Disneyland Resort Unveils Plans for Huge Expansion




According to The OC Register, the Disneyland Resort has revealed plans for a theme park, retail, and parking expansion. The plan, which is called DisneylandForward, is looking to add a mix of theme park, hotel, retail, dining and entertainment on the eastern and western edges of the Disneyland Resort. This is all part of Disney’s efforts to work with the city to not only grow the resort, but also help Anaheim’s economy rebound following the pandemic.

Disney’s Plans

The westside expansion envisions a theme park on the Downtown Disney and Lilo and Stitch parking lots. The west-side site which is bounded by Katella Avenue, Walnut Street, Magic Way and Disneyland Drive would see 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 on the south end of the property. A mountain ridge to the west separates the theme park from nearby neighborhoods. The west-side site connects with Downtown Disney near the former AMC Theater and ESPN Zone.

According to the article, the new park areas could include things like the Tangled, Frozen and Peter Pan themed lands that are coming to Tokyo Disneyland in Japan, the Zootopia themed land, Disneytown retail district and the Tron roller coaster from Shanghai Disneyland and Toy Story Land and Disney Springs shopping district from Walt Disney World.

The east-side expansion would bring theme park experiences, hotels, retail, dining and entertainment on the Toy Story parking lot. In the concept art, the east-side retail area appears to feature 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.

It’s Going to Take How Long?

This update isn’t going to happen quickly. Instead, it will likely take place over the next couple of decade. That’s because the plans will need to be signed off by Anaheim leaders. Final decisions are expected to take two years. A major part of Disney’s request will be to be able to use parcels of land in a more flexible way. Right now, many pieces of land are rigid as what can be added to them.

“Because of the current rigid district structure, we just need more flexibility,” says Walt Disney Imagineering Jeanette Lomboy. “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.”

The DisneylandForward development plan would stay within Disney’s existing 500-acre property. There will be no physical expansion or additional acreage.

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