Let’s talk about what’s going on at Disneyland Resort and Disney World!
We’ve seen construction projects all over Disney World for years now. Over at Disneyland, Tiana’s Palace and San FranSokyo Square have recently been completed. At Disney World, the projects are wrapping up in EPCOT. Now, since Disney recently announced a $60 billion expansion plan over the next decade, we can look forward to even more projects in the near future. So let’s talk about the projects we can start looking forward to.
Let’s start off with what’s going down at Disneyland.
Before we begin, here’s some backstory per Disney:
The City of Anaheim and Disney made an agreement to establish five zones on Disneyland’s property in 1993. All of them were given strict guidelines on how they could be developed. One guideline stated that if something new is added, other existing things have to go. This also means that a Disneyland expansion would mean something current would have to go.
DisneylandForward was created to work with the city of Anaheim, as well as the surrounding communities, to update the guidelines to fit what Disney needs to complete their expansion project ideas. As it stands, the zoning currently doesn’t allow for the type of expansions Disneyland has in mind.
The City of Anaheim has just recently released a 17,000-page environmental impact report, which highlights 16 short- and long-term impacts that the addition of more rides, shops, and restaurants to the existing resort would bring (the highest impacts of the expansion would be with air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, and noise, according to the Orange County Register).
Specifically, the report stated that Disney aims to add 14 new rides and attractions — 7 in each theme park expansion. Further, Disneyland hopes to add a “themed ride system” similar to the Skyliner or PeopleMover that could connect the theme parks to their relative expansions.
Disney has already planned to reduce noise by building temporary barriers to buffer sound during construction and placing barriers around property lines and expansion projects. Fireworks would also be banned in the proposed areas. The report also acknowledges that Disneyland is a historic theme park, and that change is always an important part of its history. Therefore, the DisneylandForward project is historically appropriate at this time.
Disney is still required to limit aesthetics that would affect nearby neighborhoods, and they also can’t have unfinished backstage areas facing public streets or other public spaces, and building height guidelines are still in effect as well.
A DisneylandForward-centered meeting took place on October 9th at Anaheim City Hall, where attendees were given a “FactSheet” that contained new concept art. The concept art is for a new contemporary PARKING STRUCTURE that could be built east of Harbor Boulevard near the Disneyland Resort if plans for DisneylandForward proceed.
The parking structure looks pretty sizable, featuring multiple stories, and would only be built if DisneylandForward’s rezoning efforts are successful.
The “FactSheet” also included a map labeling the possible new parking structure. The map included areas of the resort that Disney wants to redevelop as part of DisneylandForward. This would include using space around the Disneyland Resort hotels west of the parks and a parking lot to the east.
Additionally, new walkways and methods of transportation would need to be built. This could include a possible expansion of the Disneyland Monorail, which currently only takes guests to and from Tomorrowland into the Downtown Disney District. Construction of up to two additional pedestrian bridges/crossings over Disneyland Drive has been proposed and infrastructure and transportation will continue to be a hot topic of debate as DisneyForward talks progress.
Disneyland and the city of Anaheim still have a long way to go before any actual expansion can take place, but we’ll be keeping you updated as we hear more about the situation!
And what about over at Walt Disney World?
Animal Kingdom Transformation
Do you remember DinoLand USA? It’s that fun and quirky area in Animal Kingdom where it’s all about those dinos! Well, it’s official — DinoLand USA is being replaced and that means it’s time to get used to seeing those construction walls pop up over here.
There is also no timeline for this project and no official replacements have been confirmed, however, Disney recently teased us with concept art featuring Encanto and Indiana Jones lands. The latter would make sense when it comes to attractions since the ride Dinosaur uses the same ride system as Indiana Jones Adventure over in Disneyland. Again, nothing is confirmed, but we can look at the photos and imagine what could be.
Something similar is happening with Magic Kingdom — future expansion plans have been confirmed, but it’s unclear what that could entail. Disney said, “Imagineers are looking to tell stories “Beyond Big Thunder Mountain” similar in scale to things like Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Pandora – The World of Avatar – adding new attractions, restaurants, shows and more!”
In 2022, Disney mentioned 3 possible land ideas including Coco, Encanto, and Disney Villains, No IP was discussed at Destination D23 in 2023. There is also no confirmed timeline for this project, just that expansions are coming.
As we said, those are the projects we know about, so make sure you’re planning your future trips accordingly. In the meantime, keep following AllEars for the latest updates from the Disney parks.
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How do you feel about these potential new expansions? Tell us in the comments!