THE ANAHEIM RESORT AREA
1955 to 1996
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.
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.
Harbor Blvd: Creating a world-class resort environment.
Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa: The first luxury hotel in Anaheim.
Anaheim Convention Center:
An expanded Convention Center.
Significant improvements to the entire Anaheim Resort’s circulation network, including dedicated freeway ramps moving visitors directly to parking areas.
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 Park.
Due to the current restrictions with our approvals and the limited space, Disneyland Resort is constrained in what we can build in the future without removing or replacing treasured attractions or severely impacting our back of house staging and support areas.
Opened - 2021
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
Opened - 2023
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Opened - 2019