Disneyland Expansion

October 7, 2017, 5:31 PM

Hi all, I know Disneyland is focusing on Star Wars and Marvel. I was just wondering, does anyone know what direction the resort plans to go within the next ten years? Also, when will Disney officially announce a “Marvel Land,” and when would it likely debut?

Replies (7)

October 8, 2017, 2:32 PM

I don't expect a Marvel announcement until the next D23 Expo, in 2019. So, maybe 2022 or so for that? The fourth hotel and Eastern Gateway projects seemed stalled, but they are needed so they will need to proceed in some form.

October 8, 2017, 2:49 PM

What will the fourth hotel be called, and where will it be built? What are the Eastern Gateway projects? Also, what other attractions do you see being built in the future?

Edited: October 8, 2017, 10:33 PM

Beyond Star Wars Land, the only thing that has been announced for the parks is a Marvel Land for DCA. This land was originally supposed to be ready for 2021, but recent reports indicate that it may be delayed to 2022-2024. I expect more details will be announced about the project at the next D23 Expo in 2019, and given that it is still several years away I would be surprised if we hear anything more about it before then.

A lot of future projects are currently in limbo due to delays with the Eastern Gateway. If you're not familiar with the project, it consists of a new parking structure and transportation hub across Harbor Blvd. from the parks, which will add 5,000+ parking spaces and clear up area for more DCA expansion. The project was supposed to be done by the end of 2018 in order to prepare for demand when Star Wars Land opens in spring 2019. However, due to issues with the city, the project has yet to go vertical, and with an 18 month construction time there is a chance Disney may opt to postpone the opening of Star Wars Land if they can't begin construction on the Eastern Gateway very, very soon. While there is no confirmation, I've seen several sources report that all future development beyond Star Wars is on hold for Anaheim until the Eastern Gateway is complete, as the resort is currently maxed out in terms of guest capacity. This includes Marvel Land, plus other projects currently in the design phase, as well as the 4th hotel (which was supposed to open 2021) and a Downtown Disney renovation.

For more long term plans, there are only rumors and that's all there'll likely be for several years, but four main projects seem to keep popping up:

-Fantasyland upgrade (a Frozen mini-land is a possible component of this)
-Complete Tomorrowland overhaul
-Replacement of the west portion of Paradise Pier (everything between Little Mermaid and the old Maliboomer site) with a new themed area
-Redo of whatever remains of Hollywood Land after Marvel moves in

In addition to these, smaller projects pop up from time to time (phase two for Star Wars, Marvel, and Cars, as well as a replacement for Toontown), but these rumors are less consistent. Whatever happens, it is a good bet that one of two of the major projects will be aimed for 2025, the 70th anniversary of the resort, while the others are likely going to be completed by 2028 to take advantage of the crowds coming for the Los Angeles Olympics that year. I also expect to see a lot of resort infrastructure work before then, as well as one or two additional hotels.

Lastly, if you're thinking about a third theme park prior to the Olympics, I wouldn't get your hopes up. Every indication I've heard say that will not happen until at least the 2030s.

Edited: October 9, 2017, 8:54 AM

Some short-term projects are rumored to be redoing the terraces at New Orleans to fix the awful congestion in that area leading up to Star Wars Land. The center terrace is often not used during the day, which restricts the flow of guests. The road nearest to the fence is often restricted due to stroller parking and the former smoking area close to the Columbia Ship dock. People still use it for smoking since they haven't changed their habits. If they can widen the path on the other side next to the restaurants, it'll help a lot. It is also a confusing mess when you're crossing the bridge. Do you go left or right or straight ahead, which is actually straight ahead slightly left.

Another rumored renovation is the removal of the space/moon rocks at the Tomorrowland entrance. This is definitely good news since they restrict traffic flow and more people should fit during parades and fireworks viewing. If only they will remove the People Mover tracks too.

October 9, 2017, 9:37 AM

Thank you AJ for all the information.

October 10, 2017, 2:19 PM

They need the new transit hub not just from a parking but a security perspective. AJ, Is Disney going to have to start from scratch on the design of the eastern gateway project?

October 11, 2017, 2:09 PM

My understanding is that the garage and transit hub are fine, it is the access points that are causing problems. The current plan is that all pedestrian access will be from Disney Way, which significantly extends the walk from any of the hotels on Harbor Blvd. Naturally, they aren't too happy about that, and the city has sided with them. If Disney can find a way to make the hub directly accessible from Harbor (or from the backside of the hotels along Harbor) it would probably solve the issues currently being raised.

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