The Happiest Place on Earth has certainly evolved since it opened in 1955, and the next transformation could be just on the horizon. Disney bought three properties near the Anaheim park, fanning expansion rumblings in the process, the LA Times reports. While these locations—on a block across a major, divided street from the park—are probably not being lined up to become new, very hard-to-reach rides, dedicated parkwatchers are speculating that they might be used to move some storage and "behind-the-scenes operations" out of Disneyland to make room for a new attraction (attractions??) inside.
Commenting on the purchases—two "large office buildings" on Manchester Avenue near the attraction (bought last year), and a hotel on South Harbor Boulevard across the street from Disneyland—a Disney spokeswoman said that the properties "will help to support additional infrastructure needs, including warehouse and office space and parking."
Back in March, a Disney chairman told shareholders that an expansion is being planned but didn't say when or where or even what. So far, company officials have only said that any park expansion would stay within the current perimeters of the Disney resort. *The expansion's on a deadline, too: Disney's promised Anaheim they're going to invest "at least $1 billion in the park" by 2024, and in exchange, Anaheim won't charge subject Disneyland to an entertainment tax for the next 30 years.
It's possible to have an expansion without going outside the current Disneyland footprint. Founder of the Disneyland-resort-focused blog MiceChat.com thinks the new park-adjacent purchases are going to help move boring stuff (office and warehouse space) in the park now to an offsite location so that something new can go into the park instead, like an attraction incorporating the Marvel and Star Wars characters Disney's acquired over the the last five years.
· Disney buys Anaheim land, sparking expansion speculation [LAT]