Anaheim Announces DisneylandForward Public Workshop

The City of Anaheim has announced a DisneylandForward Public Workshop for community members to see what this project looks like. This includes information about what an amended and updated development agreement would look like. It will also give community members the opportunity to comment on the proposal to Anaheim’s Planning Commission. This workshop will be taking place on February 26, 2024 at 5:00 PM at the Anaheim City Hall. It is expected that the Planning Commission will be voting on this project later this spring.

DisneylandForward Concept Art

According to a release from Anaheim, the presentation will “give a presentation that describes the project, proposed changes to the specific plans and zoning code, and development agreement terms. The applicant will also provide a presentation. That will be followed by a time for questions by Planning Commission for staff and the applicant, and a time for public comments.”

A similar workshop was held in January for DisneylandForward. During the meeting, maps were shown of the location of the DisneylandForward project and details were shared about the project. Some of the details included the addition of 4,376 parking spaces that will be added to the Resort and that no public funding is expected to be used. The presentation also covered the shift of zoning districts with the Disneyland Resort to meet evolving guest expectations for entertainment and theme park experiences. This could include making areas for more attractions in the areas currently surrounding the Disneyland Resort hotels and a new shopping, dining, and entertainment district found where the current Toy Story Parking Lot is.

The Disneyland Development Agreement would commit Disney to investing $1.9 billion into the Disneyland Resort. This new agreement would give Disney flexibility to choose where it builds new theme park areas, hotels, and dining within its existing footprint, and in return would guarantee the city continued investment into the resort, along with $30 million for affordable housing and $8 million for the Parks.

“We listened to Anaheim’s leaders and worked hard to address what is important for the city,” said Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock in a statement at the time. “We are proud that DisneylandForward will provide many important benefits directly to the residents of Anaheim.”

DisneylandForward Map

Anaheim spokesperson Mike Lyster said at the time that the city’s Planning Department has been the lead in negotiating the agreement for the past few months. Lyster described Anaheim as a largely visitor economy. More than 25 million people visit Anaheim each year, driven largely by the Disneyland Resort. The city expects to take in more than $230 million this year from the local hotel taxes visitors pay.

In the proposal, Disney hopes to buy some streets from the city for around $40 million. This includes Magic Way, Hotel Way, and part of Clementine Street. City officials say that the offer is at the market rate. The proposal also states that if Disney doesn’t invest more than the minimum $1.9 billion – at least $2.5 billion over 10 years – then the Company would give the city an additional $5 million for street and transportation improvements.

The City of Anaheim would no longer have to pay to maintain these streets, Lyster said. He added that it’s too early to say if the streets would serve a purpose other than to get cars to parking spaces the streets serve. The $40 million to buy the streets will be part of a $90 million investment Disney proposed to contribute toward fund street improvements, including widening Katella Avenue east and west of Harbor Boulevard. The city would decide how those streets are redesigned, which could include signal upgrades and bike lanes. This would also mean that Anaheim would not proceed with previously planned extensions of Clementine Street and Gene Autry Way. Up to $10 million would be spent to expand a sewer main line along Katella Avenue near the parks and would be paid for by Disney, the city said.

Part of the new development would also potentially include a new 17,000-space parking garage along with five pedestrian bridges. Three of these would be over Harbor Boulevard and two would be over Disneyland Drive. The investment into parking and other infrastructure wouldn’t count toward the $1.9 billion investment that Disney would be making into the area as that would only be toward new theme park areas and hotels, the proposal explained.

The workshop on February 26, 2024, will most likely cover similar ground as the one in January. It will give the public another chance to learn more about what DisneylandForward is and what it could mean for Anaheim and its residents. The future of Anaheim and the Disneyland Resort are intertwined. It appears that both Anaheim and Disney are looking for a future where everybody wins and has a better future through the collaboration of the city and The Happiest Place on Earth.

Daps Magic will continue to follow developments of DisneylandForward. What do you think of what has been shared so far? Will you be attending this workshop? Did you attend the last one? What are you most looking forward to with DisneylandForward? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!


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