Disneyland Resort

Disneyland Resort and Anaheim Keep Moving Forward With DisneylandForward Vote – Here’s What That Means

Very early in the morning on Wednesday, April 17, 2024, the Anaheim City Council unanimously voted in favor of the DisneylandForward proposal that was put forth by the Disneyland Resort. This was the culmination of several years of work by both the Disneyland Resort and the team members of the city of Anaheim.

Disneyland President Ken Potrock After Anaheim City Council Votes to Approve DisneylandForward

Following the vote in the middle of the night, Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock said, “We are thrilled that the City of Anaheim has agreed to work together on this legacy project and excited for the city council’s initial approval of DisneylandForward as we move toward a final vote in May. We look forward to our bright future together!”

With a major hurdle being jumped over during the 8-hour meeting, the work is just beginning as Disneyland Resort and Anaheim continue to “keep moving forward” with their mutual growth of the Disneyland Resort and the community in which it resides. In the short term, there are two more important dates of note. This preliminary vote will be followed by a second vote on May 7, 2024. If DisneylandForward passes again, it would then go into effect on June 7, 2024.

DisneylandForward would lead to many changes for the Disneyland Resort and also Anaheim. While it would allow the Disneyland Resort to grow, it wouldn’t expand its boundaries. Instead, it would allow for Disney to use the space it has in new ways to help create more guests experiences and attract more tourists to Anaheim. It has been noted that this will benefit both Disney and the city.

Avatar Experience - Concept Art - Courtesy of The Walt Disney Company
Avatar-themed Experience Concept Art

The specific changes to the Disneyland Resort have not been finalized at this point. These will go through a process that includes coming up with ideas, getting them approved, and then implementing them. This could take years. Recently concept art for an Avatar-themed experience was released by Disney. This could be one of the parts of the DisneylandForward enhancements that could come to the Disneyland Resort in coming years. Other examples of possibilities for the Disneyland Resort have drawn references from Hong Kong Disneyland’s World of Frozen and Tokyo Disney Resort’s Fantasy Springs at Tokyo DisneySea. Disney has also shared ideas for new parking, a themed entertainment, dining, and shopping district where the Toy Story Parking Lot currently is found, and even foot bridges over Harbor Boulevard and Disneyland Drive. All of these are conceptual ideas, however.

Sleeping Beauty Castle
Mickey Mouse at Sleeping Beauty Castle | Disneyland Resort

DisneylandForward is about a vision for the future of the Disneyland Resort and Anaheim. As it moves forward, more magic for guests to experience will come to the Disneyland Resort. While there aren’t specifics in this part of DisneylandForward, there are some specifics surrounding the proposal. These specifics include:

  • Disney would invest a minimum of $1.9 billion, with potential for up to $2.5 billion invested, within first 10 years of approval
    • If this investment doesn’t reach $2.5 billion in 10 years, Disney would pay $5 million to Anaheim
  • Disney would pay $39.6 million to take on responsibility for Magic Way and also for entry drives into Disney parking at Clementine Street. Payment would also go to remove planned extensions of Clementine and Gene Autry Way.
  • Disney would pay $30 million for affordable housing
  • Disney would pay $8 million for city parks
  • Disney would pay $45 million for street and sewer improvements
  • Disney would reimburse Anaheim for police, fire and planning services associated with DisneylandForward
  • Disney would continue its workforce development and jobs programs as part of DisneylandForward community benefits

There are also other benefits that were noted in multiple meetings with the Anaheim Planning Commission and then Anaheim City Council. One benefit that was noted is the impact of hotel revenue as the Disneyland Resort grows. Hotel revenue is the largest funding source in Anaheim for police, fire, libraries, community centers, and other city obligations. This generally makes up over half of Anaheim’s city revenue. It’s impact can be seen in this graphic:

While there may not be specifics on attractions or other new magical offerings that will be arriving at the Disneyland Resort as a part of DisneylandForward (be sure to follow Daps Magic’s coverage of D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event for any potential news in this regard), there are a lot of foundational specifics that will enable Disney to create these new magical experiences in the next four decades in Anaheim. The passage of DisneylandForward will be a pivotal moment for both the Disneyland Resort and Anaheim, the likes last seen in the 1990s leading up to Disneyland becoming the Disneyland Resort with the addition of Disney California Adventure.

Daps Magic will continue to follow the developments for DisneylandForward and provide full coverage of changes coming to the Disneyland Resort as a byproduct of this initiative. What do you think of this hurdle being lept over for DisneylandForward with the vote by the Anaheim City Council? What do you hope will be coming to the Disneyland Resort in future years? Share your thoughts, dreams, and ideas in the comments below!