After the COVID-19 pandemic forced California's theme parks to shut down over a year ago, they're finally gearing up for a grand reopening, scheduled for April 30. Anaheim's Disneyland Resort, however, is already looking further into the future with the recent announcement of major expansion plans.
The unveiling of this "multiyear public planning effort" is part of the DisneylandForward initiative, which is looking to bring new restaurants, rides, themed worlds, and other experiences.
According to the DisneylandForward website, the park's possible expansion will draw inspiration from other Disney properties around the world. For example, Tokyo DisneySea has several new features that may come to California during the updates. These attractions and lands include an area that immerses guests in Frozen's charming village of Arendelle, as well as one dedicated to Tangled, where parkgoers can relive Rapunzel's "Best Day Ever." Shanghai Disneyland's Zootopia area, as well as its Tron Lightcycle Run roller coaster, may also serve as inspiration for the California expansion.
Ideas from Florida's Walt Disney World Resort are also likely to play a role in the Disneyland updates. Potential plans include constructing a new area with restaurants, hotels, live music, shopping, ticketed shows, and theme park experiences modeled after the popular Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort.
It's important to note that all plans are currently tentative, as Disneyland works with the city of Anaheim to update development approvals and determine what is possible for the theme park.
"To be clear, Disneyland Resort is not seeking any public funding in this effort, nor are we seeking to develop any additional square footage or hotel rooms beyond what is already allowed," wrote Ken Potrock, Disneyland Resort president, in a letter to the Anaheim community, NBC Los Angeles reports. "We are simply working with the city and community to update existing approvals to allow for integrated, immersive experiences to be appropriately placed and built throughout Disney properties."
For more details on the DisneylandForward initiative, including renderings of what these new attractions may look like, visit the official website here.
Jessica Poitevien is a Travel + Leisure contributor currently based in South Florida, but she's always on the lookout for her next adventure. Besides traveling, she loves baking, talking to strangers, and taking long walks on the beach. Follow her adventures on Instagram.
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