Bob Iger, Gavin Newson, and Josh D'Amaro with DisneylandForward map

BREAKING: DisneylandForward Proposal for Disneyland Resort Expansion Approved by Anaheim Planning Commission

Shannen Ace

The Anaheim Planning Commission approved the DisneylandForward Project proposal in a vote at their Monday, March 11, 2024 meeting.

DisneylandForward Approved by Anaheim Planning Commission

Bob Iger, Gavin Newson, and Josh D'Amaro with DisneylandForward map
Disney CEO Bob Iger, Governor Gavin Newsom, and Disney Experiences Chairman Josh D’Amaro with DisneylandForward concept art

The motion to approve DisneylandForward passed with 5 votes supporting and 1 opposing. The vote followed two hours of public comment from the local community, with a total of 54 speakers — 40 in favor of the project, 13 against it, and one without a strong opinion in either direction.

In the Planning Commission’s meeting agenda, the DisneylandForward Project is identified as being within an approximately 1,078-acre area of Anaheim, located west of the I-5 freeway, south of Vermont Avenue, east of Walnut Street, and north of Chapman Avenue, and including planned extensions outside of Anaheim.

The outlined request from Disney was for “approval of the Project to allow the transfer of uses permitted under The Disneyland Resort Project to other areas of The Disneyland Resort Specific Plan (DRSP) No. 92-1 and the Anaheim Resort Specific Plan (ARSP) No. 92-2 owned or leased by Disney or other subsidiaries of The Walt Disney Company and to allow future streamlined review of Disney projects in these areas.”

Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock appeared during the meeting to speak to the commission, asking them to imagine the possibilities if the project were to be approved — mentioning recent additions to Disney Parks around the world like Zootopia in Shanghai Disneyland and World of Frozen in Hong Kong Disneyland.

“When Disney invests, everyone wins,” Potrock said. He also spoke to the “thousands” of jobs that could be brought to Anaheim by Disneyland Resort if this project moves forward.

Now that the commission has agreed to the proposal, final approval is required by the Anaheim City Council, which will likely take place in mid-April per the Los Angeles Times. The City Council will also vote on the “abandonment” of Magic Way.

Disneyland Resort expansion concept art
DisneylandForward concept art released in 2021

Disney announced the DisneylandForward Project in 2021. To move forward on the proposed expansion, Disney asked Anaheim to essentially update the plans they put in place for the parks in the 1990s.

In the 1990s, the City of Anaheim approved specific plans that would guide the growth of the Disneyland Resort and businesses in the newly formed Anaheim Resort area. These specific plans created districts or zones that largely specified what type of development could be built where. It also established strict guidelines regarding development size, height limits and streetscape standards.

The approval of DisneylandForward allows Disney to choose where it builds new lands, hotels, and more within its existing footprint and guarantees the city a continued investment into Disneyland Resort. Disney has suggested expansion offerings based on “Black Panther,” “Coco,” “Frozen,” “Zootopia,” “Tangled,” “Peter Pan,” “Toy Story,” and “Tron,” but it should be noted specific attractions and lands have not been announced.

Thinking big and leading the way is both our legacy and our best path forward. Now is the time to be bold, to dream, to believe, and to lead! The Disneyland Resort is poised to create new jobs and revenues for our community as well as new immersive entertainment and experiences for loyal fans and new audiences for generations to come.

Ken Potrock, President, Disneyland Resort, via

Disney presented their development agreement at a City Council workshop in January. They are committed to spending $2.5 billion, with a minimum of $1.9 billion within 10 years, on the Disneyland Resort expansion. An additional $30 million will go to affordable housing, $40 million to street improvements in Anaheim, and $10 million to sewer improvements along Katella Avenue.

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