. Louis, Missouri, down the Mississippi River to New Orleans. This fascination with steamboats would later inspire the creation of a few attractions. This includes the Mark Twain Riverboat and the Liberty Belle Riverboat in Disneyland.

New Orleans Square

New Orleans Square in Disneyland was the first new “land” added to the theme park since it opened in 1955. Walt Disney had always wanted there to be a New Orleans-themed section in Disneyland. At the dedication, Walt said, “Disneyland has always had a Big River and a Mississippi sternwheeler. It made sense to build a new attraction at the bend of the river, so New Orleans Square came into being – a New Orleans of a century ago when she was the ‘Gay Paree' of the American frontier.”

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Inspiration for Movies

Walt Disney made “research” visits to New Orleans while preparing his 1946 animated feature film “Song of the South”. He dispatched Harper Goff, one of Disneyland's architects, to New Orleans to observe Mardi Gras celebrations. The city's architecture and culture would later inspire the creation of movies such as “The Princess and the Frog” and “The Haunted Mansion.”

Potential Location for Disney World

Walt Disney considered building Disney World in New Orleans in the 1960s. However, he was discouraged due to the greed and demands of local politicians, and he ultimately decided to build the park in Florida.

New Orleans-Themed Resorts

Walt Disney World has two New Orleans-themed resorts: Port Orleans French Quarter and Port Orleans Riverside. These resorts feature architecture and theming inspired by the city of New Orleans.

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The development of Tiana's Bayou Adventure and its connection to New Orleans

Inspiration and Authenticity

The development of Tiana's Bayou Adventure is inspired by the heart and culture of New Orleans. To ensure that the experience authentically reflects the real-life inspiration of Tiana's story, Imagineers has consulted and collaborated with a host of academics, musicians, and artists across the New Orleans region. They have gone to great lengths, including countless research trips to New Orleans, to tell a grounded story. They have visited the French Market and the bayou, studied the different flora and fauna, and tried to accurately recreate it in the attraction.

New Characters and Music

The ride will feature familiar and new characters and present these characters with dozens of entirely new Audio-Animatronic figures. The new characters for the ride were designed by Imagineer Laura West, while Eric Goldberg, who animated Louis in the film, was consulted for the character's inclusion. PJ Morton and Terence Blanchard will make new music for Tiana's Bayou Adventure.

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Connection to New Orleans

Tiana's Bayou Adventure is an immersive experience inspired by the heart and culture of New Orleans. The attraction will take guests on a musical adventure inspired by the beloved story and characters from the fan-favorite film, picking up where the film left off. The queue of Tiana's Bayou Adventure is directly inspired by newspaper clippings, advertisements, and other media from the museum. The attraction is set to open in late 2024 and will be a redesign of Splash Mountain

New Orleans Square and Tiana's Palace

Tiana's Palace is a quick-service restaurant that tells Tiana's story through food, which allows guests from the South (and anyone who knows and loves New Orleans cuisine) to get a taste of home while providing opportunities for people who've never been to New Orleans to learn about Cajun and Creole flavors. 

The quick-service restaurant will allow those who know New Orleans cuisine to revisit flavors they love and provide opportunities for people who've never been to New Orleans to learn about them. Tiana's Palace is set to open in late 2024, along with Tiana's Bayou Adventure.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, Walt Disney's fascination with New Orleans has been well documented, and the city has played a significant role in inspiring Disney's parks, resorts, and movies. While New Orleans was once a contender for the location of Disney World, the company ultimately chose Florida due to the greed and demands of local politicians. However, the presence of New Orleans in Disney World is set to grow with the upcoming Tiana's Bayou Adventure ride and Tiana's Palace restaurant in Magic Kingdom, both of which are set to open in late 2024. 

These new attractions have the potential to draw more Disney World fans to the city, create new job opportunities, and increase exposure for local artists and musicians. Overall, the Disney World connection to New Orleans is a fascinating one, and it will be interesting to see how the Walt Disney company presence in the city continues to evolve in the future.

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