Construction has finally begun on an empty dirt lot that sat dormant for more than a year in Downtown Disney as theme park officials aim to complete construction in the outdoor shopping area by late 2024.
The now-active construction site was once home to the former AMC theater building that was in the shopping district until 2022. The theatre closed in 2018 to make way for a 700-room luxury Disney hotel project that was ultimately canceled, the Orange County Register reported.
The lot will soon be home to the new Din Tai Fung restaurant, a new Earl of Sandwich location, other shops, a stage for musical guests and a grassy area for special events.
WDW News Today captured photos of the construction taking place at the resort.
The entire outdoor shopping district is undergoing renovations as officials continue revamping the location. Initial news of the project was announced at Destination D23, a Disney fan convention, in 2021.
Some restaurants, like the newly renamed Jazz Kitchen Coastal Grill & Patio, formerly known as Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen, continue to undergo renovations. Other locations, like Catal Restaurant and its outdoor bar, Uva Bar, closed down to make way for new establishments coming to the area.
During an OC Forum event in May, Disneyland Resort president Ken Potrock said the Downtown Disney transformation would take 18 months to complete. The 18-month timeline means officials hope to complete construction shortly before Thanksgiving next year, the Register reported.
The theme park is also holding community coffee events at local parks for its Anaheim neighbors so officials can explain what the proposed plan, known as Disneyland Forward, entails and give residents a chance to ask questions about the proposed expansion.
Officials have held these events since 2022, after announcing its expansion intentions in March 2021.
The next event will take place on June 10 at Boysen Park.