Disneyland cancels its Eastern Gateway project, confirms fourth hotel
The Disneyland Resort has canceled its Eastern Gateway project and will not build a new parking garage between Interstate 5 and Harbor Boulevard, as previously announced.
Instead, Disney will build a new, 6,500-car parking garage on the site of the Pinocchio lot next to the Mickey and Friends parking structure. Disneyland will proceed with plans for a fourth hotel on property, but instead of taking over the current Downtown Disney surface parking lots as previously suggested, the new hotel will go up on the land now occupied by the ESPN Zone, Rainforest Cafe and AMC movie theaters. Disney announced today that the new luxury hotel will open in 2021. It will become the home of the Downtown Disney monorail station, which will be redesigned to a more "contemporary" look, to match the hotel. The monorail will not be rerouted, as it was planned to be on its eastern side under the now-defunct Eastern Gateway project.
My colleague Joseph Pimentel details the new plans on the Orange County Register's website this afternoon. Together, the moves reinforce that Disneyland "front door" is accessed via its Disneyland Drive access from Interstate 5, and from Harbor Boulevard as it was for decades. I talk about the potential effect on Harbor Boulevard in a bonus column that I wrote today for the Register.
Consider today's news the "other shoe" dropping after last week's news that Disneyland was canceling its runDisney events for 2018 and beyond due to construction at the resort. This news reveals the extent of the construction that will be coming to Disneyland. This also raises question about the future expansion of Disney California Adventure, as that park was slated to expand north into the space that Disney would have cleared by moving its tram depot across Harbor into the Eastern Gateway.
Disney still owns that land across the street, remember. And it is keeping it vacant for now. How will that affect business on Harbor?
What?? How can they close Earl of Sandwich? It's one of my favourite eateries there, and is always hugely busy!
Wow after reading the OCR article. They will build the monorail into the new hotel. That's the game changer. No mention of how many elevators will be built for the new 6,500 parking structure. It should have more than 2 elevators for 10,000 parking spots at Mickey & Friend structure. What were they thinking? At least fix that oversight by doubling the elevators to 4 for each parking structure.
The more time I spend with this new plan, the more I am seeing it as vastly superior for visitors than what Eastern Gateway offered. It forces Disney to clean up the security screening and tram loading hot mess that it now has at M&F and DD. It should mean the end of locals crowding Downtown Disney who aren't staying at the hotels or going to the parks. And it leaves the Eastern Gateway land available for future expansion, including consolidation with other properties on Harbor, should Disney entice them to sell. Long-term, I do believe that this is going to work out better for Disney and its visitors than EG would have.
I'm curious to know how this will impact expansion plans now for DCA. I think lots of folks had assumed the park was going to grow into the area vacated by the removal of the bus drop off area.
The tram loading "hot mess" will remain unfortunately with 70% more people. Either install moving walkways or automated people movers on rails where most people will stand. This is a common feature at airports. The people mover is just a 10 minute ride. The long tram loading is the horrible part of the current experience.
At least Disney should build a permanent tram plaza and security checks at the parking garages. What they have now clearly shows that they were intended as temporary.
I will hate to lose Earl. It's what always gets us to walk through DTD. Although I'm not personally a huge fan, I'm also shocked that RFC is going away as well. What a loss to that end of the resort.
I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of Disney's business decisions are aimed squarely at hurting the pockets of nearby businesses. Giving them little choice but to sell. Disneyland's one mjor sore point is its inability to expand, which is due to lack of space. The only solution is to purchase more land, and that means people need to sell. Disney is putting the heat on in any way they can think of to get more land for projects.
I'm actually glad those restaurants are going away. All three are mediocre, especially the Rainforest Cafe. It's Denny's/ TGIF/ Applebee's food with animatronics and an aquarium. And same with the movie theater... you're at the Disneyland Resort. So much more to do in the area than watch a movie.
Yeah, be careful what you wish for. Disney's going to knock those Harbor Blvd business off one-by-one. Those owner's better get the coin while they can because if you're the last man standing and that Eastern entrance gets closed off, "you're burned".
FYI, Robert - website is acting funky?
There was a database reboot just as you were posting your comment, so it appears to have looped. I deleted the dupes and it looks like things are better.
Maybe the security hot mess was the short term solution knowing that a more complete redesign was coming with a move of the parking structure.
OK, as an Anaheim Homeowner, the current city council is toxic and can't work with each other.
I have long said the original parking plan was moronic when there is so much wasted space around the hotels. This resort simply can no longer work with a single-level parking lot. Furthermore, what this resort needs is a Value Hotel. That no-man's-land out in the east is perfect for that. Who cares if the people staying there have to do a little hoofing? They won't be paying enough for a monorail experience. Plus, that would end the problems the neighboring businesses have with Disney trying to keep all its visitors from ever looking at non-Disney properties.
David: Will CMs walk through GardenWalk to get through security? That’s a long walk.
This feels like a quick fix to increase parking capacity before Star Wars opens. However, it is going to make accessing the resort more difficult (especially for those coming from the south), and until construction is complete it will make parking at Mickey and Friends worse. Additionally, the amount of extra visitors will easily overwhelm the tram system unless additional transportation options are added. Perhaps Disney will consider adding a much smaller version of the gondola going into Walt Disney World...I bet that would more than double the transport capacity from the garages. I'm glad Disney is doing something to help fix the resort, but this just feels like a rushed project that will create more problems without modifying other things as well.
If you look at the Eastern Gateway Bridge, its width was designed to handle 12,000 guests per hour (peak), that is the current Eastern Hotels/motels walk ups, the Shuttle and buses, plus the 6,000 parking spaces.
David: I was asking you about what you said here “this would allow Disney to convert the Toy Story lot to CM use (aka expand the Katella CM lot). This would eliminate the need for trams,”
Well, I was using the term tram in a generic sense, the Toy Story shuttles are actually OCTA Buses on loan to ART, which operates Rote 20 for Disney, who picks up the tab. The point is that all guests will walk from guest parking to the parks. the CM's will still use the Shuttle Buses run by Empire Transportation.
...............so..............is Marvel Land still a complete green light as of now?
In addition to the new parking structure next to the Mickey and Friends there appears to be a new parking structure planned for Simba Parking Lot behind Pixar Hotel er.. excuse me Paradise Pier Hotel.
Man, if only Disney had a department of employees already thinking about all these things. Wait...
Robert and everyone else would would like to comment.
Well my prior comment holds, up to the point where disney gets enough political clout with the county, to get the county to do eminet domain on the harbor private businesses and buy them out in an arbitration that way.
Interesting to note, why did the Orange County Register and its related companies, Southern California News Group/Digital First get a series of articles (including one by Robert Niles) and placed it as the top story (Top of the Front Page) in Today's print edition, while today's LA Times print edition had no mention of it.
I don't see any conspiracy. The OCR always reports more of the going ons at Disneyland more than the Times.
davedisney: Eminent domain? REALLY? So Orange County would screw over dozens of small businesses for one large one? And that's a GOOD thing to you? That is horrific.
Well, The LA Times states that Disney did not return phone calls and e-mails.
To be blunt, the LA Times story missed the point. Corporations move into towns with larger populations than Anaheim, They arrive with big promises, significant tax breaks and incentives and often leave far short of the principle agreements and in their wake they leave acres of depressed properties and ZERO long term contributions to the tax base.
Interesting article from the Anaheim Blog.
sounds like another reporter (of hundreds), who has delusions of grander and very wrongly thinks a journalists job is to change people's minds.
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.