PHOTOS: Colorful Paneling Arrives and Pathway Paving Begins for Downtown Disney District Reimagining at Disneyland Resort

Justin Giglio

PHOTOS: Colorful Paneling Arrives and Pathway Paving Begins for Downtown Disney District Reimagining at Disneyland Resort

Colorful paneling has arrived and pathway paving has begun for the Downtown Disney District reimagining.

Downtown Disney District Construction Takes Shape

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Construction has moved quickly since our last update.

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Concrete buildings are taking shape and scaffolding has been erected near the exterior of the building and the steel framework that has been installed.

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Much of the scaffolding is covered by a brown tarp. Construction crews are active at the site and an excavator can be seen in action.

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Fresh concrete sidewalks and pathways have also been poured.

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Stacks of different colored wooden paneling have been amassed. We spotted red, blue, green, purple, and yellow.

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Colorful paneling is a common aspect in midcentury modern design, which the reimagining is leaning in to for the new look.

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In addition to new buildings, the Downtown Disney District reimagining will include an open, grassy space for events and relaxing.

Construction is also ongoing elsewhere in Downtown Disney District. The Catal restaurant and its outdoor Uva Bar & Cafe closed on April 9 to make way for Paseo and Centrico from Michelin-starred Chef Carlos Gaytan. The neighboring Sprinkles closed soon after and demolition moved to the former bakery. Recently, Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock said that the transformation would be complete by the end of 2024.

Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen has also been slowly updated.

Downtown Disney Overhaul

Downtown Disney District West Side Concept Art

Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock spoke of an 18-month timetable, indicating that all Downtown Disney District construction should be completed in late 2024, just before Thanksgiving.

The Downtown Disney AMC Theatre closed in 2018 to make way for a 700-room luxury hotel that was ultimately canceled due to a disagreement between the City of Anaheim and Disney.

Demolition of the Downtown Disney AMC Theatre, Starbucks West, Earl of Sandwich, and other nearby Downtown Disney businesses began last February. Since then, the lot has remained empty as Disneyland finalized plans for the space.

Downtown Disney & DisneylandForward

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The Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort is currently undergoing a transformation that includes several new shops and restaurants. The new spaces set to be constructed are inspired by the mid-century space age look, which was popular in California during the 1950s and 60s.

We’ve heard about plenty of new outlets thus far, such as the award-winning Din Tai Fung, which serves Chinese food, including bao, wontons, and more. Other outlets on the way include the beloved Porto’s Bakery and a new permanent home for Earl of Sandwich. Currently, the sandwich shop sits in the former home of La Brea Bakery, which will be the site of Porto’s in the near future.

All of this work on the resort’s entertainment, shopping, and dining hub is merely one minuscule portion of larger plans connected to the DisneylandForward initiative — a multi-year public planning effort that seeks to map out the next thirty years of vision with the City of Anaheim and Orange County.

DisneylandForward primarily aims to obtain more flexibility for land the resort received approval to develop in the 1990s, ideally adding a mix of theme park, hotel, retail, dining, and entertainment space on the eastern and western edges of the resort. Currently, Disneyland has used less than half of the millions of square feet already approved for development. All plans stay within the existing 500-acre property in Anaheim with no physical expansion or additional acreage.

What do you think of this Thanksgiving timeline? Are you planning a visit sometime next year? We’d like to see your comments below.

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