DisneylandForward Unanimously Passes First Anaheim City Council Vote

    The DisneylandForward project has cleared a significant hurdle following a lengthy Anaheim City Council meeting that ended early Wednesday morning. The project passed this first vote from the Anaheim City Council unanimously, by a vote of 7-0. The next steps for the project include a second City Council vote on May 7th, and a 30-day waiting period for any adjustments to the plan before being fully approved in early June.

    A staff report kicked off this evening’s presentation in front of City Council, ultimately leading to the conclusion that City Council should vote in favor of the project. The staff report said that the DisneylandForward project would allow Disney to remain competitive in a global theme park landscape while benefiting the city greatly.

    The staff report went over previously announced details, including investment requirements by Disneyland of a minimum of $1.9 billion over the next decade.

    Before public comments, Disney was offered 20 minutes to present the project. Ken Potrock, President of the Disneyland Resort, called the DisneylandForward project a “legacy project” for both Disneyland and the City of Anaheim. Potrock talked about the history of Disneyland, going back to the original partnership between Walt Disney and the city.

    Turning to the future, Potrock said that Disneyland is ready to build right away. Potrock showed the recently released concept art for an Avatar-themed land, but said that DisneylandForward approval was required for the project. Potrock spoke about the $60 billion figure that Disney has said it will spend on the Disney Experiences division across the next decade. Potrock said that he wants Disneyland to get “more than its fair share” of that investment.

    Disneyland then had Anil Puri, an economist with Cal State Fullerton, talk about the economic impact that the DisneylandForward project would have. Beyond the impact from construction and operations jobs, the City of Anaheim said that $15-$244M in additional yearly city revenue is expected, depending on what’s built.

    Shortly before 8pm local time, the City Council opened the public comments section of the meeting. More than 100 people signed up for the public comments portion of the meeting, and there were 130 comments submitted electronically. The public comments segment lasted nearly four hours.

    What is DisneylandForward?

    As a reminder, the DisneylandForward proposal is essentially a rezoning request. DisneylandForward is a multi-decade proposal to update where types of development can go and how they mix together on space Disney already owns or operates around its Anaheim theme parks. The DisneylandForward proposal does not request any new acreage, square footage, or hotel rooms to be developed. Instead, it would shift already approved development amounts across land Disney owns.

    The proposal calls for allowing theme park attractions alongside hotels on the west side of Disneyland Drive and theme park attractions alongside new shopping, dining, and entertainment to the southeast on what is today the Toy Story Parking Area at Katella Avenue and Harbor Boulevard.

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    The proposal also calls for expanded parking east and new parking northeast of the theme parks and potential foot bridges across Harbor Boulevard and Disneyland Drive.

    Disney has not shared any specific development plans at this stage but has pointed to attractions at parks around the world as general examples, including a potential land based on the “Avatar” films.

    As always, keep checking back with us here at BlogMickey.com as we continue to bring you the latest news, photos, and info from around the Disney Parks!

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