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Disneyland’s Third Themepark Dreams Paved Over

Time to put the hopes of a third gate for the Disneyland Resort up on the shelf for at least the next 10 years. The Harbor Blvd Strawberry Field that had been targeted as the most likely spot for Disneyland’s next theme park is now being transformed into a parking lot. This will help Disney with the guests who they hope will be coming to visit the reworked California Adventure park, but will disappoint a lot of theme parks fans who’ve been enjoying juicy rumors about what that third gate would entail.

It’s good that Disneyland is concentrating on fixing the problems at California Adventure and the Disneyland Resort by Eisner’s administration. However, at some point the resort will have to grow beyond its theoretical capacity if it wants to attract more week long visits by families. When it does so, there will be more problems to solve than where to put the third gate (there are other potential sites in the area).

Anaheim’s proposed fixed rail system throws an interesting wrinkle into the equation. The city wants to reserve the right to use part of the strawberry field for the system, which would impact Disney’s plans.

More details over at the OC Register.

10 thoughts on “Disneyland’s Third Themepark Dreams Paved Over”

  1. I love the site, but this is kind of silly. Did anyone think that a third gate project would even begin before 10 years?

    There is a lot to “digest” at DCA, in the arrival and parking plan, and in the ongoing battle with the city.

  2. My wife and I have made a 1/2-day out of DisneyQuest in Orlando, and most kids could expand that to a week. Putting A DQ in Anaheim would expand the offering without needing an actual third gate. Not that I have anything against a third gate, mind you.

  3. Hold on. Let me correct myself… After reading the Register article I think this might mean that the new parking structure has been scuttled for awhile.

    So this item isn’t important from the standpoint of a third gate, but may have a huge impact on arrival pattern and parking issues.

    What should be watched is the reopening of the Simba lot and the city’s unwillingness to allow Disney to run trams across public streets.

  4. A DisneyQuest, mini-golf course, or even a water park would round out the Disneyland Resort nicely until an official 3rd gate. :^)

    And I’m not concerned by the announcement to pave over this field. I think Disney really needs to focus on bringing DCA completely up to par before building a 3rd gate, with Phase 1, Phase 2, and however many more phases it may need. What I AM concerned about is how Disney plans on transporting the guests from the lot to the Esplanade…. surely they wouldn’t require them to walk so much before they even get into the park?

  5. MarkTwain is exactly right. The issue is transportation to the Main Entrance.

    It doesn’t matter that the land is paved over.

    Let’s remember that the current parking structure in the past had been a Pitch and Putt Golf Course, a heliport, a strawberry field, and a surface parking lot.

    The issue NOW is not the third gate – it is arrival pattern, parking and transportation.

  6. Let me make a couple of comments, the Simba lot is currently being used for Guest Parking most days. And Disney does have the right to run trams over Disneyland Drive. Disney just rebuilt the Tram Loading area over at Simba.

    The work at the former Timon lot is progressing nicely, and there is a tram route designed between Harbor Blvd and the new TDA DCA Annex buildings is being built.

    They hope to have the Simba trams running by Peak Christmas season.

    As for a new Parking Structure, that is part of the plan, they need the “temporary” lot in the former Strawberry Field so they can close down the Pumbaa Lot to allow for construction. (and maybe even a structure at Simba). But you need to have spaces to park cars before closing the area(s).

    1. I’m not sure where you get the idea that Disney has “the right” to run trams across Disneyland Drive. They are in fact being prevented from doing just that. Anaheim even rejected train crossing style gates and wants doors on the trams.
      Yes, the tram area was rebuilt at Simba, but the park has been prevented from operating the trams.
      You may recall that they used to run trams across that street, but there was an accident at the crossing several years ago.
      Yes, paving the strawberry field will mitigate the new structure construction, but a structure at Simba would be highly unlikely and an unwise use land that could be a hotel/DVC development.

  7. Well, Disney has been testing out trams with doors attached, more than likely for the return of the trams to Simba, sometime in the next few months.

    Disney just finished the tram route from the Lion King Station next to the Main Entrance Plaza to Katella Avenue. This will be used in September for the D23 Expo. (A new Pedestirian Entrance on Katella is being finished, about 400 feet east of the old one, which has been removed).

    And the plan is to keep the route going down the road behind DCA to Disneyland Drive, but construction trucks are eating up too much of the roadway to currently have Trucks, cars driving to Simba and a tram route. It is expected that sometime in the next few months, they will be able add the tram route. As mentioned earlier, the Simba Parking lot entrance was redone in the last couple of months, to include a tram patheay with two lanes on the north side of the Entrance from Disneyland Drive. Disney would not spend all that time, effort and money if Disney did not have permission to use the trams over Disneyland Drive. Now, it might require the use of a Police Officer at the intersection (rumored) to allow the service, but currently Disney has been paying for quite a few officers to allow cars to access Pumbaa and the Anaheim GardenWalk lots. (Disney CM’s cannot direct traffic on public roads, and is required by the city to pay Police if they need traffic direction on the streets. (And the police are getting paid overtime when they work the Traffic control jobs).

    And FYI, I was in attendance at the City Planning Commission yesterday. I have been following the parking issues at the resort for a long time now, and have been reporting on them at MiceAge.

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