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The Home of the Happiest Place on Earth Is About to Get Bigger

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Courtesy of the City of Anaheim

Already home to Disneyland and Angels Stadium, Anaheim is gearing up for a major expansion.

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The Anaheim area in Southern California—already famous for Disneyland and a Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament venue—is set to grow exponentially as a tourist destination in the next few years, receiving $6 billion in investments by 2020.

According to a recent release from the city government, development will include the addition of a Stars Wars–themed section of Disneyland, four new luxury hotels, an expansion of the Anaheim Convention Center, plus new homes, stores, restaurants, offices, and hotels at the Platinum Triangle around Angel Stadium.

Some of the development already is in the works. This past July, the city passed all the necessary resolutions for three of the new luxury hotels: a 580-room property on South Harbor Boulevard, a 634-room behemoth on West Katella Avenue, and a(nother) 700-room hotel at Disneyland. Naming and design details have not been announced for any of these properties.

The three new hotels will join a previously approved, 466-room JW Marriott near Disneyland, a property that will likely begin construction in 2017. The quartet will bring nearly 2,380 new upscale rooms to the Anaheim Resort District overall.

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In addition to the expansion sparked by the recent investments, other development work has been ongoing in the area. In 2015, the Anaheim Convention Center broke ground on an addition of 200,000 square feet of meeting space along Katella Avenue, across from the Disney theme parks. Just to the east of the Disneyland Resort, roughly $2.3 billion is being invested in the Platinum Triangle, 820 acres that include Angel Stadium, Honda Center, City National Grove of Anaheim and Anaheim Station, the region’s newest transit hub.

Already, across from Angel Stadium, work is underway on A-Town Metro, a mix of condominiums, apartments, shopping, dining, and park space. Next door, the approved Jefferson Stadium Park development calls for more than 1,000 apartments and nearly 10,000 square feet of retail directly across from the stadium.

Finally, although the proposed LT Platinum Center is still in the planning stages, this project stands to further transform the Platinum Triangle with 442,000 square feet of retail, 77,000 square feet of office space, 340 condos and apartments, and a 200-room hotel.

City officials hope this area eventually emerges as an exciting place to live, work, and play, similar to L.A. LIVE in downtown Los Angeles.

Sadly, expansion plans are, for the present, inching along at a snail’s pace. One issue that could snarl the process: traffic. None of the current plans for Anaheim appears to include major concessions for traffic abatement—an issue that is certain to become a problem as the city continues to grow.

Until then, however, we’ll just kick back, gnaw on a giant turkey leg from Medieval Times, and watch as the development takes shape.

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Matt Villano is a freelance writer and editor based in Healdsburg, California. In nearly 20 years as a full-time freelancer, he has covered travel for publications including TIME, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Sunset, Backpacker, Entrepreneur, and more. He contributes to the Expedia Viewfinder blog and writes a monthly food column for Islands magazine. Villano also serves on the board of the Family Travel Association and blogs about family travel at Wandering Pod. Learn more about him at Whalehead.com. 

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