Disney World in Orlando, Florida is one of the most iconic and beloved theme parks in the world, drawing over 58 million visitors per year. So when an article circulated in 2022 claiming that Disney World was packing up and moving to New Orleans, Louisiana, it understandably caused a stir.
But is there any truth to this surprising rumor? Or is it just another internet hoax designed to go viral? In this article, we’ll analyze the origins of the “Disney World Moving to New Orleans” story, examine the evidence on both sides and provide a definitive answer on this hot topic.
The Viral Article Claiming Disney World is Moving
In June 2022, an article published by a website called Mouse Trap News stated that Disney World would be closing its Orlando park and relocating to New Orleans instead. Some of the reasons given included:
- Avoiding Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” legislation
- Receiving tax incentives from Louisiana
- Opening on cheaper land outside New Orleans
- Appeasing Disney shareholders requesting a new park
The article claimed that Disney’s CEO and Louisiana’s governor would soon announce a plan to develop a new, larger Disney World theme park just outside of New Orleans. It included mockups of the new park layout and an elaborate concept for integrating Disney intellectual property into the infrastructure.
The Mouse Trap News article went viral on social media, fueling speculation and debate around whether one of the biggest tourism attractions in the U.S. could actually pack up and move after 50 years in Orlando. But a closer examination reveals some major holes in this story that mark it as fake news.
Debunking the Viral Article’s Dubious Claims
While the notion of Disney World abandoning Florida for Louisiana made for a provocative headline, there are several reasons why this article can be dismissed as satire or a hoax:
The Source Lacks Credibility
Mouse Trap News is not a well-known or reputable news site. In fact, internet searches reveal almost no history or credentials for this publication or its writers. This immediately raises doubt around the veracity of their reporting.
No Confirmation from Disney or Louisiana Government
If plans to develop a new multi-billion dollar Disney World in New Orleans were legitimate, there would be public statements and confirmation from both Disney leadership and Louisiana state officials. But there has been no announcement.
Disney Remains Invested in Florida Parks
Disney has not indicated any intention of leaving Florida. In fact, they just unveiled a $2 billion expansion of their Orlando theme parks. This huge investment in their existing Florida properties contradicts claims they want to relocate.
Louisiana Incentives Don’t Add Up
While Louisiana does offer incentives to attract new business to the state, analysts estimate it would cost upwards of $25 billion to develop a new Disney World-caliber theme park and resort. That far exceeds any feasible tax breaks Louisiana could offer Disney.
So without any credible evidence or confirmation from official sources, we can safely dismiss the Mouse Trap News article as satire or misinformation. Disney World is staying firmly put in Orlando for the foreseeable future.
A History of Fake Disney News and Hoaxes
Unfortunately, fake stories and rumors about Disney parks frequently spread across the internet because they make such effective clickbait. Some examples of previous false stories that have gone viral include:
- 2016: Cinderella Castle at Disney World secretly converted into missile silo
- 2020: Walt Disney World permanently closing due to COVID-19
- 2021: Disney installing metal detectors to microchip guests
These sensationalist stories prey on people’s emotional connections to cherished Disney parks. While often quickly debunked, they still succeed in generating attention, social shares, and ad revenue for their publishers.
How to Spot Fake Disney News Stories
The best defense against fake Disney news is to approach any dramatic, shocking stories with skepticism. Here are tips for vetting Disney articles to avoid falling for another hoax:
- Verify the source – Check if other reputable news outlets are also reporting the same story. Be wary of unfamiliar sites.
- Look for official confirmation – Real Disney developments will include statements from the company and executive leadership.
- Consider biases – Evaluate if the article has an agenda like attacking Disney or promoting clicks.
- Check with Snopes – The urban legend fact-checking site Snopes.com investigates and verifies trending Disney rumors.
Additionally, use your best judgment when dramatic Disney news seems suspiciously catered to go viral. If a story claims Disney is abandoning decades of investment or moving massive theme parks on a whim, it’s likely sensationalized misinformation rather than reality.
Disney’s Actual Connection to New Orleans
While Disney World is staying put, the company does already have a major destination in New Orleans—just not a full theme park. Here are the properties Disney actually operates in the Big Easy:
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort
This moderate hotel immerses guests in the charm and romance of New Orleans. The resort features southern-style accommodations, Cajun dining, and a vibrant Mardi Gras theme.
Disney Cruise Line
Many Disney cruises stop at the port of New Orleans for guests to explore the iconic city before or after their voyage.
So while Disney World isn’t packing its bags for NOLA anytime soon, you can still experience some signature Disney magic in New Orleans through the company’s resort and cruises there.
The Bottom Line: Disney World is Staying in Orlando
Despite provocative viral headlines, there are no legitimate plans for Disney World to leave Florida behind after 50 years. Constructing an equivalent new Disney World would require over 25,000 acres of land and over $25 billion—likely far more than Louisiana could feasibly offer Disney in incentives.
Disney remains highly invested in their Orlando resort complex, recently completing a $2 billion expansion of their parks. And they have given no indication of abandoning these massive assets and starting over in another state.
In the absence of confirmation from Disney leadership and Louisiana government officials, exciting rumors of a new Disney World in New Orleans can be dismissed as clickbait fake news or satire. While not completely outside the realm of possibility someday, currently there is no credible evidence supporting this viral story.
So for now, guests can continue enjoying the Disney World they know and love in sunny Orlando, Florida. And Disney can keep focusing their efforts on new attractions there rather than plotting an unlikely cross-country move to Louisiana. But the next time rumors emerge of Disney packing up their castle for new digs, it’s best to take the claims with a grain of salt.
Frequently Asked Questions
Could Disney actually move theme parks or open a new resort in another location?
Yes, Disney does occasionally open new parks and resorts domestically and internationally. But completely relocating an existing Disney World would be without precedent based on the massive investment and infrastructure in Orlando.
Would Disney actually consider leaving Florida over political legislation?
It’s unlikely Disney would abandon billions in assets over any single law. And Disney has not indicated any intention to leave Florida despite public tensions with state lawmakers.
Could Louisiana offer enough financial incentives for Disney to relocate there?
While Louisiana does offer attractive incentives, the costs of essentially building a new Disney World would likely exceed any feasible tax breaks or subsidies the state could provide.
Where did this fake story originate?
The claim of Disney World moving to New Orleans first emerged on a dubious website called Mouse Trap News with no history, credentials, or citations. This immediately casts doubt on the reporting.
How can readers spot fake Disney news in the future?
Read critically, check sources, look for official confirmation, evaluate biases, and turn to fact-checking sites like Snopes when assessing dramatic Disney rumors.