Disney plans $2.5bn expansion for California resort

The Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland (CrispyCream27/CC BY-SA 4.0)
With an eye on 40 more years of growth, the Walt Disney Company is planning to spend up to $2.5bn over the next 10 years to expand its Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California.

Among the additions may be rides for the movies Frozen, Coco and, from the Marvel Universe, Black Panther.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the “DisneylandForward” project was presented to a meeting of the Anaheim city council last week. The company told council members it planned to invest at least $1.9bn in new and updated rides, accommodation, retail and car parking.

Rachel Alde, vice president of global development for Disney Experiences, said at the meeting that the company aimed to create a more “immersive experience”. She pointed to examples at Disney parks in Hong Kong and Shanghai that blend attractions, hotels, restaurants and retail based on a particular film.

Last September, Josh D’Amaro, chair of Disney products, hinted that future rides at Anaheim might include Frozen, Coco, Black Panther, Tangled, Peter Pan, Zootopia, Toy Story and Tron.

Other possible additions include a monorail connector, a 17,000-stall parking structure, and pedestrian bridges. 

However, Disney will need to persuade the council to change its zoning plan to allow it to expand the theme park within its 490-acre footprint in Anaheim.

The LA Times comments that Disney is a “dominant broker” in Anaheim politics, and is asking the city to hand over some adjacent streets. The move would give Disneyland control over Magic Way, Hotel Way and part of Clementine Street near the resort.

In return, Disney would pay $40m for roads and some $100m on improvements to the city’s infrastructure, including affordable housing, parks and sewerage.

Speaking in September, Alde said the company was “charting a path for the next four decades of growth”.

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