During a recent conversation with some prospective future retirees to Panamá, a subject arose that had never before. In talking about the future airport being built on the other side of Coronado this visitor said he heard that Disney was looking to open a park here. It would be called Disney Latin America and tourists could fly to the park from all over the world, directly into the new airport that would open someday in Rio Hato.
An expensive Disney park here in Panamá? A country of this size could never support such an endeavor. Anyone that's every visited one of their parks knows that a one day pass is around $100 per person. In a country where the average earnings are around $400 or so per month, an average family of four would have nothing left to live on after one visit to the park. Although I've enjoyed many a day in Disney parks in Florida I certainly don't want to live near one!
Outraged by the thought I did some research and here's what I found out. An article that referenced this $658 million dollar project, said that Disney bought the land back in 2001 to build a 350 acre theme park near the entrance to Coronado, a high-end beach community. As part of the deal Disney with the cooperation from the local government, would change the names of nearby towns to cutesy cartoon like names. For instance the beach town of Gorgona would become "Agrabah" after the Arabian town in Aladdin. Gorgona would also become an extra parking lot for the park where guests would board a train and be taken to the main entrance of the park.
As I continued to read the article I became enraged, since our house is just five minutes down the road from Gorgona. I didn't sign on for this. Had I wanted to live outside of a tacky, Disney theme park I would have retired to Florida. But as I continued to read the article it said that the project was to be completed by November 2012....last year? Well below is the full article for you to see for yourself. Be sure to click on the link at the end for the full whammy...along the gringo trail.