Disney maintains, however, that this isn’t part of a “third gate.”
With the reopening of the theme parks on the very real and very near horizon, the Disneyland Resort has officially announced Disneyland Forward. These long-term plans will have Disney working with the city of Anaheim to reimagine what could be possible with the theme park, retail and parking in the future. According to reporting in The Orange County Register, it is important to note that they also described this as a theme park expansion, as opposed to a new “third gate.”
The Southern California theme parks having been closed for a year now as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, so it makes sense that Disney is looking to the future and thinking about ways to maximize the potential of its existing footprint. With the addition of lands like Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland and Avengers Campus, featuring various Marvel superhero characters opening soon at Disney’s California Adventure, the demand for immersive experiences is greater than ever. When you throw in the popularity of so many new Disney films and characters, expanding to provide more opportunities to allow guests to see their favorites is a no-brainer.
Currently, Walt Disney World has Toy Story Land, Shanghai Disneyland is repping TRON with its Lightcycle Power Run and will soon include a Zootopia-themed land, and Tokyo DisneySea is under construction on themed lands for Tangled and Frozen. Any of those properties would be exciting to include at the Disneyland Resort, as well as any number of possibilities into the future that we haven’t even been introduced to yet, since this will be a multi-year effort.
Before any of this can happen, the Disneyland Resort will need the City of Anaheim to be willing to update the existing 1990s development approvals, so that they can move ahead with a more integrated and immersive approach than they could have envisioned at the time. But with the number of jobs and revenue that the Disneyland Resort brings to Anaheim, this sounds like a step closer to making an ongoing expansion happen.
Andrew Niccol’s classic sci-fi arrives on 4K this week.
About The Author