This week, Disney announced that several Downtown Disney businesses will be closing their doors forever on June 30th, 2018. These buildings will be demolished to make way for Disneyland Resort’s upcoming new resort hotel coming in 2021. The businesses on the close-and-demolish list are:
- AMC 12 Theatres
- Rainforest Cafe
- ESPN Zone
- Earl of Sandwich
- Alamo Rent-a-Car
- Starbucks (only the West side location)
- Disney Vacation Club and Walt Disney Travel
This is basically everything west of the monorail track – as you can see in the photo below, the new hotel will consume all of that area. At this time, there’s no news if any of these businesses will open elsewhere in Anaheim, but there are talks about one or more of these reopening inside the new 700-room resort hotel.
It’s been offered to around 200 employees at the Disney-owned ESPN Zone sports bar that bonuses starting at $500 will be available for those willing to remain on the job until the June closing date, as well as severance packages and the chance to seek jobs within the resort. As stated by the author of “Disneyland Secrets” Gavin Doyle, “People seem to be the most sad about losing the Earl of Sandwich, because it’s probably the least expensive and best tasting meal in Downtown Disney.” And while the businesses listed are expected to close by June 30th, some could close earlier, as stated by officials. This will be the largest renovation of the major shopping and entertainment district, which was originally created to tag team along with the expansion of Disneyland with a second theme park and the new Grand Californian hotel.
As previously reported, Disney had previously announced that the new hotel would start construction sometime in the summer of 2018. The new 700-room hotel will feature a sophisticated design and be a game-changer for Anaheim, creating dynamic dining, entertainment and hotel experience for resort visitors and local residents. Extensive landscaping and water elements will create a resort oasis, showcasing nature on every level of the hotel. The hotel’s location embraces the iconic Disneyland Monorail with a dedicated platform inside the hotel for direct transport into Disneyland Park.