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Disneyland Resort Expansion: DisneylandForward Updates

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Concept art of the DisneylandForward proposed expansion on the west area of Disneyland Resort
Concept art for the proposed DisneylandForward expansion on the west side of Disneyland Resort property.

An ambitious project called DisneylandForward outlines plans for expanding Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA. The multi-year plans calls for new lands, attractions, parking structures, shopping districts, and perhaps even a third park. With a focus on sustainable design and innovative technology, DisneylandForward represents a bold step towards shaping the future of themed entertainment.

Time will tell how much of the current plans actually come to fruition. Right now Disneyland has to work with the City of Anaheim which will include environmental studies and fights over land use zoning.

I will do my best to keep this article updated on the current status of DisneylandForward.

Latest update: On May 7, 2024, the City Council gave the final approval to move forward with land use re-zoning. This means Disneyland can now build anything on land that was formerly zoned only for parking.


Disneyland Resort Expansion Overview

DisneylandForward is an exciting and ambitious project that will reshape and expand the Disneyland Resort. Fans of Disney Parks know that space is limited for Disneyland in Anaheim, where the property is surrounded by residential streets.

By leveraging underutilized areas within the resort, DisneylandForward presents an opportunity for creative expansion that will not only increase capacity but also offer guests a more immersive and diverse array of experiences. The project’s emphasis on flexibility and adaptability underscores Disney’s commitment to evolving with the times while staying true to its core values of storytelling, imagination, and magic.

Concept art of the Disneyland resort expansion plans
Concept art for the proposed Toy Story parking area expansion


Benefits Of Disneyland Resort Expansion

The DisneylandForward expansion brings a myriad of benefits not only to theme park fans but also to the local community and economy. With new attractions, hotels, and entertainment districts, this expansion promises to create thousands of job opportunities, boosting the local employment rate significantly.

Furthermore, the addition of new themed lands and experiences will cater to a wider audience demographic, attracting more visitors from around the world. This diversification in offerings will enhance visitor experience while also increasing revenue streams for Disneyland Resort.

Additionally, with more space for innovative storytelling, Disneyland can add new attractions without always replacing beloved rides.

All these advantages combine to make Disneyland Resort’s expansion a seemingly clear win for both Disney and the City of Anaheim.

However, locals who live in the area are worried about the extra noise, traffic, and pollution that would come with expanding the theme parks.


Past Disneyland Park Expansions

Disneyland Park has experienced several expansions over its storied history, adding new lands, rides, and attractions through the years. In 1955, the park opened to the public with fewer than twenty attractions within five themed areas (Main Street USA, Adventureland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, and Tomorrowland). Over the subsequent decades, several expansions were made to those original areas. In 1959 a sixth land – called “New Orleans Square” – was opened that included themed dining and shopping experiences in addition to now classic attractions Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Then in 1983, “New Fantasyland” opened offering a layout and a couple new attractions. Mickey’s Toontown, the first major Disneyland expansion, opened in 1993.

2001 marked a major milestone for the Disneyland Resort with the opening of its second park, Disney California Adventure, and the Downtown Disney District entertainment area.

In 2019 Disneyland opened Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge which used many acres of formerly “backstage” space to greatly expand Disneyland Park’s footprint.

Together these expansions have greatly augmented the Disneyland Resort’s offerings and helped to make it one of America’s most renowned theme parks.

DisneylandForward Plans

Here are a few suggested updates for the DisneylandForward project:

  • Toy Story parking lot to be transformed into a theme park, hotel, retail, dining, or entertainment district.
  • Possible new parking structure off Disney Way
  • Disneyland theme park expansion into the current parking lot of Disneyland Hotel
  • Disney California Adventure expansion into the current parking lot of Downtown Disney (Simba).

The image below was released by DisneylandForward in 2023.

A map showing the location of the Disneyland Resort expansion.

What is the Timeline for DisneylandForward?

In 2023, Disneyland released an environmental impact report to address the areas of concern around expansding the theme parks.

In early 2024, Disneyland hopes their entire property can be rezoned for mixed use, which will allow them to build on areas that are only zoned for parking right now.

In March 2024, there will be a Planning Commission hearing on DisneylandForward. In April and May 2024, there will be City Council hearings to approve the environmental impact report and zoning requests.

On April 16, 2024, the City Council gave the first approval for DisneylandForward planning to continue.

On May 7, 2024, the City Council gave the final approval to move forward with re-zoning.



While DisneylandForward is currently in its very beginning stages, it has great potential to ultimately change the shape of the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim over the next decade.

While budgeting and planning can take years, Disney Parks seems committed to expanding the Disneyland Resort area one way or another, and it will be fascinating to watch it all play out.

About Mindy

Mindy Marzec is a life-long Disney fan who grew up in Los Angeles. She started This Fairy Tale Life to share Disneyland travel tips for adults. When not at Disneyland, you can find Mindy at home snuggling with her cats and re-watching Thor: Ragnarok for the billionth time.