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Expanding and Redesigning the Disneyland Resort

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  • [Fun] Expanding and Redesigning the Disneyland Resort

    This will be nothing more than unrealistic blue skying, but I thought it'd be fun to sort of look at how Disneyland Resort could grow and expand in Anaheim.

    First and foremost, all of the hotels along S. Harbor down to Katella would be purchased and demolished in favor of brand new parking for guests.

    Disneyland Park would see a Frontierland expansion taking over the expansion pad seen in MiceChat's Galaxy's Edge layout, half of Toon Town, and the Fantasyland Theater. The expansion would include a revitalized stage coach attraction as well as pack mules on top of a show building housing both a mine train and boat ride, similar to Western River Expedition.

    Fantasyland would also receive an expansion taking over Autopia's land and the subs. While the lagoon would stay, it would expand to create a long outdoor boat ride connecting up to the Motor Boat Cruise's area and along the railroad tracks. The boat ride would feature many mythological creatures such as dragons and unicorns, inspired heavily by the never built Beastly Kingdom for DAK. Junior Matterhorn Bobsleds would also be built next to the Matterhorn to the north of the lagoon which the boat ride would pass through viewing its crystal caverns. Winnie the Pooh would also be moved over here with Bambi replacing it in Critter Country. Frozen would get its own new imaginative dark ride because Frozen and the Snuggly Duckling from Tangled would act as a table service restaurant in this area. Meet n greets also aplenty here.

    Over in DCA, the park would continue on with what was started in 2007 but was rudely interrupted by Mission Breakout and Pixar Pier. This means that, obviously, Tower of Terror would return as would the concept of Paradise Pier. Also added to Hollywood Land would be The Great Movie Ride, which is set to close in DHS this August, where Monsters Inc is. The show would be slightly different, however, with Alien and Indiana Jones removed. In their places, Star Wars (1977)'s medal ceremony and Gone with the Wind's escaping the burning Atlanta. Hollywood Land would also see a complete aesthetic remodel with the false fronts removed and real shops and restaurants taking stand instead. Hyperion would get the new facade that was shown back in 2010 in both concept art and model.

    Bug's Land would be gone. In its place, a Grizzly Peak expansion. Ideally, this would see a boat ride themed to the Gold Rush, but it may be too similar to WRE in Frontierland.

    Pacific Wharf's Cocina Cucomonga would be replaced with a Mulan dark ride.

    Taking inspiration from Mystic Manor's concept of items coming to life, a much grander and less cartoonish take on the attraction would be placed where Goofy's Sky School is. Unfortunately, due to lack of space, this would require the removal of Paradise Garden Grill. Also in Paradise Pier, Jumpin' Jellyfish would get a Pinocchio retheme with the idea being the guests are puppets being pulled up and down.

    This is the part that everyone will hate, but, with the exception of RSR and Flo's (which would get new theming), everything in Cars Land would be replaced with a much more general Route 66 town. A 15 minute dark ride called The Great American Roadtrip would be built behind Tower of Terror and would show off ghost towns, games of chicken, and a 1960's National Park, all with gags throughout. Herbie the Lovebug would also be represented in this new Car Land in the form of a smaller dark ride similar to Mr Toad.

    Since I'm not going into detail with any of this it probably all sounds terrible to y'all. Maybe one day I'll get around to a lengthy description of every change I have in my head.

    Downtown Disney would not be without change, either. It'd be given a much more Citywalk type of experience with better shops and restaurants such as additions like Claim Jumper, Cinnabon, and an Angels' Team Store. ESPN would be removed and a new line of shops would be placed where it stands all the way to the AMC 12 to cut off that entrance.

    South of DCA, the Anaheim Convention Center and surrounding land would be purchased by Disney to easily house D23 and other conventions to those who wish to rent it out.

    Anaheim Garden Walk would be bought and new life would be breathed into it as it would become the entrance way to the third theme park in the resort, Anaheim Disney Sea, placed where the Toy Story Lot sits. This version of Disney Sea would not be a copy of Tokyo's, but rather a combination of Westcot and the Long Beach version. It would house educational entertainment about the ocean in its entrance land. The monorail would have a stop here and would loop around the seven giant bubbles that are the centerpiece for the park. It'd be the home of Marvel superheroes in a 1960's themed New York called Heroes' Harbor. A dinosaur themed land called Primeval Lagoon would feature a boat ride, a volcano coaster, and a few dinosaur themed carnival rides for kids. Europe would be represented in a mythological land with a dragon coaster. Hercules would also take up residency here along with centaurs, goblins, cyclopses, and satyrs. Glacier Bay was a concept I tossed around but haven't really decided whether I like it or not. Initially I wanted all 7 continents represented, but couldn't figure out what would go in all of them.

    But, heading east, this is where things get the most interesting. Disney would buy back both the Los Angeles Angels and the Anaheim Ducks. Everything between the current Disneyland Resort and these two major entertainment districts would also be bought up by Disney. Within this space, a fourth theme park (Disney's America? Whom knows), a large scale apartment complex for people who want to say they live at Disneyland, and a gigantic parking lot. At Angels Stadium, a small shopping and dining district would be built right next to the ball park where the new ESPN Zone would go. Honda Center and Angels Stadium would be connected via People Mover or tram.

    Simply for visual reference of how much larger the resort would be under this tens of billions of dollars expansion...

    Click image for larger version

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    As I've said, none of this is realistic. Purely blue sky. But I thought it'd be kind of fun to to plan it out a bit. If you have any ideas on what you think Disney should do to expand the resort, comment em. Always fun to hear what other people want to see done.

  • #2
    You had me at Bambi. I would LOVE to see some kind of Bambi attraction, or meet-and-greet at least. It receives so little recognition today.
    "If a 6 or 7 year old thinks you're cool, then you're doing something right." -Justin Scarred

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    • #3
      So all of the people who currently STAY in those hotels on Harbor Blvd will what...sleep in cars?

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      • #4
        I like the ambitious nature of your ideas! Since this is Blue Sky folks, no criticisms of ideas should be put forth, just additional ideas, or ideas inspired by them! To address the hotel issue, Disney would build numerous new themed hotels across the new resort area in multiple price ranges. One idea would be to take Disney Drive underground, demolish the Paradise Pier Hotel and rebuild a new one attached to DCA modeled after the Hotel Del in San Diego. Other hotels in the high end range would be integral to the 3rd and 4th gates, follow their theme, and have direct entrances. Instead of a peoplemover, a new system would be developed that utilizes self-driving autonomous vehicles that have their own right of ways, bridges, and connectors. They would be on-demand and link all areas of the resort, including parking garages, hotels, and parks. They would range from bus size to van size and not look like anything we have ever seen before. For the Glacier Bay area, a light hearted attraction named "Iceberg Isle" would tell the story of when a winter storm hit a tropical island and the Penguins invaded (along with Polar Bears, etc..). I would also include a Lucille's Barbeque in DTD. I still like the idea of an Alice in Wonderland themed underground bar/grill in DCA called "Down the Rabbit Hole!"

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        • #5
          Originally posted by emwhysee View Post
          So all of the people who currently STAY in those hotels on Harbor Blvd will what...sleep in cars?
          They stay in Disney hotels. It's called a monopoly.

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          • #6
            Years ago, I remember seeing concept art at WDI for a Sand Castle Resort Hotel. It was pretty amazing and would've looked really cool as a backdrop to Paradise Pier. So that is one idea that I'd add to this Blue Sky expansion. Part of this hotel project would include a Surf City themed water park, with attractions and architecture based upon California's Mid-Century beach culture. This water park would have a new version of the once loved "Monorail Café," similar to Disneyland Paris' "Annette's" restaurant.

            There is a nice chunk of land north of the parking garage that could hold another resort hotel. I'd love to see an "Arabian Nights" themed hotel, taking inspiration from Aladdin, DisneySea's Arabian Coast, and Epcot's Morocco pavilion. Imagine an Oasis swimming pool area with a lazy river that flows into the Cave of Wonders. A rooftop restaurant inspired by the Sultan's Palace could also provide great views of the fireworks.

            In Pacific Wharf, Cocina Cucamonga would close to make room for a new seafaring attraction... a maritime Mystic Manor that rises from the sea cliffs OR the Marine Life Institute from Finding Dory. The queue could be built in current backstage areas with a show building located behind Paradise Pier. The old Cocina menu would find a new home elsewhere.

            The non-Disney hotels at the corner of Harbor & Katella would either be relocated or demolished for DCA expansion. I'd move the Autopia attraction to Cars Land (with the attraction entrance located in the vacant Court House building). The cars would be re-themed (and rebuilt as electric vehicles) as many of the non-racing autos from the film trilogy. The newly reimagined ride would take guests on a one-way road trip to the beach, featuring scenes from Cars & Cars 3 along the journey. Guest could also board in Pixar Pier for a one-way trip to Cars Land.

            There was also a time when the area behind the Frontierland/New Orleans Square Railroad Station and Haunted Mansion was being developed into a new land. I'd revisit this idea to expand New Orleans Square, but also to create a backwoods "tunnel" connecting Critter Country and New Orleans Square. In this Garden District inspired area, I'd add a Princess and the Frog dark ride, along with Tiana's Place restaurant. The transitional backwoods tunnel would feature animated scenes from The Rescuers, The Fox and the Hound, and Bambi.
            Last edited by Colby; 07-27-2017, 01:39 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by emwhysee View Post
              So all of the people who currently STAY in those hotels on Harbor Blvd will what...sleep in cars?
              This is a brainstorm. In brainstorming you don't crap on ideas - you follow up with more ideas.
              Jim in Merced CA - former cast member at Walt Disney World, Walt Disney Imagineering and Disneyland.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by RPaul View Post
                Downtown Disney would not be without change, either. It'd be given a much more Citywalk type of experience with better shops and restaurants such as additions like Claim Jumper, Cinnabon, and an Angels' Team Store. ESPN would be removed and a new line of shops would be placed where it stands all the way to the AMC 12 to cut off that entrance.
                To go blue sky, I'd avoid restaurants that are available throughout southern California. In Downtown Disney they should be including themed restaurants like the Sci-Fi Drive In or the planned Space Station restaurant that they're doing in Disney World. We should be putting the same kind of immersive thinking into restaurants as we do for attractions.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Co Foo View Post

                  To go blue sky, I'd avoid restaurants that are available throughout southern California. In Downtown Disney they should be including themed restaurants like the Sci-Fi Drive In or the planned Space Station restaurant that they're doing in Disney World. We should be putting the same kind of immersive thinking into restaurants as we do for attractions.
                  Agreed! It's time for some destination quality restaurants and experiences in Downtown Disney. I don't want to see restaurants I see all over. Something worth the hassle and cost associated with visiting the area makes the most sense.

                  - Robert

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jim in Merced CA View Post

                    This is a brainstorm. In brainstorming you don't crap on ideas - you follow up with more ideas.
                    Apologies -- word choice made it sound snarkier than intended. Certainly wasn't trying to crap on any ideas; just meant to raise a question to the OP who seems to've put some thought into this brainstorm. Since the idea includes tearing down hotels, just meant to inquire if there'd been any thought to where those people would go. But I said it poorly, for sure.

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                    • #11
                      Click image for larger version

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                      Here's something I put together a while back, still pretty blue-sky but not as much as the one that started the thread.

                      Phase One involves purchasing all the Harbor properties and building a new Downtown Disney. This one would mix hotels, retails and dining amongst each other. And while we're at it, why don't we bury Harbor Boulevard twenty feet to allow the at-grade land to lead right into a new three-gate resort.

                      Phase Two demolishes the current Downtown Disney, as well as all the Disney-owned hotels for a third park. I like the idea of it being space-themed and pulls IP from Star Wars, some Marvel (GotG, Thor, you could probably get away with Iron Man?) and other characters hither and thither like Stitch and Buzz Lightyear. Taking a cue from that last character, the park is called "Beyond."

                      Obviously, this park would have made a lot more sense before Mission: Breakout and Galaxy's Edge were announced. But since imagination is the only limitation we're placing on ourselves here, let's say Galaxy's Edge gets rethemed to be Adventureland - we can relocate Indiana Jones into the Battle Escape building, and figure out some new ride for the Millennium Falcon ride. We can't move the Jungle Cruise, but that could be reassigned to be a part of Frontierland. Mission: Breakout goes back to Twilight Zone theming, or maybe a new theme altogether. You'd also want to shift Tomorrowland to be more about the future than outer space, so kick Star Tours and Buzz Lightyear to the new park - although I don't think you can do anything to a ride as beloved and iconic as Space Mountain.

                      The image makes clear three more zones (titled 1, 2 & 3) that would probably need to house something new. I'm seeing 2 as another large parking structure - its placement next to the freeway will make it easy to get to and help keep car noise out of the park. Because we're losing the biggest hotels to the third park, I'm thinking 3 becomes large hotel(s). Something akin to the resorts you can find in WDW. I don't know what to do with 1, maybe another parking structure, or maybe it's backstage area.

                      What do you guys think? This is pretty extreme, but to be honest I could see something along these lines happening way down the line, maybe in the mid-to-late 21st century. I know a lot of people don't want to lose the Harbor Boulevard hotels and restaurants, but I have no fondness for what are businesses you could find anywhere else in Orange County - I'd rather let WDI run wild with the property.

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                      • #12
                        Don't forget there is already land set aside for a 3rd theme park on Harbor Blvd (which would be about the size of DCA).

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