Two weeks ago, in an article titled “A roadmap to a third gate at Disneyland needs Gardenwalk” John Frost from The Disney Blog explained, now that the Gardenwalk property is on the market, why Disney should buy it as “it’s half a block away from Disney California Adventure and across Katella from one of Disneyland’s remote parking lots which has long been rumored to be the potential site for a third gate for the Disneyland Resort”. John posted a satellite view of the whole thing and it’s true that Gardewalk is just next door to Disneyland Resort, and Disney could create a kind of “East Downtown Disney” there easily.
I did a post on the D&M Facebook page linking to John article HERE and then, one day later, someone whom i won’t reveal the name but who is a faithful D&M reader and a Disney insider ( not an Imagineer ) sent me a very interesting message in which he was saying:
“In regards to GardenWalk. I worked in Anaheim for many years and we did a walk with the city through GardenWalk. Disney was interested in buying but it came down to looking back at Downtown Disney and realizing that no vendors stayed, so Disney ended up placing Disney owned shops to keep shops open while vendors would leave. For example, House of Blues left and moved to Garden Walk. Also, the third gate area is currently a cast member parking called K lot (Katella lot) and Toy Story lot is behind K lot. They would need more parking structures before a third gate.”
“Also, just down the road if the Angels of Anaheim baseball team move to the new stadium which will be build in Irvine area, Disney would buy that massive open area. For now, they make Anaheim cast members park at the baseball stadium on busy days and they get shuttled into the park backstage for work.
The fact that a third gate could not be considered until 2025 literally sounds accurate as it is the time frame of the new hotel in Anaheim plus the new structure parking. The best bet is for Angels Stadium to be moved to another city and take over that massive land. And Angel stadium if they leave is the best Disney’s future potential. Check out the amount of land Angel Stadium sits on.”
So i did a screenshot showing the land of Angels Stadium in Anaheim, that you can see below as well as aerial view of the stadium above. Definitely click on the screen captures to see them in big size.
But i thought that the land look a bit too far from Disneyland Resort and even from the Patella lot… I thought that they won’t be able to make the junction between the two, even if the Angels Stadium was going elsewhere and the land became free. To what he answered:
“Well, just imagine they make Disneyland Resort cast members park here on busy days! Yes they will be able to make the junction when Bob Iger will approve the Walt Disney World driver less vehicles as behind Toy Story lot the city built a brand new street called Gene Autry Way that connects Disney property to Angel Stadium. I guess you could say it runs behind Toy Story lot. If Angel Stadium move, all the green area you see on the map will be up for sale. “
The red line on the screen capture above shows the way going from Disneyland to Angel Stadium.
Going back to have a look on the Google map where this Gene Autry way i agree that Disney have at least a road to connect. The high green space where the stadium is on the map is probably as big as Disneyland. I still find it a bit too far from the rest of DLR even with the roads to connect but we’ll see if they move the stadium if Disney will buy the land.
To what my D&M reader answered: “They say that Disneyland is gridlock like Las Vegas and if Disneyland is going to expand they need to move out more. For example, Disney Sea originally was originally planned for Long Beach that is 28 miles away from Disneyland Resort. It’s going to be really interesting whatever plan falls through but right now it makes the most sense to purchase Garden Walk now that they’ve bought the land behind Garden Walk where the parking structure was supposed to be built. “
I agreed that that was right, they wanted to build a DisneySea there and the fact that it was near the sea was in favor of a Disney Sea park. But what i’ve also been told as one of the reason why Bob Iger didn’t wanted to have a third park with a Star Wars land and a Marvel land was because Iger is apparently determined to use each square inch available in DL and DCA before creating a third park in Anaheim. The reason why comes from WDW where, because they have four parks there, plus the water parks, the operating costs are so high that at the end they make less money than in Anaheim, or so.
He agreed that “Iger did a great job removing backstage facilities and moving them off site as well as the horses ranch that took up valuable land behind Big Thunder Ranch. There is still a little room behind Haunted Mansion show building to play with if they really got serious. And possibly re-locating TDA could cause an expansion behind Toon Town in the future. I think a third park won’t be considered for a long long time… The Marvel land at California Adventure behind Cars Land is another project not even announced yet. Until they are out of room it won’t happen… back to Garden Walk I think it’s a good investment to have the land there.”
To give you a better idea of how big is the land where Angel Stadium is i’ve copied it and placed it above Disneyland – see picture below – and i’m pretty sure that i’ve even forgot to include a parking lot west to the Stadium… As you can see the Angel Stadium land is really huge, there is no doubt that there is enough land there to build a 3rd theme park if they wish.
So, will Disney buy the Angel Stadium land and build on it its third theme park in Anaheim? I wouldn’t bet on it at 100% but i think my D&M reader has a very good point and it could be a good bet indeed for a third park, probably an even better one than to have the Katella and Toy Story lots used for a third park. What do you think? Thanks to leave your thoughts about it in a comment below!
Pictures: copyright Google Maps