Third Anaheim Disney Park Reportedly in “Pre-Design” Phase

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Mickey in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle with question marks overtop.

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney

This iconic quote inspired the name for Disneyland Resort’s long-awaited project, Disneyland Forward, which was officially revealed to be a theme Park expansion” project in 2021.

Disneyland Resort
Credit: Disney

This led some fans to interpret the announcement as a “third gate,” meaning Disneyland Resort would add a third theme Park to compete with Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.

It’s important to note that the Disneyland plans list an expansion of existing Parks and property rather than a third Park, a proposal the City of Anaheim supports.

Disneyland Resort wants to expand its dining, shopping, hotel, entertainment, and theme Park offerings without increasing its footprint in Southern California. This proposal aims to reimagine and revitalize existing land owned by The Walt Disney Company.

disneylandforward plans
Credit: Disney

However, a recent posting on construction.com has led fans to believe that plans may have changed. Reddit user u/AssociationNo5421 shared a link to a permit filed on behalf of Disneyland that explicitly lists the project as a “3rd Theme Park.”

screenshot of construction.com that reads "Disneyland Theme Park- 3rd Park."
Credit: Construction.com

Many Disney fans suggested this project would take over the current Toy Story and Pumbaa parking lots at Disneyland, which are far enough from the gates at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure that they require busses to shuttle Guests to the Parks. Pumbaa is mainly used for Cast Member parking- only available to Guests on extra busy days.

Reddit user u/mahka42 wrote:

There’s been discussion and exploration of a third gate for years, to take over either the current Toy Story or Pumbaa lots. Don’t know if they’re still looking at that and if that’s what this is.

map of toy story parking at disneyland
Credit: Screenshot via Disneyland website

One Disney fan, u/Phased5ek, speculated that there isn’t enough room for an entire third theme Park but potentially an expansion of Downtown Disney or Disneyland Park:

could this be information about the Downtown Disney expansion / improvements they had announced on trying to get approved last year (like adding in a Wakanda-themed area near Disneyland Hotel and other such things as that)? i haven’t seen anything about a 3rd park and there’s not a lot of space around for them to do it unless it’s in another part of the city.

downtown disney renovation concept art
Credit: Disney

A few fans suggested the valuation- $25,000,000 to $49,999,999- was too low for an entire theme Park. Still, the original poster said similar large projects on construction.com often have placeholder estimates rather than binding costs:

Not sure how familiar you are with non-Disney theme park speculation, but this was the exact line of questioning to the Six Flags Over Fresno project, which can also be viewed on that site. Long story short, those numbers seem to be more placeholders than a binding estimate and doesn’t seem to relate to the project as a whole. This site is more for merely confirming if a project exists. (Six Flags in Fresno would be in the hundreds of millions at least if SF were to build any new establishment from the ground up, yet it got the same 25-50 million valuation. Inconceivable for any new theme park that’s more than a parking lot with a carousel and ferris wheel.)

Others speculated it could be a water park in the former Toy Story lot, which wouldn’t take up as much space but would compare to Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach at Walt Disney World Resort.

blizzard beach
Credit: D23

Regardless of the details, Disney Parks fans are excited at the prospect of a significant expansion to Disneyland Resort! Inside the Magic will report on any updates about Disneyland Forward.

What do you want to see Disneyland Resort build in Anaheim? Let us know in the comments. 

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