This is the closest we have yet to see a Disney operation being set up in Panama, despite the recurrent story that keeps coming up on the Internet about a Disney resort.
The story first came up in 2006 during the real estate boom. http://primapanama.blogs.com/_panama_residential_devel/2006/01/is_disney_comin.html The then Minister of Commerce Jose Paredes theorized it could be related to the purchase of Hacienda Santa Monica by a group of foreign investors. The Minister mistakenly said that the investors had made a deposit and no further payments, when in fact the investors have been precluded from paying the rest of the price when the seller Wilson Lucom died and the relatives stalled the probate case. And the buyers were not related to the Disney companies.
In 2009 an April 1 "news item" supposedly issued by a non-existent reporter AP called Rodrigo Campos mentioned a Disney park to be located on the Pan-American Highway near the entrance to the resort town of Coronado, the 350 acre park. http://www.panama-guide.com/article.php/20090401154924637
Even a BusinessWeek website http://bx.businessweek.com/foreign-direct-investment/walt-disney-coming-to-panama/6467937499164575937-2516e83dc8dc74e509c929cbbd984b74/ and the El Siglo newspaper were suckered into what was an April Fools joke http://www.panama-guide.com/article.php/20090401154924637
What has become an urban legend or a way of raising depressed real estate prices occasionally makes it back, as the original item remains stored in website cache memories, with some Internet users still believing it...
Disney resorts - unrelated to theme parks - do exist in the Caribbean and throughout the U.S.
This means that those wanting to visit Mickey will need a U.S. visa or travel to theme parks in Europe or Asia.