It’s been a big couple of days for Disneyland news. After last week’s announcement that future RunDisney events at the resort had been canceled following November’s Super Heroes Half Marathon, we now have a clearer view of why construction was cited as the reason for canceling those events.
After disagreements between the City of Anaheim and Harbor Boulevard businesses spoiled plans for a new Eastern Gateway crossing the boulevard, Disney has revealed plan B. The previously announced fourth Disney hotel will now serve as a new “Western Gateway” to the resort.
A new 6,500-space parking deck that will sit on the Pinocchio surface lot next to the Mickey and Friends lot is now set to begin construction in February 2018. The plan is to have the deck open in 2019, likely just in time for the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and the crushing crowds that it will bring.
The new four-diamond hotel will take over the west side of Downtown Disney. It appears that everything west of the monorail track will become part of the new hotel, so the AMC, Earl of Sandwich, Rainforest Cafe and ESPN Zone will get the ax or possibly be relocated.
There will be a “dedicated platform inside the hotel” to transport guests to the park. From the concept art, it looks like monorail path will stay the same and the hotel will be connected to the existing platform with some aesthetic modifications.
The hotel itself will have a restaurant and lounge on the upper levels with views of the Disneyland fireworks shows. There will also be shops and restaurants on the ground level, so that combined with more parking on the west side will likely direct a lot more resort guests to that side of the property and away from the east side.
Construction on the hotel is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2018 with the goal of having it open sometime in 2021. Who’s excited to see these changes to the west side of the resort? It’s certainly an ambitious project that looks promising, but the resort will certainly be ugly for a while. That’s the price of progress.