Disney Linked to Project in Branson Area

BRANSON, MO - Could the Magic Kingdom be coming to the Missouri Ozarks?

Speculation is increasing around Branson after a request for road improvements for a $1.1 billion theme park in Newton County.

Such rumors of the Walt Disney Company opening an attraction in Branson were common about a decade ago.  But the recent road improvement request has county commissioners investigating whether Disney is involved in the theme park proposal made earlier this month.

A Springfield company called the ARM Risk is behind the project.

An early proposal includes the purchase of about 1,000 acres of land.  A hundred acres would be set aside for the park, and construction would include six hotels, 95 shops, 27 rides, twelve stages and 18 restaurants.

Officials at Disney declined to comment on a possible theme park in Missouri.

The Disney link arose when commissioners noticed that two of the three ARM owners have offices in Burbank, California, and Lake Buena Vista, Florida, the corporate offices of Walt Disney Company and Wald Disney World Resort.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)