In his latest posting MiceAge.com's Al Lutz comments on two future locations for a second Disney Vacation Club development at Disneyland Resort, as well as other potential happenings on the left coast.
According to Lutz, the early returns on Cars Land are overwhelmingly postive. Not only are guests thrilled with the addition but it's accomplishing exactly what Disney had intended 10 years ago when it built the second theme park--spreading out the crowds more evenly between Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.
While it's too early to make long-term spending decisions for Disneyland Resort, Lutz claims that executives are already formulating plans for increased parking capacity, better resort-wide transportation, more Disney-owned hotels and even a third theme park.
Regarding DVC, Lutz has this to say:
"The last thing that needs to slot into place before the third park gets underway is an expansion of Disney owned hotel rooms in Anaheim, with more DVC units attached to any new development. We’ve told you in the past about the solid proposals to build a new hotel and arrival complex in the East Esplanade shuttle bus loading area, as well as a fourth DVC tower at the Disneyland Hotel slotted for the vacant land just west of the ESPNZone."
A DVC expansion to the Disneyland Hotel has long been fodder for the rumor mill. That project would mirror most of the DVC developments at Walt Disney World which were built as add-ons to existing resorts. In doing so, Disney avoids the need to build most hotel infrastructure since front desk facilities, restaurants, gift shops and even recreation facilities (pool, spa, etc.) are already in place.
The other proposal involves construction of a fourth Disney-owned resort which would include DVC villas. It is a common misconception that Disneyland has no room for future expansion. There are actually numerous plots of land which could be used for resort or even theme park construction. However, most of these plots are currently needed for guest parking.
Expansion of the large Mickey & Friends parking structure would solve many of Disneyland's current parking woes and free-up the land for future expansion, but it's a costly project which Disney executives have not yet embraced.
For additional news & rumors on the future of Disneyland Resort, check out Al Lutz' column at MiceAge.com.
It really is a misconception that there's no room for DL to grow. Disney has added to its land holdings in recent years and definitely has space for a third park and a couple of hotels.
All of it hinges upon doubling the size of its enormous parking garage. These expansion areas are all paved for parking right now. If they double the size of the garage--which is expensive but doable, they could grow the entire resort area in several directions.
The RED outline shows the location of the Mickey & Friends parking structure. That structure holds over 10,000 cars. Immediately to the south of it (not outlined) is space to effectively double the size of that lot. Right now the areas in GREEN and YELLOW are also used for parking. If Mickey & Friends is doubled, the Green and Yellow areas are freed-up for other uses. Some parking would have to remain for hotel guests but not nearly what they have allocated now. Those areas are used for theme park guests on a daily basis.
The hotels are also identified:
Disneyland Hotel = ORANGE
Paradise Pier = BLUE
Grand Cal = Purple
So you can see where they have room for a couple of additional hotels in the green parking sections if those lots were no longer needed.
The YELLOW is the current "Toy Story" Lot. The land was purchased a few years ago and it has been used for parking since Cars Land construction began on another former parking lot site. It's about a half block away from DL and DCA. Disney has buses running in a loop to deliver guests to the park entrances.
That YELLOW area is the site earmarked for a third park. It wouldn't be quite as big as DL or DCA but that isn't going to stop future development.
As Lutz said, the two biggest hurdles are actually building the expanded garage (which Disney has been trying to avoid for years) and working with the city to streamline transportation in the area. I doubt Disney wants to rely on buses to shuttle people from the Mickey & Friends lot to a third park. Some form of mass transit would help immensely. But it would take a lot of work to design a cost effective system and pacify business owners who many be negatively impacted.
Overall this Lutz article seems a lot more fanboy-ish than I'm used to from him. I privately told a friend that it looks like Lutz has them spending $4-5 BILLION in this story alone (Tomorrowland rebuild, parking garage, mass transit, theme park, hotel/DVC.) That's a lotta coin.
But this is the long-term expansion plan they've had in mind for years. It remains to be seen whether they pursue this in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, etc.