top of page


1955 to 1996
to Today

When Walt Disney opened Disneyland in 1955, no one could have predicted the impact it would have on Anaheim, let alone the world. Anaheim, a once rural community known more for its oranges than anything else, would go from a small, sleepy town to a major tourist destination in less than a decade.

1955: Grand Opening

With the increased popularity of Disneyland, Anaheim grew up around it, featuring motels, restaurants and other tourist-facing businesses that still line the streets around the Disneyland Resort. Over time, it became clear that a cohesive vision was needed for the area to create a resort-like environment that would pave the way for the future.

In the 1990s, the City of Anaheim approved specific plans that would guide the growth of the Disneyland Resort and businesses in the newly formed Anaheim Resort area. These specific plans created districts or zones that largely specified what type of development could be built where. It also established strict guidelines regarding development size, height limits and streetscape standards.




Harbor Blvd: Creating a world-class resort environment.

The results were dramatic: a second Disney theme park, Anaheim’s first luxury hotel, a Downtown Disney District, a world-class Anaheim Resort with consistent signage and landscaping, an expanded and improved Convention Center, and transformative infrastructure, including parking areas, first responder services and utilities to accommodate future tourist-serving growth, and a comprehensive regional transportation plan.


Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa: The first luxury hotel in Anaheim.

Anaheim Convention Center:
An expanded Convention Center.

Transportation Improvements:
Significant improvements to the entire Anaheim Resort’s circulation network, including dedicated freeway ramps moving visitors directly to parking areas.

Today at
Disneyland Resort

To this day, Disney continues to invest in the Anaheim Resort with exciting additions like Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, Avengers Campus, and Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway at Disneyland Resort.

With DisneylandForward paving the way for future developments, we're deep in our creative process. Our Imagineers are crafting new stories and adventures for visitors, exploring fresh narratives and concepts for tomorrow's experiences.
Embarking on this journey means pushing boundaries and redefining what's possible. We're excited to share the stories and adventures that emerge from our pursuit of innovation and imagination. Stay tuned for an extraordinary voyage into the next era of Disneyland magic!



Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Opened -



Avengers Campus
Opened -

MMRR 2023.jpg

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
Opened -

© Disney + All maps and renderings are for illustrative purposes only

The story continues, find out where we are today.

bottom of page