Downtown Disney District Reimagining Aims for Thanksgiving 2024 Completion

Lisa Stump

Downtown Disney District Reimagining Aims for Thanksgiving 2024 Completion

Work on the Downtown Disney District overhaul at Disneyland Resort is now anticipated to be completed by Thanksgiving next year.

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Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG

Construction is now underway on the lot formerly belonging to the AMC Theatre, facing the direction of the Disneyland Hotel in the image above.

Downtown Disney Construction Going Vertical

Construction has finally started in the aforementioned barren space that has been empty for more than a year as Disneyland moves forward with plans to reopen the west side of their outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment complex in time for the Christmas 2024 shopping season.

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Bulldozers and excavators are active on the former AMC Theatre lot, where construction crews have installed cement slabs, rebar supports, steel frames and concrete block walls for new Downtown Disney buildings.

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

aerial downtown disney concept art

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 the 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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Author

  • Lisa Stump

    Lisa loves theme parks, black coffee, and her two Sphynx cats, Jareth and Figment. She believes the best day includes a trip around World Showcase during the EPCOT International Food & Wine festival! Her favorite attractions are Rise of the Resistance, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, and "it's a small world." She can be reached at lisa.stump@wdwnt.com.