Disneyland Resort has unveiled long-term plans for theme park, retail and parking expansion. Disney plans to work with the City of Anaheim to reimagine what the resort district will look like over the next couple decades.
Disney said that they will be asking the city over the next few weeks and months for more flexibility in plans that were 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.
Disneyland portfolio executive for Walt Disney Imagineering Jeanette Lomboy said during a media briefing on Thursday, that the DisneylandForward plan includes what could be possible in the future at the Disneyland resort with more flexibility and approvals from the city.
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.
The westside expansion envisions a theme park on the Downtown Disney and Lilo and Stitch parking lots woven around the Disneyland Hotel and Paradise Pier Hotel.
Disney officials stated that the westside 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 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 westside site will connect with Downtown Disney near the unused AMC Theater and ESPN Zone.
Concept art of the northern end of the westside site shows an Autopia-like car course and a Dumbo-like spinning ride.
The eastside expansion would bring together theme park experiences, hotels, retail, dining and entertainment on the Toy Story parking lot next to the Anaheim Convention Center.
Concept art of the eastside 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.
Lomboy added –
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.
The DisneylandForward plan also includes possible new parking along Disney Way.