Today, Disneyland Resort hosted a special event to pitch local business leaders on their massive DisneylandForward expansion proposal which aims to revitalize the vision of the resort over the next three decades.
The resort held their event in cooperation with the OC Forum, a non-profit, non-partisan current affairs organization convening the Orange County community in an interactive environment, to foster relationships, exchange ideas and discuss public policy issues with the most knowledgeable and distinguished speakers and leaders of our time.
Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock spoke about the project. “To put it simply, DisneylandForward sets the stage for significant and multi-decade investment in the future. This is the next generation of the Disneyland Resort,” Potrock told the attendees including the Orange County Register. “When Disney invests, all boats rise and everyone benefits.”
The resort first pitched their project in 2021, right around the time their extended 14-month closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic ended. The presentation today served as a way for Disneyland to pitch their vision Orange County business and civic leaders detailing the tourism, tax revenue and employment benefits of the proposal, before the proposal goes before the Anaheim Planning Commission later this year and the City Council next. An environmental impact study is currently underway, with a draft expected this summer.
“The economic engine that is the Disneyland Resort will be turning 68 years young in July, yet we believe it has more potential than ever,” Potrock said. “When we work together the possibilities are endless and that is exactly what we are trying to do.”
The concept art used provided a glimpse at the expansion’s possibilities, utilizing currently underway projects like Fantasy Springs from Tokyo DisneySea or Zootopia from Shanghai Disneyland to demonstrate. “What we would love is for those future innovations to have a spot here in Anaheim,” Disney’s Global Development vice president Rachel Alde said.
The resort brought Cal State Fullerton’s Anil Puri to spell out the economic impact of every billion dollars invested by Disneyland. During an average four-year construction period, Disneyland would generate 4,500 jobs, $11 million in tax revenue, and $1.1 billion in economic output in Anaheim for every billion dollars spent, according to his study.
The aim of the DisneylandForward project is to obtain more flexibility for land Disneyland received approval to develop in the 1990s, ideally adding a mix of theme park, hotel, retail, dining, and entertainment on the eastern and western edges of the resort.
“Back in the early ’90s, Disney and the city of Anaheim worked collaboratively on their vision for the next three-plus decades,” Potrock said. “Together, we built this unique tourism engine and the vision we had for the continued growth of this community is quite honestly a marvel. This is a very unique, special and advantageous benefit to the city of Anaheim, Orange County and in fact, the entire state. We are incredibly excited about the opportunity to do it again as we look to the next 10, 20 and even 30 years ahead.”
Disneyland has used less than half of the millions of square feet of theme park and hotel space that has already been approved for the resort district, according to the Orange County Register. The DisneylandForward plan stays within the existing 500-acre property in Anaheim with no physical expansion or additional acreage.
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