Anaheim Mayor Resigns Amid Federal Investigation, Potentially Impacting Disneyland

in Disneyland Resort

harry sidhu (left) and ken potrock (right) with sleeping beauty castle at disneyland

Credit: City of Anaheim

Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu has resigned amid a federal investigation, the Orange County Register confirms.

pluto with sleeping beauty castle disneyland
Credit: Disney

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The Southern California newspaper shared:

Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu, who is under federal investigation for alleged corruption in the sale of Angel Stadium, resigned effective Tuesday, May 24, according to a statement from his attorney Monday.

“Mayor Sidhu has always, as his foremost priority, acted in the best interests of the city of Anaheim,” attorney Paul S. Meyer said in a statement. “In order to continue to act in the best interests of Anaheim and to allow this great city to move forward without distraction, Harry Sidhu has resigned from his post as mayor effective May 24, 2022.

“Meeting the needs of the community has been, and will always be, Harry Sidhu’s top priority.”

Disney California Adventure Park Entrance
Credit: Disney

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The report also noted that Anaheim City Council members unanimously called for the Mayor’s resignation following the issuance of a federal search warrant last week.

Previously, Sidhu had spoken out about the reopening of Disneyland Resort — which is located in Anaheim — following the theme park property’s pandemic closure.

Disneyland Sleeping Beauty Castle Walt Mickey Statue
Credit: Disney

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In April 2021, the politician said:

“This is a monumental day for Anaheim. We have all missed the joy of Disneyland, and we’re so glad to have that back. But this means so much more to working families, small businesses, and our city. The impact of having the theme parks closed for more than 13 months due to the pandemic has been devastating. This begins our economic recovery and brings hope back to Anaheim.”

While Sidhu’s resignation is unlikely to have an immediate impact on Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park, it will be intriguing to see if his departure plays a role in the progression of the DisneylandForward project. It is worth noting, however, that as long as the project is lucrative for the City, Sidhu’s resignation may not ultimately affect the expansion.

disneyland forward
Screenshot via DisneylandForward website

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Sidhu had been supportive of Disneyland’s proposed expansion, which could even include a Wakanda-themed area for Marvel Cinematic Universe fans. Last year, Orange County Register interviewed City of Anaheim spokesman Mike Lyster, who said the city — including the Mayor, at the time — is “receptive” to the updates Disney is asking for, which includes the zoning around the Disneyland Resort. OC Register did note, though, that “restricting land to single uses is seen as outdated as urban planners consider how tourists in 2021 want to be immersed in their destination.”

disneylandforward concept art
Credit: Disney

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“The easiest way to think about it is we would work with them to look at flexibility, to look at how sites are used under that planning,” Lyster said. “Right now, under the plan, you might have an area designated as ‘hotel,’ you might have another designated as ‘entertainment.’”

disneylandforward plans
Credit: Disney

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The official DisneylandForward website notes:

We want to bring more Disney investment to Anaheim. However, this simply isn’t possible under current inflexible planning restrictions unless we remove and replace treasured rides and attractions in our Parks today. Without updates, new Disney experiences and placemaking, created from our beloved stories, will likely never find their way to the Disneyland Resort as they have to other parks throughout the world. With DisneylandForward and more flexibility within our existing properties, new lands and adventures like those underway at Tokyo DisneySea and Shanghai Disneyland could inspire new experiences here.

What do you think about Mayor Sidhu’s resignation?

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