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

BREAKING: DisneylandForward Theme Park Expansion Approved by Anaheim City Council

Shannen Ace

The Anaheim City Council approved the DisneylandForward project in a vote on Tuesday evening.

DisneylandForward Approved in First City Council Vote

DisneylandForward expansion concept art

The motion to approve DisneylandForward in this first vote passed with 7 votes in favor and 0 votes opposed.

Though they approved the proposal during Tuesday’s meeting, they will vote on the project once again at the May 7 City Council meeting. If approved at the second meeting, the plan would go into effect 30 days later.

The meeting agenda for the City Council describes Disney’s request for the project as:

The applicant, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S., Inc. (Disney), requests approval of the proposed DisneylandForward Project (DEV2021-00069) (Proposed Project) to allow continued, long-term growth of The Disneyland Resort. The Proposed Project would 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 (Disney Properties). It would also allow future streamlined review of Disney projects in these areas.

The city of Anaheim is also considering transferring responsibility for Magic Way to Disney; the company has committed to paying $40 million for Magic Way, Hotel Way, and part of Clementine Street.

Following three years of information sharing and public workshops in October 2023, January and February 2024, the Anaheim Planning Commission first approved the DisneylandForward proposal on March 11. The vote then moved to the Anaheim City Council following a community informational open house on April 10.

Disney CEO Bob Iger, California Governor Gavin Newsom, and Disney Experiences Chairman Josh D'Amaro standing in front of DisneylandForward concept art.
Disney CEO Bob Iger, Governor of California Gavin Newsom, and Disney Experiences Chairman Josh D’Amaro with DisneylandForward concept art

In the DisneylandForward proposal, Disney committed to spending $2.5 billion on an expansion of Disneyland Resort. $1.9 billion of that would be spent within the first 10 years. $30 million would go toward affordable housing in the area, $10 million would be for sewer improvements along Katella Avenue, and $8 million would be given to Anaheim parks.

Concept art for the proposed "Avatar" experience coming to Disneyland Resort following the approval of DisneylandForward.

Once it reaches complete approval, the DisneylandForward project will allow Disney to choose where it will build new lands, resort hotels, and more within its already existing footprint. One such offering that has already been proposed is a new “Avatar” experience, which had its first piece of concept art revealed earlier this month during Disney’s 2024 Annual Meeting of Shareholders.

Other specific IP or attractions have not yet been confirmed, though Disney has previously suggested the addition of experiences inspired by “Tron,” “Tangled,” “Peter Pan,” “Black Panther,” “Coco,” “Frozen,” “Toy Story,” and “Zootopia.”

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 of Disneyland Resort, via DisneylandForward.com

According to Anaheim.net, the city could see a projected $15 to $244 million in additional yearly revenue depending on what is built as part of the project.

For more Disneyland Resort news and info, follow Disneyland News Today on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram. For Disney Parks news worldwide, visit WDWNT.

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