According to The OC Register, the Disneyland Resort would like to see a large update with plans revealed for a theme park, retail, and parking expansion. According to the article, this update isn’t going to happen quickly. Instead, it will likely take place over the next couple of decades.
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 plan is part of Disney’s effort to work with the city to grow the resort and help Anaheim’s economy rebound following the COVID-19 pandemic.
As far as what Disney would like to do, the westside expansion envisions a theme park on the Downtown Disney and Lilo and Stitch parking lots. 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 connects with Downtown Disney near the former AMC Theater and ESPN Zone.
The Disney Entertainment Destination 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.
Like I mentioned before, this won’t be a quick process. The plans will need to be signed off by Anaheim leaders, which is expected to take two years before final decisions are made. A major part of their requests 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.”
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 DisneylandForward development plan would stay within Disney’s existing 500-acre property. There will officially be no physical expansion or additional acreage.