Ask a DisNerd – A Third Anaheim Park?

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Hello there, dear readers and fellow DisNerds! Welcome to the first edition of Ask a DisNerd! Every two weeks, we will open up the mail bag and answer a reader question or two. The questions range from theme park trivia to speculation on Disney movie characters, and a little bit of everything in between. This week’s question comes from reader Chris F., who asks the following:

How likely do you think we will see a third theme park in Anaheim?

Thanks for the question, Chris – I felt this would be a great question to answer this week, on the eve of Disney’s D23 Expo, when you never know what surprise announcements may be made. Speculation runs rampant, so we might as well speculate at this point as well!

I do think there is a strong likelihood that we will see a third theme park in the Anaheim area. As much as I love Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, there is only so much they can do within the parks to continue to draw crowds. While Buena Vista Street and Cars Land were nice additions to California Adventure, they were expansions to an already existing park – a park that, like its counterpart across the esplanade, has little room to keep expanding.

With a huge mix of locals and tourists, the public seems to be demanding more and more, at the same time expressing sadness (and sometimes outrage) when an older attraction is removed. The simplest choice (I say simple rather tongue in cheek here) is a third theme park. The bigger questions becomes, What kind of theme park?

My counterpart, Hayden has added what he would like to see in said theme park:

“When such happens, though, I have heigh-ho-high-hopes that such a park will relieve some pressure that seems to press on Disneyland Park. Disney California Adventure is well equipped to handle the droves of crowds the resort takes in. I just can’t help but feel, each time I’m at Disneyland, that such full-throttle crowds seem more like they’re a surprise Disneyland didn’t plan for. Now, perhaps such a hope is in vain; after all, the thought of bringing in less people to a park is kind of the opposite of what they’d want to happen. (Gosh, every blog post I’m discovering I’m really good at invalidating my own points and opinions. Criminy…) Perhaps I could say what I’d like to most see in this next park.

#1 – That it’ll actually be a park. Not a water park, not a shopping district, not an aviary. A park.

#2 – That such a park will be absolutely brimming with original concepts and brilliant, at-its-finest Imagineering. A lot of complaints were thrown out when Disney California Adventure opened, saying that such a theme was tragic, senseless, and lame. I’ for one a grateful we weren’t stuck with a copy-cat of a Walt Disney World park. It may have its quirks, but I have to give kudos to California Adventure for being 100% original. A majority of the attractions it opened with are now staples to any Disneyland Resort vacation (i.e. California Screamin’, Soarin’ Over California). Here’s hoping this third gate will be something we’ve yet to experience. I know that this isn’t really so much an original thought, I think any Disney Parks fan would want something original. It is my highest hope, though.

#3 – Let’s get it right the first time, eh? Please don’t cut financial corners, Disney. Please? It looks so good when you go all in.

#4 – BRING BACK THE PEOPLEMOVER! (Wrong place? Wrong time? My bad.)”

I as well have high hopes for a new park. What do I expect to see? Well, I wouldn’t be surprised in the least to see the Marvel division of Disney make its presence known in a huge way.  According to an article written by Robert Niles on Theme Park Insider, “Who owns the rights to use those characters in theme parks? In Japan and the United States east of the Mississippi: Universal. Elsewhere in the world: Disney.” So, if this is correct, and Disney owns the theme park rights to Marvel in SoCal, why not capitalize on it? I could see this happening – a third park that would appeal to older kids, based more on thrill rides possibly? Let’s just say I wouldn’t be surprised.

Now, what would I personally like to see? Much like Hayden, I want a new experience. I want something with cutting edge technology and new stories to tell. Attractions like Tokyo Disney Sea’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” or Hong Kong Disneyland’s “Mystic Manor.” Attractions that don’t necessarily tell Disney-centric stories, but attractions that push the limits of both Walt Disney Imagineering and the visitors’ imaginations. Give us new, give us fresh and exciting. Give us MAGIC.

I would LOVE to see this in person – if the video leaves me in awe, I’m sure the attraction would do even more!

In all honesty, regardless or whether we see a third theme park or not, I’d like to see more of the above in the current parks.  What about you guys? Do you see the possibility of a third park in Anaheim? Why or why not? If so, what would you like to see?

Thanks again for the question, Chris! I look forward to answering more questions from all of you. Keep them coming, and look for another “Ask a DisNerd” in two weeks!

6 thoughts on “Ask a DisNerd – A Third Anaheim Park?

  1. I’m totally all for a third gate if all the Marvel, Lucasfilm and Pixar stuff goes there… Who am I kiddin’, that’s what they got Tomorrowland for, amirtie?

    My interest in a third gate would depend entirely upon what it is. My facetious comment was only spoken with a bit of my tongue in my cheek. If they wanted to fission off a Marvel or Star Wars park, that wouldn’t hurt my feelings at all (having too much non-Disney brand stuff in a Disneyland already is hurting my feelings). Whether that or WestCOT or Disneysea USA, it would have to be exceptional to overcome the biggest problem with California Adventure, which is that it’s right beside Disneyland.

  2. Please! Please! Please! A third gate would be great. I am all for Marvel, Star Wars or anything else, just make it right. If they do Marvel, go all in and don’t short on the details. If Star Wars, please do it right and not just a little miniland. If it somehting wholly original, then bring it on. Just please do it right.

  3. Hey DisNerd. I do consider myself one too. You should check out my blog. I am all Disney too. Can you explain this third gate to me please.

  4. Mystic Manor isn’t as good as it was SUPPOSED to be as they cut the budget and technology (rumour has it the carriages were supposed to move up and down a-la Transformers ride @Universal). The free moving electro-magnetic carriages ARE pretty cool as you can have 4 different experiences depending which one you end up on as they take different paths. We’ve been on it a few times now – it’s tame, but the hologram effects are very well done. They are more 3D and vivid than the video.
    Also interesting you bring up Marvel as that is rumoured as either the new land or theme park Hong Kong Disneyland is developing. I find it curious that you’re discussing the same questions we have about Hong Kong Disneyland… would be nice to know some solid facts about all the expansion plans globally, especially with Shanghai due to open next year.

  5. I hope if they do decide on a third gate, they learned their lesson with trying to create a park on the cheap (*cough*, DCA, *cough*). And like you and Hayden, I really hope it’s full of attractions and ideas never seen anywhere else, and then I hope all those really great, original attractions aren’t copied and slapped into other Disney parks. The ideas are limitless really! What a fun topic =)

  6. I care more about how they make the new park look. I hope they make it like Disneyland – a park that brings you into a different time and place. That’s why I hated DCA for a while – It looked as if they just put random rides everywhere like it was an ugly county fair. I’m glad Disney made it right when they revamped the park.

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