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3 reasons why Disneyland may have dropped the Eastern Gateway Project

By in Press Enterprise on October 25, 2017

By Joseph Pimentel

A little more than a year ago, Disneyland officials filed paperwork with Anaheim for their next big project that would have helped accommodate the expected large groups of people visiting Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

The Disneyland Eastern Gateway Project was a massive development that included a seven-story parking structure, a new transportation hub with security screening and a pedestrian bridge over Harbor Boulevard on the east side of Harbor Boulevard. The bridge, on the site of the former Carousel Inn hotel, would have helped funnel guests straight toward the ticket booths onto the esplanade area of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. Disney would have also made other improvements around the area.

Over the years, Disney had spent more than $100 million acquiring nearby properties to prepare for the Eastern Gateway.

But as Disney announced the project, they failed to garner local support. Almost immediately, some neighboring businesses along Harbor Boulevard pushed back. A new City Council came in, with a different agenda, and then the council later dismantled and later reassembled the city’s planning commission.

The clock was ticking. Star Wars land was coming and Disney wanted to move quickly to get the development rolling.

But after a year of waiting until the furor died down and the politics settled, Disney pivoted away and decided the Eastern Gateway project wasn’t worth the hassle.

Here are three possible reasons on why Disney abandoned the project:

1. Lack of support from majority of businesses along Harbor Boulevard

Some of the vocal owners of the 28 motels, hotels, retail stores and restaurants along the stretch felt threatened that the Eastern Gateway project would harm their businesses.

There was a fear from business owners that Disney’s plan as presented — with an enclosed bridge — would require visitors to walk around the businesses along Harbor to get access […]    

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