Editor’s Note: The Oct. 14 coffee chat event at Ronald Reagan Park in Anaheim Hills has been canceled. The orginial story is below.
Disneyland’s long-term plan to expand the Anaheim resort has made a significant move from concept to reality after the city of Anaheim released a key report on how the proposed expansion would impact the environment.
The report states that the expansion would significantly impact air quality, greenhouse gas emissions and noise, but have minimal impact on transportation and neighborhood aesthetics.
Greenhouse gas emissions were considered to have a significant impact on the environment partly because the factor wasn’t studied in the 1990s, when the last master plan for the resort was approved, the report stated.
The report also looked at the project’s impact on energy, water conservation, waste reduction and sustainability efforts, but many of those conservation measures are already in place at the Disneyland Resort.
Disney would also have to implement temporary sound barriers during construction and permanent 12-foot-tall noise barriers along property lines outlined in expansion plans to combat noise. Fireworks would also be prohibited in proposed expansion areas to mitigate noise levels in the surrounding communities, according to the report.
While the report noted that Disneyland Forward wouldn’t significantly impact surrounding communities, Disney would still have to abide by guidelines, such as not building certain rides within 200 to 300 feet of homes.
The report also gave more insight into the proposed pedestrian bridges Disney wants to build over Disneyland Drive and Harbor Boulevard to help transport guests to the new areas of the resort.
However, theme park officials are also open to using alternative ride systems, such as the Disney Skyliner and the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, to transport crowds.
Disneyland had its own version of the PeopleMover from the 1960s to 1990s, and both proposed transportation systems currently reside at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, according to WDW News Today.
The Disneyland Forward project details how officials want to update and renovate the Anaheim theme park. The project will include new attractions, shops and restaurants within its existing 490-acre footprint, the Los Angeles Times reported.
In 2021, Disneyland officials told media outlets they did not plan to ask the city of Anaheim for more space for the theme park extension but would instead focus on underdeveloped areas around the resort, which the company already owns.
Specifically, officials want to add new theme park additions around the two Disney hotels west of the theme parks and in the site of a parking lot east of the resort, the Times reported.
Disney is seeking zoning changes for the undeveloped areas so theme park, hotel, retail, dining and entertainment additions could be built on the land. Disney officials previously wanted to add a third entrance to the resort, but those plans never materialized.
The company has not announced how much a possible expansion would cost, but it previously stated that the endeavor would be privately funded. Disney hopes to have the project reviewed by the Anaheim City Council and receive approval before the end of 2024.
A public workshop discussing the Disneyland Forward environmental plan will be held on Oct. 9 at Anaheim City Hall, the Orange County Register reported. This comes in addition to the community coffee events Disney has held for its Anaheim neighbors to attend and learn more about the project.
The next coffee chat event is scheduled for Oct. 14 at Ronald Reagan Park in Anaheim Hills.
While Disney hasn’t officially announced what the expansion would include, many Disney fans have theorized that Disneyland could create areas inspired by “Tangled,” “Frozen,” “Zootopia” or other films.
Some restaurants, like Catal Restaurant and its outdoor bar, Uva Bar, closed to make way for the new additions to the downtown district.