Protest Begins as Disneyland Tries To Seize Taxpayer Streets

in Disney, Disneyland Resort

Mickey Mouse looking cheerful in a city street

Credit: Disney/Canva

A protest from California taxpayers is kicking off as the Disneyland Resort attempts to persuade the City of Anaheim to privatize iconic streets like Magic Way and Disneyland Drive to expand its own theme park grounds.

Mickey Mouse inside of Disneyland Park in California with a "Under Construction" sign.
Credit: Inside The Magic

The “DisneylandForward” project has been in proposal with Anaheim since 2021, but it appears that more recent aggressive attempts to privatize public roads and turn them into Disney property have begun a grassroots campaign among citizens.

A campaign titled “Save Our Anaheim Streets from DisneylandForward” has begun collecting signatures to stop Disney from privatizing roads, claiming that “[b]uried in a 17,000-page document are plans to narrow existing streets around the Resort, back out of past deals to complete roads Disney promised, and even close some of the streets we use daily to access the freeway!”

Aerial view of the Disneyland Hotel at Disneyland Resort, which recently became the stage of an active shooter hoax triggering the response of Anaheim Police forces
Credit: Disney

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The relationship between Anaheim and Disneyland has grown especially complicated in recent years, as investigations increasingly assert that the iconic theme park controls the city council through a series of back-alley deals and murky personal relationships between public officials and Disney employees. Independently of its ties to Disney, multiple city officials have come under allegations of corruption and inside dealing.

As such, any new attempts by Disneyland to further expand its control over Anaheim are likely being looked at with an especially suspicious eye, hence the protest campaign. The campaign website states:

“Road closures mean that high-value, taxpayer-owned real estate would be privatized for Disney’s profitable use, with no benefit to local residents. Heavier traffic impacts air quality, and further delays our own daily commutes. Most of all, closing the streets that intersect the Resort will create an isolated, walled fortress, with Disney turning its back on the community.”

Guests around the entrance of Tomorrowland at Disneyland Resort
Credit: Henry Kobutra via Unsplash

For its part, Disney asserts that the DisneylandForward project (including its attempts to privatize taxpayer-funded roads like Magic Way) is of benefit to Anaheim, saying, “We want to bring more Disney investment to Anaheim. However, this becomes more challenging under our current approvals and the limited space available in our Parks today.”

Much of the back-and-forth between Anaheim residents and Disneyland comes down to tax revenue. As one of the largest employers in Orange County, the theme park brings in an enormous amount of taxes to the city, but, considering the amount of control Disney seems to feel it is owed, it has to be asked whether it is worth it.

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The original text of the DisneylandForward proposal to privatize public roads can be read below:

Do you think that Disney should be able to take over public property like this? Let us know in the comments below!

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