Disney Unveils New Luxury Hotel Plans, Relocates New 6,500 Parking Structure to West Side of Disneyland Resort

Disney new 4-Diamond hotel AB feat

Last week, Disney unveiled plans for its new 4-Diamond hotel project as part of incorporating all its Disneyland Resort hotel properties – and Downtown Disney – into an integrated hotel area. The company also announced it was relocating its proposed 6,500-space parking structure from a site near the theme park’s Eastern Gateway, and would instead build it next to the Mickey and Friends parking structure.

According to the company’s media materials, the new hotel will “transform the west end of the Downtown Disney District with a sophisticated design creating a one-of-a-kind environment” and also create “a new and connected Resort Hotel Area with lushly landscaped walkways linking the new hotel, the Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and create a welcoming entry for visitors walking from the Anaheim Convention Center.”

The new parking structure will be built on the existing 1,000-space Pinocchio surface parking lot, for a net addition of 5,500 parking spaces, and is not part of the economic assistance agreement between the city and Disney for the new 4-Diamond hotel. 80% of visitors to the Disneyland Resort use the parking on the west side, and the new structure – plus redesigns of loading and access will significantly speed up vehicle parking and help relieve traffic congestion on Disneyland Drive and Ball Road.

DLR westside expansion map med

For example, according to Disney media materials, these improvements will “reroute vehicles exiting the new parking structure and Downtown Disney to the former tram route situated on Disney’s property, to allow for I-5 access in a way that minimizes traffic on city streets on busy days.”

The improvements also promise to reduce or eliminate back up on city streets by:

  • Boost the ability to stack cars by more than 60% in the ground-level entry lanes before the parking kiosks
  • Doubles parking kiosk capacity by providing more entrances and lanes to handle increased attendance and loading
  • Adding more staffing per parking kiosk to speed up loading of cars.

Whither The Eastern Gateway?
Disney had been planning to build a 7-story, 6,800 space parking structure and a relocated transportation hub on a site sandwiched between Disney Way and the I-5 freeway, connected to the park by a pedestrian bridge over Harbor Boulevard.  The need for additional parking is driven by the planned 2019 opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the newest Disneyland “land” and biggest single expansion ever of the original Disney theme park.

new Disneyland 4-Diamond hotel ABThe company had filed plans with the city last summer, but had encountered objections from several Harbor Boulevard hotels and businesses concerned how it would impact their bottom line. Disney has been trying to work with them when the new council majority elected in November 2016 moved to make appointments to city commission’s district-based. Councilmembers Steve Faessel, Lucille Kring and Kris Murray called for a phased transition to avoid disrupting the work of the commissions – especially the Planning Commission – and the sudden loss of institutional knowledge.  The so-called “People’s Council” majority rejected that compromise and forced the mass resignation of all city commissioners.

The Planning Commission essentially shut down for several months as new commissioners were recruited, vetted and appointed. This predictable and entirely avoidable pause led to Disney taking a second look at its Eastern Gateway plans, ultimately shelving them in favor of the westside Resort expansion.

“This will allow Disney time to determine the highest and best use for each of Disney’s east side properties over the long term,” according to the company’s media materials.

All told, the westside expansion is a major part of Disney’s $2 billion investment in the Resort Area. The new 4-Diamond hotel will create 1,500 construction jobs and 1,100 permanent operations jobs. Contrary, Councilman Jose F. Moreno’s “the Resort creates poverty” rhetoric, these are good jobs that can provide upward mobility for the opportunity-minded.

The hotel will generate $25 million in net incremental Transient Occupancy Tax revenues during the first five years of operation, and more than $1 billion in TOT for the city’s general fund during the next 40 years.

6 comments

  1. Vern will like the new parking structure.

  2. So what portends with the EAST SIDE properties?

    Conventional wisdom and several Disney Insiders have talked about “STREAMLINING” and “PRODUCTIVITY” and “EFFICIANCY IMPROVEMENTS” as well as “5S” and “KAIZEN” principles being put to work. Of course this type of professional business language is as foreign as Cantonese to Jose Moreno, but, that being said, TEN’S OF MILLIONS can be saved (not generated) by using these properties as a “Backstage” area.

    Consider this: Disney operates SEVERAL outposts (anywhere from 5 to 10 18 wheelers) travel southbound on SR57 EVERY MORNING from the Ontario warehouses. IMAGINE the consolidation and efficiencies that will be realized in the short term (7-10 years), then they can “FLIP” it and build, when a new, friendlier, more reasonable council is in place.

    The short sightedness of Jose Moreno, his absolute lack of professional experience, his “CHICANO FIRST”
    approach to governance just bit him in the ass.

    Take a look at the GOOGLE EARTH shot of what I am talking about. Jose got HOSED.

    • Moreno did this to us…also his buddy Tait. Moreno is an inexperienced, Mexican first guy. Now Anaheim is stuck with this alternative Hotel and Two parking Structures crammed together. Does Moreno realize that Disney could close the Easter access point, or make it so hard to get top that it destroys foot traffic on harbor???

  3. Disney: Walt Disney had a dream and its not this. He was about family and this dollar sucking conglomerate is not about family rather forever chasing money. They offer cheap trinkets, pay low wages because they have a commodity that was built on Walt’s dream and magic. Little by little we are seeing the original dream removed, for money. Families are being priced out. Soon we will have just another amusement park.

  4. Moreno and tait did this to our City…Two garages crammed together, Traffic on Ball Road. You Hotel Owners will be sorry. Disney will choke off the Eastern side, it will dry up. How foolish following the Tait Moreno Cabal…

  5. Mr. Anaheim has this plan been approved? If so those drafting the plan profess that it will lesson traffic on Ball Road. I do not see how this can happen. What will happen to the Walunt and Cerritos area between Ball and Katella? Won’t this increase traffic. Won’t it effectively cut off Disney from “outsiders” (residents)? I am so sad. My heart hurts for Anaheim. Moreno truly represents one group. He does not represent all people. Want can be done?

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