Disneyland has unveiled long-term plans for theme park, retail and parking expansion as the Anaheim theme park prepares to work with the city to reimagine what the resort district will look like over the next couple decades.
“DisneylandForward” is Disney’s effort to work with the city to grow the Disneyland Resort post-pandemic.
Disney will be asking the city over the next weeks and months for more flexibility in plans approved in the 1990s in order to be able to add a mix of theme park, hotel, retail, dining and entertainment on the eastern and western edges of the Disneyland resort.
The westside expansion envisions new theme park lands on the Downtown Disney and Lilo and Stitch parking lots, situated between the existing Disneyland Hotel and Paradise Pier Hotel. Originally, there was some confusion amongst news outlets at about the announcement, thinking there will be a new park. But it turns out they are actually large expansions of both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure.
The DisneylandForward.com website states that the lands could include Frozen, Peter Pan, and Tangled, which was already announced for Tokyo DisneySea’s Fantasy Springs, as well as Zootopia from Shanghai Disneyland, Toy Story Land from Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and TRON Lightcycle/Run, currently under construction for Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World in Orlando.
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. The DisneylandForward plan also includes possible new parking along Disney Way.
The company’s ambitions will need to be signed off by Anaheim leaders after a back-and-forth planning process that’s expected to last two years before final decisions are made.
Details about all of the Disneyland Resorts' plans are still hazy, and Disney still needs approval from the city of Anaheim to build any of this, but hopefully we will know more information over time!
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