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Disneyland's Third Theme Park

Disneyland: How much longer do you predict it will take?

From Jay Finch
Posted September 25, 2010 at 9:14 PM
So, all the talk euroDisney getting a third park got me thinking about the original. How many years do you think it will tak for DLR to get a third park after phase 1(2012) of the california adventure expansion? 3 years? 5 years? 10? never?
Also, what do you think it will be? WestCot? AK? Or something unique to DLR?
Anyone know if any plans are already in the works?


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Nick Markham
Posted September 26, 2010 at 7:09 AM
At this point, I can't see this happening. We would all like to see it happen, but they simply have no more land, and they can't afford to take down any parking lots or structures for a park. They would need to buy some nearby land, tear down whatever there is there, and then make a park. I don't see this happening, but that is what they would have to do.

From Jorge Arnoldson
Posted September 26, 2010 at 7:49 AM
I've never been to Disneyland Resort, but I can predict that this third park might be something unique to DLR. When, you ask? Possibly ten or fifteen years, for Disneyland's 65th or 70th birthday, respectively.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted September 26, 2010 at 7:59 AM
Yeah, while I would love to see this happen, I think it is nearly impossible.

DLR is literally boxed in and can't go much of anywhere without taking out nearby hotels, streets, and homes. It is amazing how tiny the location is and how, you literally can see into the park from the street!

You gotta remember that Walt Disney had really no idea that Disneyland was going to be such a hit. I think WDW was made to correct that "mistake" he made by putting it such a restrictive area in CA.

From Raul Araoz
Posted September 26, 2010 at 8:29 AM
There is space. In 1998, Disney purchased the 53 acre Fujishige strawberry farm which sits just south of Katella Ave. and east of Harbor Blvd. Adjacent to that, Disney utilizes 25 acres of land for an employee parking lot. You can see the parcel of land just to the SE of Disneyland on Google Earth. Before the opening of California Adventure, management was already talking of opening a third gate... in 2010. However, the obvious failure of the 2nd park put those plans on the backburner.

After CA opened, there was the idea that a water park might go in that space instead. The main resort would have connected to this new area with an expanded monorail or peoplemover. The continued difficulties with the new park, the economic downturn and corporate conservatism led to that notion being put away as well.

The focus for the time being is with fixing California Adventure. Disney hopes that the completion of Phase 1 in 2012 will bring the same level of success that Harry Potter has brought to Universal. If so, Phase 2 will quickly go into effect. Not until that is completed, sometime in 2017, will the 3rd gate idea be brought out of cobwebs. In other words, don't expect it until 2025 - Disneyland's 70th anniversary.

From Nick Markham
Posted September 26, 2010 at 1:12 PM
Okay then, here is my idea. Buy the Desert Suites land or whatever it is called in the South East corner of Disneyland. Build a hotel there with a monorail stop inside the hotel. Build a big water park in that plot of land with a monorail stop.

Now that hotel at the corner can be the thing that connects the whole resort and adding anicely themed water park is all they need, for basically every great Disney ride can be placed in either of the two theme parks.

From Manny Barron
Posted September 26, 2010 at 1:50 PM
It seems impossible in the Anaheim resort area. If Disney would want to add the 3rd park they would have to look at other locales in SoCal. Maybe in Northern San Diego County or Southern Orange County, or to the East of the Disneyland Resort.

A 3rd park would be great though.

From Jay Finch
Posted September 26, 2010 at 3:23 PM
If only there was more space......
I looked on google earth and notced that there is a huge parking lot at the end of downtown disney. It extends past the end of disneyalnd and all they way to the bottom of DCA and its about half as wide as california adventure. I also noticed a big open plot of lands souteast of dlr. Maybe if they made an underground parking lot there could be space.

From Nick Markham
Posted September 26, 2010 at 5:21 PM
^ Did you guys miss the post about the 53 acres SE from Disneyland (across the street) which they own and is empty!

From Jay Finch
Posted September 26, 2010 at 11:22 PM
I saw it, and yeah it seems like it could work if they could somehow get a monorail going over there.

From Victoria Jurkowski
Posted September 28, 2010 at 3:23 AM
did you guys ever hear about disney's plan to buy knotts berry farm? when the knott's family was selling it they were one of the company's trying to buy it. disney planned to turn it into the disney's america park that had originally been planned for virginia (i think virginia). they wanted to connect them with a high speed monorail. but knott's declined because they thought disney would change the park too much. in reality, disney's plans would have left the park much the same, and done a lot less change than cedar point has done.

From Jeff Elliott
Posted September 29, 2010 at 7:42 AM
I think Disney has been gazing at Islands of Adventure for years with a certain sense of envy. Disney has been trying for quite some time to pull in the tween boy demographic. Therefore I think it would be safe to assume that they are going to think long and hard about a thrill ride style park with a theme/branding that sets it apart from the other parks, in this case it would also be safe to assume that this is the reason why they bought up the Marvel Universe. Superheros from the DC World already have a precence in theme parks through the Six Flags chain, where the biggest and best roller coasters typically are named after various superheros (Superman, Batman, Mr. Freeze, Green Lantern, to name a few).

Disney has already tried with the educating style theme parks and has seen that it meets with fairly luke warm response. For instance, at Epcot, there is a certain group of people that could care less about the world showcase, and spend all of their time amongst the thrill rides.

This then causes speculation to hover over a villians theme park or a superhero theme park. With a darker style of theme park, then Disney can make the arguement that people knew that park was filled with more extreme rides just based on the overall theme. The idea of a Pixar park should be dismissed, since the Pixar characters have all been scattered around all of the other parks. (Mania @ CA, Ranger Spin @ DL, Bugs @ AK, etc) Frankly, I like the idea of leveraging other properties to make a big splash at a theme park (like Harry Potter). I think if Disney wanted to make a third park in California, it should be themed to George Lucas properties, or have a Lucas land in it. If the lands in the park were Marvel Villians, Marvel Superheros, Disney Villians, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and then a neutral area in the middle where Mickey could make appearances, with 5-6 rides per land, you would have one heck of a theme park. It would be a requirement that Disney then calls in Intamin, B&M, S&S Power, CCII, Gravity Group and maybe Vekoma before going forward with any plans.

The real problem with a third gate is the cost of putting together rides. With the top heavy current atmosphere of Disney Imagineering, rides tend to cost the company about five times more than anywhere else. Now granted some of that extra dough is consumed by theming, but more than half of it is going to a vast amount of overhead that the company has within its design division. A large roller coaster can be installed for 15-25 million. Expedition Everest cost around 150 million, and then had to cut corners on theming the backside of the mountain and the eventual disco yeti.

When Disney builds parks overseas, they enter a partnership with a local investment group that helps to cover the cost of the theme park. Without that investment group, Disney cannot afford to put a new park together.

This brings me back to a third park in California. With Disney spending 2 billion on attempting to revamp California Adventure, that is, in essense, your third theme park. The problem is that once again, Disney is stressing style over substance and is going to wonder why their 2 billion investment is not going to worth the effort. For any other park, a two billion dollar investment would be 10 roller coasters and 25 flat rides, but for Disney is is going to be, a new nighttime lagoon show, Cars Land, and a little Mermaid ride that will be old after the first ride.

Disney has forgotten that overall ride capacity of the park is the most important thing. With each additional park that Disney creates, the park is opened with fewer and fewer rides and then they cannot understand why they get lukewarm responses. Outside of the Disney parks and Orlando, the highest attendence parks in the world have the most and best rides (Cedar Point as an example).

The smartest thing that Disney could do at this point is take George Lucas out to dinner, get him really drunk and have him sign on the dotted line for a Star Wars only theme park and have Disney finance another 6 Star Wars movies.

From Rob P
Posted September 29, 2010 at 7:29 AM
C'mon guys. You're not thinking FUTURE here. If Disney can't build out then they could always consider , in 15 or 20 years time, building UPwards.

Yes. That's right. The first Park in the sky. A floating Park if you like. Just above the car park so as not to interfere with Disneyland and Californian Adventure below.

We already have a blueprint theme in the movie UP.

But what other NEW rides could we have in this aerial UP Park ?

From Nick Markham
Posted September 30, 2010 at 7:34 PM
^Are you joking or are you serious, just to know how to respond.

From Tim W
Posted September 30, 2010 at 7:47 PM
Yea, agreed...An aerial park is well weird and crazy. A park based on air themed attractions would be a different story. Alot of people have been thinking about Tokyo DisneyAir, as there is disneyland and disneysea. This park would have an interesting theme.

From Rob P
Posted October 1, 2010 at 9:09 AM
Tongue firmly in cheek guys !!

From Nick Markham
Posted October 1, 2010 at 12:27 PM
^Ok, but if it ever happened, it would be a long time until it would be possible.

From Reggie Templeton
Posted March 25, 2011 at 4:28 PM
I think it would be cool if the third theme park was a Hybrid Theme Park / Water Park. I have an idea for an "Atlantis" park, with lands named "Pirate's Cove," "Treacherous Ruins," "Neptune's Garden," "Mermaid Lagoon," "Paradisia," and "Sandy Beach." I think it would be awesome if the park was something like that, but It's probably already taken.

From James Koehl
Posted March 25, 2011 at 4:57 PM
Tim W., you wouldn't be talking about a certain proposed park called "DisneySky", would you ;+)

From Marcia D'Amelio
Posted March 25, 2011 at 5:28 PM
I would love to see Disney create a completely virtual queue park.

From Reggie Templeton
Posted April 15, 2011 at 9:19 AM
I think it would be good if they made an "Explorer Kingdom" type park. Or a park based off of the "Disney Nature" documentaries (except it would be a fun park, not a boring documentary.)

From Aly W
Posted May 14, 2011 at 10:51 AM
Disney is probably not going to put in a third park because that cost A LOT and they're all ready renovating awful CA Adventure and why splurge on another park when DCA is a mix of creepy boardwalks and dumb non"Award Weiner" Hollywood? DCA has NO magic what so ever and it disappoints me greatly. Instead of making it modern CA, why don't they make it past CA? Isn't the point of Disney Parks to "step into a world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy?"you can't see disneyland from anywhere but u can c DCA and it makes it less "magical." Sorry Disney, but Walt would roll over in his grave if he knew what DCA is like.

From Kurt Larson
Posted May 14, 2011 at 11:27 PM
Jeff Elliot is my hero.

The $$$ they could make from his proposed park is staggering.

I was going to say something similiar.

I'm totally biased of course, being both a comic book nerd and Star Wars fan.

But look at it logically from a business/demographic/marketing standpoint.

Those characters are enormous world-wide and have a presence few companies can match.

Do it!

From Carrie Hood
Posted May 15, 2011 at 12:08 AM
Not to be annoying, but isn't DLR out of space to build that they currently own?

Granted they could buy out the land but wouldn't that cost an arm/leg/kidney/first-born-child/spleen/spine all together?

From Michael Ortiz
Posted May 18, 2011 at 2:10 PM
I think Disneyland will get a third park in 5 years. They already bought out most of the land around the Cherry Farm and across from the mall. I'm sure they are playing real life Monopoly and buying all of the properties on that block. The only thing that is left is two run down hotels which I'm sure they can buy out. Disney is quickly going to see a huge increase in revenue and attendance after phase 1 of Disney California is complete. Disney would not invest in beautifying the surrounding streets if they did not on plan something big. How ironic is that the only two streets that lead to the new parking lots are beautified with Palm trees, street lighting and new sidewalks and so. I'm sure there going to run the monorail down to the new third park one day.

From Jeff Elliott
Posted May 19, 2011 at 7:23 AM
Disney has enough land around Disneyland to build another park. Like others have mentioned hey have been aquiring land for a future project.

With the announcement of Shainghai Disneyland, all major expansion plans are going to be put on hold for the domestic parks until after the Shainghai park is open. After it is open with a portfolio of rides that are not at the other parks, then the suits will take another look at their strategy.

Keep in mind that Disney still has capacity issues at California Adventure, Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios.

If California gets anything in the next 5-8 years, it will be a waterpark.

Disney still needs to figure out a counter move to Harry Potter.

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