Rainforest Cafe, AMC Theatres, ESPN Zone, Earl of Sandwich being removed to make way for new Disneyland Resort hotel

in Disney, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney, Food, Hotel, Movies, Theme Parks, Travel

The big, exciting news coming out of Anaheim, California’s Disneyland Resort concerns the huge new 700-room, Four-Diamond hotel set to open in 2021, but what of the Downtown Disney District businesses its footprint will encompass?

Southern California newspaper The Orange County Register spoke with Disneyland representatives who confirmed that the resort oasis “will take up 17 acres on the west side of Downtown Disney, where ESPN Zone, an AMC theater, Earl of Sandwich, Starbucks and Rainforest Cafe now sit.” Those changes are reflected in the concept art released today by Disney.

WATCH ITM NEWS VIDEO:

The officials went on to comment that “they are beginning to inform the affected tenants of the resort’s plans and there’s a possibility some of them may operate inside of the hotel.” So while we may lose these business in the short-term during construction, we may very well get them back in a different form once the current wave of construction is complete four years from now.

Disneyland Resort’s popular Rainforest Cafe first opened in January of 2001, and frequently has long wait times filled with families visiting the tourist destination. The AMC Theatres location opened the same month and features “first-class luxury and amenities” for all the latest releases. The sports-themed restaurant ESPN Zone opened several years earlier.

Earl of Sandwich and the affected Starbucks location are more recent additions, but still count among the more heavily-trafficked quick-stop eateries in the Downtown Disney District.

WATCH VIDEO OF DOWNTOWN DISNEY’S WESTSIDE STARBUCKS LOCATION:

Will the new hotel be worth losing these favorite locations, even temporarily? It certainly looks grand and attractive, so it will probably be a thing of beauty upon completion, and hopefully we’ll get at least one or two of these businesses back once it’s done. In the meantime, one thing is certain: there’s going to be a lot of noisy demolition and construction in Anaheim over the next few years.

16 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Andrea

    I like how in this article, nothing was mentioned about these employees that will be possibly losing their jobs that aren’t going to be part of the hotel in 4 years. But oh don’t worry, in the meantime there is going to be lots of noise in Anaheim from construction. -_-

  2. Avatar

    Anonymous

    I agree! And they couldn’t give employees a heads up either. I found out through an article fb!!

  3. Avatar

    Sarah Jenkins

    They can’t just include these places in the move? As pass holders, we enjoy all of these places and don’t want to see any of them leave the district. That’s cutting out A LOT of dining choices.

  4. Avatar

    From a Disappointed 7 Year "Premium" Annual Pass Holder

    To:
    Robert A. Iger – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Disney Co.
    Robert A. “Bob” Chapek – Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

    Can you 2 gentlemen spell GREED?! I bet you can….

    G – Good
    R – Riddance
    E – Each
    E – Employee (from)
    D – Disneyland Resort (West Side)

    How much more money do you guys need from all your dedicated fans from around the world, especially from around here in the L.A. and Orange County area? You are taking away an essential part of what a lot us looked forward to visit with our children and families! It won’t be the same if you change the landscape from what it is now to more hotel’s. Sad! 🙁

  5. Avatar

    Chelsea G.

    Disneyland is becoming increasingly unfriendly to locals. Downtown Disney used to be a great place to go and hang out any night of the week, but the change in parking rates has almost eliminated that. My husband and I love taking our kids to Rainforest Cafe, even with the 2 hour wait for a table in weekends. At least we could just look At the shops and enjoy the live music. Disney is taking away this experience from my family and many others, all to build a massive cash grab from tourists, as I am sure this new hotel will charge an arm and a leg.

  6. Avatar

    Vanessa R

    So, instead of easing some of the congestion and parking problems in and around the resort, they have decided to build another massive hotel and add to the crowds? Great idea, Disney. ? I was a pass holder for 20 years and finally got rid of my pass because of the insane crowds, traffic, and lack of parking. Add to that the fact that they are now basically discouraging locals from having annual passes by taking away parking options on annual passes and I’m just done. Such a shame because I always loved Disneyland but it is no longer enjoyable.

  7. Avatar

    Jeff

    The tourists spend much more money and add much more energy to DLR than all us jaded locals (yes, I am one).
    I’m excited about this move. The current hotels are some of my favorite places to hang out at there, and this will have new dining & drinking options with it.
    And I’m not a bit surprised about the pissy whining of some of the commenters. Embrace progress, or preferably, find someplace else to hang out.

  8. Avatar

    ppullion

    actually, ESPN, Rain Forest Cafe are outdated and meh! once you see it thats all you need. Earl Sandwich will probably be included inside the hotel because of its fresh new appeal, AMC is not really a loss, i would go to block amc before this one anyday, I hated the assigned seating they gave you. I dont really like disney that much and have to deal with the fireworks everynight listening to the banging of them right on time every night. They do not care about locals, they want the out of town/country visitors, they will spend the most money there. the City of Anaheim cares more about disney than its residents of the city.

  9. Avatar

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  12. Avatar

    i agree with you suggestion

  13. Avatar

    Allison Ferreira

    I think the should put Some of those restaurants in the hotel, like the rain Forest Café.

  14. Avatar

    L.

    I Agree this seems incredibly greedy of Disney they are steadily making more and more guests disappointed and disgusted with them!! More money for less- less guest service more diddapointement but at a high& higher cost??? Make no sense people can be dumb but really some point they aren’t going for it!!And locals make up a huge bulk of there revenue they should really think about some of these decisions a lot harder!! Rainforest cafe is very popular especially for families this is a great added amusement experience and restaurant which is sorely needed and wanted I think they should definetly keep it either add inside the new resort maybe make it a 2 story even if slightly smaller version but even better plus it up with a ride like the 1 in Galveston,Texas!! How could this not be a fun addition and draw in more guests to check it out!!

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