Disney designer cancels plans for North Carolina theme park due to lack of investors

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- The man who helped create Disneyland in California, Disney World's Epcot, and even parts of Universal Studios is no longer planning on bringing a theme park to North Carolina.

At least not right now.

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A Disney designer is planning a theme park for North Carolina

We reported last April that former Disney Imagineer Bob Baranick was working on a project -- called Whirligig Woods -- in the Chapel Hill area.

"We're not building Disney World, but we're putting that kind of effort and quality into it," Baranick said at the time.

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For the project, he bought 21 acres in Alamance County, just outside of Chapel Hill. He described the park as a VIP experience because it would be intimate, small, and nestled in the woods.

But now Baranick tells ABC11 the plans have fallen through due to lack of investors.

"I was dedicated to the project being a high-quality family experience," he said. "North Carolina and the local community deserves that. To build something less, with fewer funds, would not have been the right thing to do."

He also said he hopes he "can still bring a sincere family entertainment experience to North Carolina one day."

In the meantime, Baranick will hold on to the property and "protect the natural landscape."
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