How Disneyland Could Benefit From Selling the Los Angeles Angels


Major League Baseball is set for a potential shakeup as the current owner of the Los Angeles Angels has announced he is considering selling the team. A team sale is always a big deal, but Disneyland Resort fans might want to keep tabs on what happens to the Los Angeles Angels, whether they care about baseball or not. Why? Because it could have a potential impact on the future of the theme park.

This is due to the fact the sale of the Los Angeles Angels could mean the team could move, and while it seems unlikely the Angels will leave Southern California, even a move to the area could mean a whole new stadium. And a brand new stadium elsewhere could mean that the land on which the current stadium sits, which is only a few miles from the Disneyland Resort, could end up being available. Listen to me.

Statue of Storytellers at Disney California Adventure

(Image credit: Disneyland Resort)

Disneyland Resort is already planning a major expansion

Earlier this week, Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno announced plans to sell the team he’s owned since 2003. He just so happens to have purchased the team from The Walt Disney Company.

Although the team has a lease with the city of Anaheim to remain in its current stadium through 2029, there is a possibility that the city could void the lease, especially if a more favorable option were available. Even if the team stays through the existing seven-year lease, it’s not that long in the grand scheme of things if a new owner had to wait to move the team until the lease expires.

And as it happens, Disneyland Resort is currently planning a major expansion of the park. Early last year The Walt Disney Company announced a plan called Disneyland Forward. Although the plans are still fluid, the concepts include significant expansions of the two existing theme parks, as well as eexpand the Downtown Disney retail and commercial district, primarily by reusing existing parking structures. The current Toy Story parking lot could also be turned into a resort space.

The current stadium space must be an attractive proposition. It is close enough to the existing complex to be easily integrated with the rest. It would be an ideal place to put a fourth hotel, with a bus service taking guests to the parks. It could also be used to build something like Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. It’s close enough to the rest of Disneyland that guests can fit a themed hotel into a longer vacation, but far enough away that it’s also its own thing.

World of Color at Disney California Adventure

(Image credit: Disneyland Resort)

Disneyland’s Third Gate?

Of course, the most exciting prospect would have to be Disneyland’s third gate. The idea of ​​Disneyland Resort opening a third theme park has been suggested for nearly since Disney California Adventure existsbut the biggest problem is that the existence of Disneyland has caused Anaheim to become so crowded that there is very little space available to build such things.

The stadium land would be absolutely sufficient for a third theme park of significant size. The imagination is absolutely wild with possibilities. Maybe we could see the return of previous Disneyland expansion concepts, something like Westcot, or a whole new idea. Walt Disney Imagineering is said to have completely blue skies to begin with, allowing for any idea possible when it comes to a park or the lands and attractions within it.

While Disneyland’s relationship with the city of Anaheim hasn’t always been the best, the resort most certainly benefits the city. A third park would mean more people working in the city, many of whom would be residents, as well as more tourist dollars. If Disney builds it, people will come.

Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland

(Image credit: Disneyland)

Even building nothing could be big for Disneyland

But even if Disneyland Resort doesn’t decide to go all out and build a third theme park on the stadium site, there’s a much simpler possibility that, while it might not sound exciting at first glance, could also open up a world of possibilities. Just make the stadium a parking lot.

As mentioned earlier, current plans for Disneyland Forward involve taking the existing parking space and turning it into resort space, but that, of course, means there will be less room to park unless more no space is found elsewhere. But the stadium site has plenty of existing car parks even with the stadium in place, and if it disappeared there would be plenty more.

Using the stadium as the new main parking lot for the entire resort could mean more of the existing Disneyland Resort parking lot could be eliminated in favor of more resort space closer to the existing parks, this could mean bigger Disneyland or Disney California Adventure expansions than currently planned, more hotel space, or more shops and restaurants.

Mickey Mouse in the Magic Happens Parade at Disneyland

(Image credit: Disney Parks)

Obstacles for Disneyland

While this whole concept is pretty exciting, there are of course some hurdles for Disneyland, even assuming the resort wants to take over the space of the current Angels Stadium. The former is completely beyond Disney’s control. There must be someone who wants to buy the Los Angeles Angels and that person must want to move them to a new location that is ready to build a new stadium.

Even if all of this happens, Disneyland then has to convince the city of Anaheim to sell or lease the current stadium space to them and allow them to use it for whatever Disney decides to do with it. Disneyland and the city tend to get along, but the two sides have clashed in the past. Disneyland has already killed off a fourth hotel concept when a municipal deal for tax breaks fell apart.

Currently, the strongest argument Disneyland has for the city in favor of the current Disneyland Forward project is that it does not require any new land or city funds for expansion. All Disneyland needs is city approval to change an existing agreement to allow Disneyland Resort to do different things with the land it already owns.

Taking over the existing stadium would obviously make it a very different kind of deal and a very different negotiation with Anaheim. Disney would need significant city membership, which could happen, but it’s certainly not guaranteed.

If the Los Angeles Angels do end up moving, chances are something else will be done with the land the stadium sits on. If a major expansion is even on the cards for Disneyland Resort, there may not be a better chance for decades to come.


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