Disneyland Resort has announced plans for an expansion! This announcement comes prior to their reopening in April, 2021, after being closed for over a year, first seen on Orange County Register.
The expansion at Disneyland is named, “DisneylandForward” and has the goal for a more immersive experience. This includes modifying development approvals for Disneyland Resort in Anaheim which date back to the 1990s, creating separate districts for hotels and theme parks.
Ken Potrock, the president of Disneyland resort, had this to say:
“With these updated approvals, Disneyland Resort will continue to be an industry leader in bringing first-of-a-kind offerings to Anaheim, which in turn will create thousands of new jobs and help support Anaheim’s funding for important services such as fire, police and public schools.”
Jeanette Lomboy, Disneyland portfolio executive for Walt Disney Imagineering had this to say:
“Because of the current rigid district structure, we just need more flexibility,” “We’re excited about the possibilities and ready to dream. Believe me, we have no shortage of ideas, content or stories to tell or build.”
“What we do know today is that guests need and want more,” “In order to give guests what they want, we need more flexibility here in Anaheim. Guests are demanding immersive integrated experiences that are not singular in their uses. We no longer think of uses as separate. Retail, dining, entertainment, theme parks and hotels are all part of the same experiences in the same place. And we need the space in our lands to create story-rich environments.”
“We’re not announcing anything specific today as part of DisneylandForward,” Lomboy said. “These kinds of projects should give you a flavor of the types of industry-defining integrated experiences and story-rich lands that we want to bring to Anaheim.”
What We Know So Far:
- The Immersive Theme Park west-side expansion envisions a theme park on the Downtown Disney and Lilo and Stitch parking lots woven amid the Disneyland Hotel and Paradise Pier Hotel.
- Disney officials described the west-side site bounded by Katella Avenue, Walnut Street, Magic Way and Disneyland Drive as more of a theme park expansion than a new “third gate.”
- Concept art of the west-side site shows a central mountain surrounded by water with buildings interspersed on the south end of the property. A mountain ridge to the west separates the theme park from nearby neighborhoods.
- The west-side site links up with Downtown Disney near the unused AMC Theater and ESPN Zone.
- Concept art of the northern end of the west-side site includes an Autopia-like car course and a Dumbo-like spinning ride.
- The Disney Entertainment Destination east-side expansion would bring together theme park experiences, hotels, retail, dining and entertainment on the Toy Story parking lot next to the Anaheim Convention Center.
- The east-side site on the 56-acre Fujishige strawberry-farm-turned-Disney-parking-lot has long been discussed as a possible “third gate” for future theme park expansion. Concept art of the east-side retail area features a central lagoon surrounded by shops and a low-rise hotel with a parking structure near the corner of Katella Avenue and Haster Street.
- The DisneylandForward plan also includes possible new parking along Disney Way.
- Disneyland has “only dipped into less than half” of the millions of square feet of theme park and hotel space that has already been approved for the resort district, according to Disney officials.
- The DisneylandForward conceptual development plan stays within Disney’s existing 500-acre property in Anaheim with no physical expansion or additional acreage.
- “We’re not changing the size of the toast, we’re just spreading the peanut butter around,” according to a Disney official.
However, plans could take two years to be signed off by Anaheim leaders.
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