Anaheim releases Disneyland environmental impact report

September 14, 2023, 5:57 PM · Now that Disney fans have heard a bunch of updates for Walt Disney World, what's next for Disneyland?

Answers to that question moved closer to being revealed today, as the Disneyland Resort and the City of Anaheim took the next step in the DisneylandForward project.

The City of Anaheim today released a Draft Subsequent Environmental Impact Report on the proposed DisneylandForward proposal. DisneylandForward is the resort's plan to change the 1990s zoning agreements that regulate where Disney can build what on its Anaheim property.

Disneyland wants to change that deal so that it can build attractions on space now reserved for parking and hotels. Before the city can vote on that proposal, however, state and local rules required an Environmental Impact Report. The city hired consultants to prepare the report, at Disneyland's expense, and it's a biggie - coming in at 16,000 pages.

Disney artist's concept of potential new attraction spaces under the DisneylandForward proposal

Disneyland today hosted a briefing on the report for invited journalists, including me, to go over highlights from the city's report. To start, what the city released today is a draft, with its final report to be completed based on public comments and workshops over the next six and half weeks. And the draft is called a "subsequent" report because it effectively would amend the original 1990s report that led to creation of the Disneyland Resort and Anaheim Resort districts.

The report's findings will further refine exactly what Disneyland can and cannot do on its property. Disneyland is not seeking to expand its property in Anaheim nor to be allowed to build more attractions or hotel rooms than it was allowed in its earlier agreements with the city. The proposal only affects where those facilities could be built. Nor is Disneyland seeking public funding for any improvements, though Disneyland could be required to pay for intersection improvements around the current Toy Story Parking Lot, should Disney get approval to redevelop that as commercial space. Disneyland did not own much of the land the Toy Story sits upon when the 1990s deal was completed.

Disneyland officials have framed DisneylandForward as an opportunity to expand Disneyland and Disney California Adventure onto land now occupied by the Downtown Disney parking lots. However, nothing in Disneyland's proposal or the draft report, if adopted, would prohibit the resort from developing separately charged attractions in those areas, raising the possibility that they could be developed as a third theme park if Disney were to choose that particular option.

City development rules referenced in the draft report today would prohibit Disney from building any above-ground outdoor roller coasters on the current parking lot land west of Disneyland Drive, however. As a result, any large new attractions built on that space would likely be indoor experiences, Disneyland officials said. Noise abatement rules also would prohibit fireworks shows west of Disneyland Drive. For what it's worth, existing regulations from a variety of agencies already prohibit Disneyland from staging drone shows at the resort and will continue to do so.

The draft report looked at 16 study areas where the DisneylandForward changes, if permitted, could affect the environment and quality of life around the Disneyland Resort. In 12 of those areas, the report found that Disneyland's plans and mitigation efforts would result in "less than significant impact" on the community:

The draft report concluded that there would be less than significant impact with noise during park operations under DisneylandForward, though there could be a "significant and unavoidable impact" with noise during construction of new attractions and hotels. However, Disneyland has committed to mitigation efforts including the prohibition of pile driving during the construction of new parking structures and clam shovel drops or operation of vibratory rollers near existing homes.

The report also concluded that DisneylandForward could lead to significant and unavoidable impact on air quality and greenhouse gas emissions. Note that transportation was found to be a less than significant impact, so the effects driving air quality and greenhouse gas emission would be from the generation of additional energy to power the resort and the creation, transportation and use of materials on site, among other reasons. Greenhouse gas emissions were not considered in the original Disneyland Resort and Anaheim Resort projects' Environmental Impact Report, and Disneyland said in its response to the draft report today that its mitigation efforts over the years will result in a reduction of air quality impacts anticipated under those projects' original EIR.

The final area of study in the draft report was cultural and historic resources, and the report concluded that DisneylandForward would have "significant and unavoidable impact" on those, given that the 68-year-old Disneyland is a potential Historic District that could be eligible for listing on the California Register. The Anaheim-selected consultant that wrote this section of the report, Historic Resources Group, noted that there was never any intention for Disneyland to remain static, but that the company should continue to balance its need for improvements with maintaining features and attractions "that reflect the original character, history, and intent of Disneyland," as the consultant said that Disneyland has done in the past.

With the release of the draft report, the city has begun a 45-day public comment period. Interested residents may sign up for notices of public workshops on the City of Anaheim website. And if you are interested in reading any of the actual draft report, it also is available via that website, here. Here are the direct links to the 872-page summary and the 15,106-page appendices. And if that's too much to process, you can find fact sheets and summaries at this page on the city's website.

Following the public comment, a final Subsequent Environmental Impact Report will be released, leading up to planning commission and city council votes on the DisneylandForward proposal next year.

* * *
To keep up to date with more theme park news, please sign up for Theme Park Insider's weekly newsletter.

Replies (41)

September 14, 2023 at 7:17 PM

Why anyone would ever choose to locate in California is beyond me. The California and Anaheim requirements vastly exceed the requirements contained in NEPA (federal law) and the fact that they are considering greenhouse gas emissions related to the generation of additional energy to power the resort is laughable. ANY and EVERY economic development project would face the same hurdle. (I find it ironic that this was released the same day a significant scientific study was released that found that "man made" CO2 has the identical composition as "naturally occurring" CO2, but I digress.) No wonder so many corporations and businesses are fleeing this socialist cesspool.

September 14, 2023 at 7:27 PM

Yeah, it’s only one of the world’s most successful and sought after companies trying to spend billions to invest here. And the California government is way more accommodating of Disney than Florida’s is right now.

The facts defy your narrative MLB.

September 14, 2023 at 9:48 PM

It’s adorable how the proud occupants of Methburg, Flyover State USA feel the need to constantly crap on the places in this country where people actually want to live.

September 14, 2023 at 9:53 PM

@Zarek: I confess that I will steal Methburg, Flyover State for use in conversation but I promise to mention you when I do

September 14, 2023 at 11:46 PM

@ Zarex - It's so cute how dismissive the liberal coastal elites are, especially when their arguments defy the actual facts. The vast bastion of conservatism, the Los Angeles Times, reported California said goodbye to over 700,000 more people than it welcomed between April 2020 and July 2022. California's net move-out numbers reached a record 407,000 between July 2021 and July 2022 alone. Tell me again how people want to actually live in California... is it the crime? Or is it how you, I am sure missing completely the irony, talked about crapping on other places. As far as I am aware, my home state doesn't have a website devoted to pinpointing the locations where people actually DO crap on the street, sidewalk, or promenade. In fact, this year a report from the San Francisco Controller's office that found nearly half of the city's commercial sidewalks had feces on them!! HALF!!! "Crap on places"...indeed. Kinda gives your argument a little different swirl around the toilet bowl.

@Robert - The difference is, that Disney will bend over and take it from a liberal state because of the politics of their CEO(s), which has permeated the corporation. In Florida, Disney had the ability to self-govern their 25,000-acre site. Meaning significantly less oversight on their land use, and mainly sticking with the NEPA regulatory structure, which doesn't require the consideration of bat guano crazy things like greenhouse gas emissions related to the generation of additional energy to power the resort. People would be HOWLING if Florida imposed the exact same standards on Disney that the State of California imposes. And... lest we forget what started the fight to begin with. Disney’s CEO opposed a Florida parental rights bill barring classroom instruction on gender and sexuality before the fourth grade (when children are around the ripe old age of 8). Why was Disney even taking a position on this issue? As Disney shareholder since I was 7 years old, my father bought Disney stock for me as a way to teach me about the markets, I am concerned about the direction of the company... not because I care to get into a political fights about content, I am concerned because my stock is worth about 40% less than March of 2022. Ironically, I saw these numbers today, which explains my concern: "After reports of Disney’s plans to include sexual ideology in content for children, a poll by the Trafalgar Group found that over 68% of respondents were less likely to do business with Disney – including 48% of Democrats." *** Less money spent by parents, means less money to add attractions, shows, and maintenance at the parks. Debating, celebrating, and complaining about theme parks is the reason this website exists, right??

September 15, 2023 at 1:17 AM

@MLB, Your logic reminds me of the old Yogi Berra gag, “No one goes there anymore, it’s too crowded!” Here it is “No one wants to live in California, the housing prices are too high!”

People often leave Cali because of unaffordable housing prices brought on by Nimbyism. And while desirable pricey places like LA, San Francisco, Portland, Chicago, NYC and Boston have their problems, including shameful levels of homelessness, they still stack up far better in terms of public transportation, job opportunities, wages, health care and education than car centric, strip mall cultural desert exurbs like good old MAGA Methburg.

The reason there is no website donated to poop on your state’s streets is that no one wants to go to where you live. People actually want to go to San Francisco. In fact I am heading there this weekend. Im sure there is nary a poop on the Flyover State dirt roads, not with an outhouse behind every trailer!

September 15, 2023 at 2:03 AM

I'm relatively liberal but will be the first to say California is the poster child for "car centric, strip mall cultural desert."
(Although that has more to do with how GM/Ford/Chrysler/Standard Oil were the biggest and most powerful companies in the world when California was becoming a popular destination for Americans to move to, and many of the issues they are facing today are a direct result of this).
It would be hypocritical to not at least acknowledge that a lot of, if not most, of those NIMBYs are Democrats. The Democrats have controlled the governor, house, and senate for a long time now.

On the flip side lets not forget that pretty much through Disneylands entire history Anaheim was heavily Republican and kept giving Disney every handout they wanted. It wasn't until recently that voters balked at the $267 million handout they gave Disney to build a luxury hotel and Josh D'Amaro realized how ridiculous it was and decided it wasn't worth the fight...and now here we are with Disney investing billions without a big taxpayer handout. So you could certainly say that throwing the Republicans out of office actually worked in this case lol.

Also IMO its really insulting and not productive to call massive swaths of the country "methburg." Just because most of the wealth is concentrated in big urban/suburban areas does not mean people who live in "flyover states" are bad people I would hope we are above saying things like that.

September 15, 2023 at 4:42 AM

@MLB- As far as hilarious right wing narratives about the big, scary, socialist cities, that people are dumb enough to believe, go, the whole “People are fleeing California in droves, soon it’ll be a ghost town” is right up there how Portland, Seattle, and Minneapolis are burned to the ground on a monthly basis and that you can’t go from your home to your car in Chicago without getting murdered multiple times.

Population sometimes goes up and sometimes it goes down, but if you think California is going to relinquish its title as the most populous state anytime soon, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. Or whatever bridge in a red state you’d prefer instead.

Also, Florida is in real danger of suffering an exodus of people in the near future due to the fact that you can’t get any homeowners insurance without having to sign over your first born and large parts of the state keep getting blasted by increasingly more and more powerful hurricanes on a regular basis due to that climate change “myth.”

September 15, 2023 at 7:06 AM

MLB: "Why anyone would ever choose to locate in California is beyond me."

Me: Which sort of speaks to your capacity. Just sayin'.


MLB: "The California and Anaheim requirements vastly exceed the requirements contained in NEPA (federal law) ..."

Me: What makes you believe that Disney's team was not aware of these California requirements, devised strategies for compliance and determined they could move forward on the project? And what federal "noise" requirements are you referring to?

MLB: "... and the fact that they are considering greenhouse gas emissions related to the generation of additional energy to power the resort is laughable. ANY and EVERY economic development project would face the same hurdle."

Me: Why did you capitalize the letters in "ANY" and "EVERY"?

September 15, 2023 at 7:56 AM

@ Zarex -- My home state has two cities that the number crunchers at U.S. News and World Report have ranked in the top 11 best places to live in the United States. For comparison sake, California has zero. So, no...the reason that there isn't a map for where people poop in public is because us rubes (as you see us) DON'T POOP IN THE STREET. I know it is a novel concept, and one that escapes you more educated and enlighten coastal elites. I find it funny... you equate dropping a deuce in public to the desire for people to be there. I'd say it illustrates the opposite, people have so little respect for the City/State/laws, etc.. that they just drop one on the sidewalk. I'll give you some more facts, which in typical liberal fashion are not disputed by you but rather name calling and derision are utilized. From 2010 through 2021 about 7.7 million people moved from California to other states, while only 5.8 million people moved to California from other parts of the country. According to Department of Finance estimates, the state has lost residents to other states every year since 2000. Tell me again how everyone wants to live there? Yes, it is a large state with a big population, but there has been a net exodus of people, no amount of name calling can disguise. There are a number of reasons there is a housing crisis in California: the tax structure, yes NIMBYism, the Coastal Commission, etc.. but the real impediment is the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Governor Jerry Brown (he was a conservative, right?!?! LOL) said on the use of CEQA: "It's easier to build in Texas. It is. And maybe we could change that. But you know what? The trouble is the political climate, that's just kind of where we are. Very hard to — you can't change CEQA [the California Environmental Quality Act]. The unions won't let you because they use it as a hammer to get project labor agreements."

@TheOld Cream - I wouldn't be holding up Portland as a bastion of livability. Nike is closing their flagship store in Portland due to "theft and safety issues." Yeah, nothing says livability like fearing for your life when you shop for a pair of Jordans. Portland may not be burned to the ground, but: "With a crime rate of 66 per one thousand residents, Portland has one of the highest crime rates in America compared to all communities of all sizes - from the smallest towns to the very largest cities. One's chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime in Portland is one in 15." So, another awesome comparison.

@TH -- You are such a comedian. (chuckle, ugh..) I never said anything about noise regulations. NEPA is the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) that requires federal agencies to assess the environmental effects of their proposed actions prior to making decisions. States like California go way beyond NEPA.

September 15, 2023 at 8:11 AM

thank god the tastemakers at U.S. News and World Report have spoken on the matter!

even putting on my cynical cap, I'm struggling to see the downside for the city of Anaheim in this proposal.

September 15, 2023 at 8:14 AM

@MLB: So the noise regulations are a logical concern and thus this California government should be commended for requiring Disney to meet applicable standards?

Also Why did you capitalize the letters in "ANY" and "EVERY"?

September 15, 2023 at 9:23 AM

So this report is actually rather positive and makes it possible for Disney to expand? Or am I reading too much into it?

September 15, 2023 at 10:52 AM

@MLB, so which right wing utopia do you have the privilege to reside in? I see the quants at USN&WR rely heavily on housing prices and cost of living to determine which places are the “best” to live in. So if nobody else wants to live there, you make the list! The majority of red states are on the bottom of the barrel in terms of virtually every quality of life issue - health care, education, public transportation, LGBTQ tolerance, reproductive rights, wages, etc so it’s no wonder you can live there on the cheap.

I agree that Cali has its problems. It remains one of the most desirable places to live in the US. People poop on the street and move to Nevada in large part due to awful housing policies that allow the locals control over what gets built. The former (Republican) governor in my East Coast elite state made significant inroads in this issue before leaving office, and we are already seeing results in more transit oriented development in wealthy NIMBY suburbs.

I get that the old reliable right wing talking point that “Democrat Cities are helholes!” isnt going away anytime soon. It just seems silly when we actually look at the quality of life in those cities to red states like Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, West Virginia, Louisiana and Kentucky.

September 15, 2023 at 12:21 PM

It's important for the right-wingnut media and the MAGA GOP to constantly slander California and other blue states, because if red state voters had any inkling of how nice we have it out here, they might start to question the self-destructive GOP policies they've long supported.

As for me, I encourage small-minded hating like @MLB's, because the last thing we want is people like him moving out here. You're right, bro, it's an absolute hellscape in California! Just like your brainwashing masters at Fox tell you, San Francisco is nothing but homeless people and "human feces" (they love that phrase) everywhere you look! Better you keep your hate and your guns and your anti-environmentalism and your misogyny and your racism out there where you live, don't bring them here, it's the WORST. Homeless people, oh my god, they are WAY WORSE than incels with AR-15s, racist cops and the loss of personal autonomy for women!

"Why anyone would ever choose to locate in California" where "they are considering greenhouse gas emissions related to the generation of additional energy"? If you ask that question, well, then you might be a redneck, haha

@Robert any way to moderate your forum so the MAGA bros aren't constantly upending the conversation with their brainwashed talking points? We already know what they have to say, we've heard it all a million times, and we know there's no point in talking back to them, you can't convince people at Jonestown not to drink the kool-aid. Or maybe you could host a separate cult forum, where they can go spew their talking points at each other and spare the rest of us? It's so tiresome.

September 15, 2023 at 12:37 PM

Yet another discussion that could have been focused on theme parks gets derailed by petty, canned political rhetoric.

I do wonder why Anaheim views once a night fireworks and outdoor roller coasters more of a sound nuisance than similarly sized indoor attractions, which can have HVAC systems that scream far louder than most coasters (and would operate 24/7). I recall during our last visit to Disneyland (back in summer 2019), that we could see and hear Disneyland's firework from Angels Stadium. So if a fireworks show can be heard from there, what difference does it make if Disneyland is shooting off fireworks 3-4 blocks away from their current launching areas?

Honestly, I think a lot of restrictions like these are rooted in the need for local governments to exercise control to justify their existence. If the Anaheim City Council just rubber stamped everything that Disneyland sent them, the residents would feel that the body wasn't really doing anything of value. Little things like this and other silly amendments and goofy ordinances that limit what can be Disney can do on their own property are the kinds of things that are partly responsible for the divisiveness of this country. Like any other neighbor, Disney should be able to approach each of the nearby property owners to ask if what they're planning is a problem, and if it is, ask what can be done to mitigate any concerns. Instead, Disney has to go to a politically motivated council that represents property owners and residents from MILES away from the Disneyland Resort who would never be even slightly impacted by park operations. It certainly doesn't mean that Disney should be given carte blanche, but I do feel that some of the hoops that property owners need to do to make improvements and/or further develop their own property, which in turn would increase revenue to the City, seems overly arduous.

September 15, 2023 at 12:50 PM

Russell I agree, but Rober kinda egged it on with his comment

September 15, 2023 at 1:43 PM

@MLB Yeah, you’re so proud of your utopia of a home state that you won’t even mention it by name. I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that you refuse to do so because there are elements of it that don’t come off as looking so great and could easily be pounced on by posters.

Enjoy your view from the cheap seats.

September 15, 2023 at 2:25 PM

Getting back to the point of this article, I am wondering about the construction aspects bothering guests. When my family visited Disneyland in March, we stayed at Disneyland Hotel and just building new DVC Tower had them blocking off regular walkways and other parts so hard to imagine what building what looks like a new theme park land around these could be like.

September 15, 2023 at 4:02 PM

@thecolonel - Name calling and trying to cancel other people's opinion as usual. And as far as the MAGA folks upending the conversation, it seems that you are usually one of the first to "upend" the conversation with your politics. If you have the facts and things are so wonderful, just use that to make your point. It would have greater impact.

@Robert - California's government may appear to be more accomodating to Disney right now when Gov. DeSantis is in a silly political squabble with Disney in a fight started by Disney management, but what's had a greater effect on the Disney bottom line; the political squabble or the decision to allow Disneyland to fully open almost a year after Disney World was allowed to fully open during the pandemic?

California has problems. So does Florida. The states in flyover country (hate that term) have problems too. But they all can be great places to live in and visit. You just have to find the things that you like in them, and tune out the negativity. Life is too short for all of the squabbling.

September 15, 2023 at 4:18 PM

@ Zarex and TheOldCream - See, when you make assumptions, I think you know the rest. I live in that "vast right-wing utopia" of Madison, Wisconsin. One of the most liberal cities in the entire nation. So, please...go ahead and "pounce." Madison, a liberal city in which I reside, is the 11th most livable city in the country, so please... fire away. Tell me what is awful about Madison.

@thecolnel - Nice try on the MAGA insult. I didn't vote for Trump in the primary (the last primary that he lost in 2016) or the general election in 2016. I did vote for him in the 2020 general because we are now seeing the results when you allow someone with dementia to be the leader of the free world.

@ Russel - To paraphrase my earlier post, I have been a shareholder since I was 7 years old! I am concerned about the direction of the company... not because I care to get into a political fights about content, I am concerned because my stock is worth about 40% less than March of 2022. As of June 2023 Disney is sitting on $47.18 billion in debt, and the $9 billion Hulu question hanging over their head. Do they take on another $9 billion with interest rates through the roof? Do they allow their competitor, Comcast, to get Hulu and and supplement their streaming offerings? This is a company that has some significant challenges ahead. Not least of which is that they were offered only $10 billion by Byron Allen for ABC, FX, NatGeo, and their local tv stations. Just 20 years ago, Disney paid $3 billion, plus the assumption of $2.3 billion in debt for Fox Family (now FreeForm, which the latest deal with Charter Spectrum keeps off the traditional bundle package). Disney has a suite of assets that are worth appreciably less than just a few years ago. ABC, the last place network chief among them. But all of their linear stations have values that are in freefall, which will only be exacerbated by the strike and lack of new content. Pixar is a shell of its once former glory, the Fox deal...yikes, did they overpay. LucasFilm - Disney has run the Star Wars franchise into the ground with the last few movies, Indiana Jones is essentially dead, as is Willow, which was pulled from Disney plus to avoid paying residuals.

As a stockholder, I want Disney to appeal to every possible customer. But, "After reports of Disney’s plans to include sexual ideology in content for children, a poll by the Trafalgar Group found that over 68% of respondents were less likely to do business with Disney – including 48% of Democrats." It's important to remember, with its theme parks and family friendly movies, Disney dominated the family entertainment marketplace for decades. An invaluable key to its success was that parents trusted Disney with their children. "It’s OK for the kids to watch, it’s a Disney movie" used to be a common parental refrain. That kind of trust is not something you willingly put at risk, but they did. And you know what...You can’t get it back when it is gone.

All of this means that less money spent by parents, means less money to add attractions, shows, and maintenance at the parks. Debating, celebrating, and complaining about theme parks is the reason this website exists, right??

September 15, 2023 at 5:57 PM

I wonder if it is more beneficial for Disney to label it as a third theme park or just existing park expansions. While from a business perspective it would be better to call it a third theme park, I'm not sure if customer perception would be favorable once Guests come to find that an entire third theme park is half the size of Disneyland but the same price as a 1-day 1-park ticket which in 2030 would probably start around $140.

September 15, 2023 at 6:10 PM

@MLB: Well the next time you feel like slamming on SF, Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Minneapolis or any of the other cities that Fox News tells you are nothing but urban hellscapes, you might want to take a little jaunt over to Milwaukee sometimes.

I’ve been to most of the 50 largest cities in the nation and I can tell you that Milwaukee ain’t anything to brag about, and that it has just as many problems, if not more, as any of the cities you like to bag on.

So much for your narrative that you live in some state where issues like California has don’t exist.

September 15, 2023 at 6:31 PM

@MLB: What an absolute joke of a post.

Please identify which part of your criticism is unique to Disney. Please explain how every major entertainment studio/themed entertainment property is not grappling with the same challenges associated with your comments. So you are concerned that "stock is worth about 40% less than March of 2022"? Can you name a single investment house (financial advisor) who is telling its clients to buy movie studio stock? Anyone out there throwing their investment dollars into Comcast or WB?

Also I adore the "After reports of ..." quote. How absolutely laughable is that? You are referencing a poll (whose methods you do not present) that was published a year and a half ago. April 2022.

Here's the link MLB chose not to provide:,Poll%3A%2068%20Percent%20of%20Americans%20Less%20Likely%20to%20Do,with%20Disney%20over%20Sexualized%20Content&text=More%20than%2068%20percent%20of,children%2C%20a%20new%20poll%20found.

Why did MLB hide that link from us? Because it would reveal that the poll was bought and paid for by Convention of States Action -- a group beloved by Kirk Cameron, Ben Shapiro, Mark Levin, Vivek Ramaswamy, Ben Carson, Rand Paul, the indicted Mark Meadows, Greg Abott and ... wait for it ... Ron DeSantis.

Are you kidding me?

I genuinely look forward to MLB's response. If only so I can laugh every time he pounds on the keyboard to engage the caps lock.

September 15, 2023 at 7:58 PM

Thank you, Tim Hillman and the_man3, for being the voices of reason. I love this site for its entertaining and informative updates in the theme park world. When things veer political, it doesn’t shut down discourse until it becomes personalized. We should all strive to be better than that.

September 16, 2023 at 6:15 PM

Really!!!! Can’t we discuss coasters and dark rides? This is so unbelievably depressing.

September 17, 2023 at 5:47 AM

@ Smclaugh99 and UKCoasterman: Certainly you're not suggesting that we limit discussion to "coasters and dark rides". If we embraced that approach the site would not be comprehensive. Its content would not provide complete coverage as it relates to the themed entertainment industry. The reason things "veer political" is because politics and government have, and will continue to have, an impact on the development and operation of theme parks.

Should TPI not have covered the permitting debate regarding whether or not the Skyplex Orlando complex would be built? From the Jacksonville Times-Union - 12/02/15: "Orange County's board of commissioners granted zoning approval Tuesday night for the $500 million Skyplex Orlando project. The unanimous vote means that developer Joshua Wallack and his family can go forward with plans to build the 570-foot "Skyscraper" coaster and surrounding entertainment complex on Orlando's International Drive. Several dozen people spoke about the plan at Tuesday's standing room-only public hearing. The support included residents of some of International Drive's closest residential neighborhoods, as well as business owners who said Skyplex would help revitalize the area. Opposition led by neighboring Universal Orlando argued that the coaster, which would have a 450-foot drop, is too tall and would adversely change the culture of the tourist corridor".

When Orange County earmarked taxpayer dollars to facilitate roadwork that benefited Universal Epic Universe, should TPI have ignored the story? Orlando News 6 - 12/17/19: "Hundreds of people packed an Orange County commissioners meeting Tuesday to voice concerns about a $125 million deal with Universal Orlando to help expand Kirkman Road to the company’s upcoming theme park. Orange County commissioners approved the motion for the extension Tuesday evening with a 4-3 vote on the county’s incentive deal with the theme park in which the county will provide $125 million for the extension of Kirkman Road connecting the theme park company’s 750-acre property, including its future attraction, Epic Universe. Universal Studios also plans on contributing $160 million to the project, which is anticipated to cost $315 million".

When Governor DeSantis hatefully exerted political vengeance against Walt Disney World's cast members by reneging on the RCID special district agreement, should TPI have ignored that story?

In fact, almost 60 years ago, Walt Disney Productions had pursued plans to build the Mineral King resort in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. From the 'Yesterdayland' website: "Opponents pointed out that Mineral King’s official name was the Sequoia National Game Refuge, and suggested that the development would desecrate the fragile valley. The Sierra Club—which had still approved a Mineral King recreational development as recently as 1965—attempted to use the courts to stop the project. Bumper stickers appeared with the message “Keep Mineral King Natural.” No less a political figure then (at the time) Governor Ronald Reagan even entered the fray -- "I want to stress as strongly as possible that I am firmly in support of the development of Mineral King as a recreation area". Had Robert Niles and the worldwide web been around in the late 1960s, are you saying TPI should not have reported on that decidedly political topic?

It's not politics. It's vitriol that often raises its head here, and across the internet. And I can assure you, around here, those punches have been thrown regarding theme park topics that have nothing to do with politics.

What's disappointing about those instances on TPI is that we are unquestionably a community of personalities with an abundance of often very well-informed opinions. Sometimes those personalities are thoughtless. Sometimes (as in the case of MLB on this thread) the information provided (sourced content) is not complete and does does not tell the whole story. Critical parts of that information are left out -- perhaps to buoy a personal agenda.

But one person's spirited debate is another's fistfight. I have advocated TPI offer some sort of "blocking" function to allow registered patrons to avoid seeing content from posters they believe are unreasonable or offensive. I've gone so far to say I'd pay a monthly subscription fee to cover costs associated with that feature.

In the meantime, for the foreseeable future, I for one will keep dropping by.

September 17, 2023 at 10:26 AM

I'm not so sure I like the "blocking function" idea, THC. In today's polarized times, we all live in an "echo chamber" of our own making simply because we tend to seek out places both on and off the internet that agree with our sense of comfort. And a sense of comfort does not necessarily mean that we are right.

Our society needs places of public discourse where we are obligated to listen to people with different viewpoints simply because it teaches us to tolerate other opinions and ways of life. None of us have all of the answers, and sometimes we can improve our thought processes by stretching our minds to understand others. I'm not saying that it would promote agreement, but hopefully at the least it could make us better people.

With regards to the veering into politics issue on this site, I have mixed feelings. Yes, politics helps explain the comprehensive picture when it comes to theme parks, but it seems that whenever we get too deeply into the political arguments, we end up looking like two bands of chimpanzees screeching at each other on opposite sides of the waterhole. But, if I am to be consistent, I'll just have to accept that the messiness of the public discourse is a necessary evil, and pile into the scrum, and find the common ground for understanding.

September 17, 2023 at 1:29 PM

@ Mr. Hillman: I welcome debates and discourse. But people who use punctuation marks or other characters to offer posts that avert TOS and publish content that some regard as offensive? Yeah, I think the patrons of the site are not unreasonable if they elect to cut off exposure to those sort of posts.

September 17, 2023 at 2:38 PM

I agree with TH, Tim. There's a world of difference between living in an echo chamber and listening to other points of view versus wanting to block out posters who regularly engage in immature name-calling and mud-slinging.

September 17, 2023 at 3:21 PM

It's a tough call, guys. I understand your points, but I'm not sure how a thread would make sense to a third party if somebody is making posts on only part of the content without even seeing the full picture.

And even thecolonel and Keith S. make good points once in a while. Do you want to actually miss it when they are spot on? (Fingers on either side of the political spectrum start pounding out an emphatic "YES!" on the keyboard.

September 17, 2023 at 6:46 PM

TH Creative is laughing his posterior off right now - and I can't blame him.

September 18, 2023 at 2:04 AM

Thank you James.

September 18, 2023 at 9:12 AM

TH, James - You all were right. I feel like I've just had a conversation with President Baxter Harris.

And TH, since this thread has gone completely sideways, what's the avatar you've been using for the past few months?

September 18, 2023 at 11:45 AM

Keith, to put it optimistically, you're on Double Secret Probation with most of the TPI community.

I was one of the few who was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and defended your right to be heard - and then you immediately embarrassed me. Thanks, dude.

You've gone after Robert Niles and challenged his credibility. Did you forget you're his guest like we all are on this site that he founded, he funds, and he writes the vast majority of the content for?

After this post, I'm not going to engage with you anymore until you show the ability to play nicely with the other kids in the sandbox, and that is going to take several months of thoughtful and civil behavior on your part.

Like I said on another thread, life is too short for all of this squabbling.

September 18, 2023 at 12:08 PM

@Tim Hillman that is a photo of yours truly standing in the middle of the old Highway 535. The camera was facing south towards Highway 192. When I first arrived in Florida in September 1982 this was the road I traveled to get to Snow White trailer park -- where I lived as a student in the Magic Kingdom College Program.

September 18, 2023 at 12:26 PM

Cool! I thought there was a good story behind it. Thanks!

September 18, 2023 at 4:45 PM

I am going to agree with a portion of what TH said on the 17th. There are way too many issues that are intertwined to just talk about coasters and dark rides. For example, this site does a fantastic job breaking down the earnings for many of the companies that we like to debate, praise, slam, and most importantly visit. There are "external forces" in the world that put pressure on these companies that make it more difficult for them to make money, which directly impacts their ability to present a quality product with new rides, shows and attractions. Not only am I a theme park fan (along with my two kids who are super fans), I am an investor. When companies wade into the political, there is always a negative impact on the bottom line. (It doesn't matter the issue, it doesn't matter the party. The company will always alienate some portion of their customer base).

I just want to point out one small hypocrisy though, and I am not making a value judgement on the arguments and how they are presented... some of the same people arguing that people should be banned from this site for posting political views, are the same ones defending companies (mainly Disney) for weighing in on political issues. It just strikes me a tad hypocritical.

Finally, to respond to a few people pointing out that Milwaukee sucks. Yes, I agree... and so do most Wisconsinites. Milwaukee at one time was a great, mid-sized, midwestern city. Today, you can't go to a Bucks game without the fear of being shot. (Yes...look it up. 21 people were injured outside the Deer District, which was a horrible mark against the City. I also happened to be attending that playoff game, with my then 9 year old son. That's one of the reasons why I have strong positions on crime.)

September 18, 2023 at 5:10 PM

@ MLB - Who exactly are "the people arguing that people should be banned from this site for posting political views"?

September 18, 2023 at 11:58 PM

Good grief, Keith. I can probably guarantee that you and I are on the exact same side of the political spectrum, but your attack on Tim was just silly. He was not attacking you specifically. He was using you as a right-leaning example and thecolonel as a left-leaning example, making a point that if we block each other with differing opinions, we would miss the occasional good points from those on the opposite side. I would tend to agree with that point. I find thecolonel to be rather funny at times, despite his ridiculous hyperbole about Desantis and those of us who support him. Plus, his use of the oiled up, sax-playing Tim Capello as his avatar gets a free-pass as it is hilarious.

September 19, 2023 at 9:01 AM

Such a pity a theme park forum has to descend into political chat :-/ I stopped following the site a couple of years ago when it sometimes descended into unnecesary extreme covid views. Now I am back and here we are again with more politics :-( Surely people can stick to theme parks and keep politics out of this. Anyways, I was watching a youtube vid by 'Freshbaked' about the plans, but he suggested that the land available wouldn't be big enough for a third gate? and it would most likely be expansions of the two existing parks?

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Park tickets

Weekly newsletter

New attraction reviews

News archive