$1.9 billion DisneylandForward project gets final approval from Anaheim

The Anaheim City Council gave final approval today to DisneylandForward, Disney’s multi-decade, $1.9 billion expansion plan for Walt’s Original Park. Today’s procedural vote was 7-0 after a unanimous vote to approve the project in April. Zoning and other changes set forth in the plan will take effect within 30 days.

These changes include zoning that will allow mixed use development where none exists now. The proposal would allow for the redeployment of about 57 acres of parking lots and unused land. Artists’ renderings of the plans presented by Disney, though conceptual, show a major development to the west of the existing parks near the Disneyland Hotel and another to the southeast of California Adventure. Both lots are currently zoned for parking.

Disney

This would allow for theme park attractions to be located alongside hotels on the west side of Disneyland Drive. See submission below.

It would also allow theme park attractions along with new shopping, dining and entertainment venues to the Southeast in what is today the Toy Story parking area at Katella Street and Harbor Boulevard. See submission below.

Earlier this year, Disney CEO Bob Iger gave a brief first look at the “potential” new movie. symbol picture– A themed area in Anaheim Park. Pandora – world symbol picture, has been running at Disney World in Florida for years, and Iger said the company’s “intent” is to make it a new Disneyland feature. “We’re thrilled about the many potential new stories our guests can experience at Walt’s original theme park, including the opportunity to embark on all-new Avatar adventures with a visit to the world of Pandora,” he said. “Possible” is the key term there.

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In a sixAn hour-long Anaheim Planning Commission meeting in March regarding the company’s request for “flexibility” in zoning regarding the city’s 1994 “Resort Special Plan” that governs the area in and around Disneyland, a series of local residents asked before the commission and Disneyland honcho Ken Potrock explains why they are being asked to allow the $1.9 billion renovation of the park with few details about the specific attractions and experiences being added. (The company’s plan for the park is called DisneylandForward.)

“With DisneylandForward and more flexibility within our existing properties, new lands and adventures like those underway at Tokyo DisneySea and Shanghai Disneyland can inspire new experiences here,” reads the copy on DisneylandForward.com. The examples provided are Frozen Earth and tangled And Peter Pan Attractions of the original park and Zootopia, You see And toy story Disney California Adventure elements. These are just examples, however. Disney brass, including Potrock in his responses to Anaheim residents, haven’t committed to any of them.

Disney needs the project for its flagship park because while its parks and experiences unit continues to burn off cash, most of the outstanding 10% revenue growth the unit has seen in the past three months is due to its overseas properties.

Disneyland, despite growing attendance and per capita spending, saw year-over-year results decline due to higher costs, including labor, CFO Hugh Johnston said on a second-quarter earnings call with analysts early today.

Big Surprise – He said Parkes’ growth in the current fiscal third quarter will be flat for several reasons including “some normalization in demand post-Covid as it relates to demand.” While consumers continue to travel in record numbers and we continue to see healthy demand, we are seeing some evidence of global moderation from the post-Covid travel peak. Wall Street didn’t quite know what to make of this and the stock fell as a result.

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Disney has just begun a ten-year, $60 billion investment cycle in its parks and experiences. The first step is the $1.9 billion DisneylandForward plan. “We are very excited about the many potential new stories our guests can experience at Walt’s original theme park,” Iger said in his opening remarks on the call.

For more details about Disneyland Forward, click here.

Some positives for Anaheim residents include that Disney is required to invest at least $1.9 billion in theme parks, lodging, entertainment, shopping and dining within 10 years. The program also includes $30 million for affordable housing in Anaheim, including $15 million in the first year and $15 million in five years; $10 million: to improve sewer systems along Katella Street; $8 million for Anaheim parks during the first year.

Depending on what is built, Anaheim is expected to see between $15 million to $244 million in additional annual revenue upon full construction over what is allowed under DisneylandForward.

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