Disney to Build a Second Park
In Anaheim, Near the Original
By a WALL STREET JOURNAL Staff Reporter
For 41 years, tourists have come to Anaheim, Calif., to see
Disneyland. Now, _Walt Disney_ Co. hopes they will come to Anaheim to
see Hollywood, Yosemite Valley and the beach as well.
Disney finally gave the official go-ahead to build its long-awaited
second theme park in Anaheim, a $1.4 billion re-creation of the Golden
State called Disney's California Adventure. The park, under
consideration since early last year, is expected to open in 2001.
The planned expansion is far less ambitious than the $3 billion
Westcot project that Disney introduced in 1991 and shelved in February
1995. Disney backed away from that project after realizing it would
have to buy prohibitively expensive land parcels to accommodate the
Competition From Universal
The move comes amid increasing competition in the Southern California
tourism market. Disneyland's chief local rival, Universal Studios
Hollywood, is enjoying strong attendance following the highly
publicized opening of its $100 million-plus "Jurassic Park"
ride. _Seagram_ Co., parent of Universal Studios, has said it plans
major expansions of all of Universal's theme parks.
California Adventure will be built on land Disney already owns --
Disneyland's parking lot. It will be far smaller than the planned
Westcot park and have far fewer hotel rooms. The old project at one
point had Disney planning to construct as many as 5,100 rooms. The new
project will have a 750-room hotel called the Grand Californian,
which, in a first for a Disney park, will be built inside the park.
"This project transforms Disneyland into a resort destination," said
Paul Pressler, president of Disneyland Resort. With two parks -- as
well as a new retail, dining and entertainment complex called
Disneyland Center connecting the two -- Mr. Pressler said Disney hopes
that guests will buy multiple-day passes and stay an average of three
to four days.
It's estimated that the new park will have annual attendance of about
seven million visitors. By comparison, Disneyland has more than 14
million guests each year. The two parks will have separate but
Appealing to 'Nonfamilies'
Disney hopes that with more sit-down restaurants and a luxury hotel
built in the California Craftsman architecture style, California
Adventure will appeal to "nonfamilies," as well as to its core family
audience. In particular, Disneyland Center is expected to fill the
dearth of nightlife in Anaheim. California Adventure is expected to
have three themed "lands" that play off the California culture:
Hollywood, Yosemite Valley and the beach. Mr. Pressler said there will
be a "great mass of water" in the middle of the park, with a "natural
wave that never breaks."
Harold Vogel, an analyst at Cowen & Co. in New York, said that
Disney's recent strong theme-park attendance figures "indicate that
over the long term, the market still has room to grow." He said
theme-park attendance in California has been running "five or seven"
percent above the extraordinarily high numbers of a year ago, when
Disneyland opened its "Indiana Jones" attraction.
The announcement came after months of haggling between Disney and the
city of Anaheim over the structuring of costs related to various
infrastructure changes required for the expansion.