Save our Anaheim Streets from Disneyland Forward!

Vern here, and I’m sharing a petition from Change.Org, with a text written by a few friends of ours. We’re gonna be talking a lot this year about Disneyland Forward, the corporation’s 30-year plan for Central Anaheim.

This is TIMELY because – news flash – they are planning to spring it on us at the JANUARY 23 COUNCIL MEETING. Yes, Disney’s publicists are secretly lining up uncritical boosters to give comments that evening, and we are going to need as many well-informed speakers there as possible.

Just as in 1993, the Disney Corporation plans to profit as much as possible, while giving back as LITTLE as possible to their host city, if we and the Council let them. In private, they describe this plan as “building another Disneyland INSIDE Disneyland” and probably doubling the $5.7 BILLION A YEAR Disneyland currently makes, only a tiny fraction of which Anaheim sees.

If we indeed have a Council that represents the interests of Anaheim rather than Disney, there are at least two demands they should make – NOT taking any of our public streets as they want to, and helping out substantially with AFFORDABLE HOUSING giving that they are proposing adding up to 14,000 new employees, while many of their current employees are homeless, living in cars or Corona, or couch-surfing.

Alternatively if Disney agreed to a 2% Entertainment Tax or Fee to go into our General Fund, that could go a long way toward “consideration.” We’ll be talking about this a lot more this year… and here is the petition which you can sign here.

Did you know Disney is asking City Hall to change, or even close, roads we use every day? In the 1990’s, Anaheim allowed Disney to reroute and close public streets that residents had used for generations. Now “Disneyland Forward” wants even more of our public streets! 

What do they plan to do? 
Buried in a 17,000-page document are plans to narrow existing streets around the Resort, back out of past deals to complete roads Disney promised, and even close some of the streets we use daily to access the freeway! 

Do you avoid the mess on already-crowded Harbor, Ball, and Katella, by using convenient Magic Way and Disneyland Drive to get to the freeway? Disney’s new plan closes Magic Way and all (or portions) of Disneyland Drive between Ball and Katella. 

Road closures mean that high-value, taxpayer-owned real estate would be privatized for Disney’s profitable use, with no benefit to local residents. Heavier traffic impacts air quality, and further delays our own daily commutes. Most of all, closing the streets that intersect the Resort will create an isolated, walled fortress, with Disney turning its back on the community. 

Wait! Can Disney close our public roads?
Disney can’t do this by themselves, but they can persuade elected officials to close the roads our taxes pay for. 

Frankly, reliable information about these changes has been hard to find. To fact-check Disney and argue against these changes, ordinary Anaheim residents have been sifting through thousands of pages of a massive technical document, crafted by Disney. We were given only 45 days to review, counter misinformation, and comment on Disney’s plans. 

After expenses, tourism only pays less than 25% of the Anaheim General Fund. As majority taxpayers, why are we so often left out of the discussion when the future of the city we pay for is being decided? Disneyland has been an integral part of Anaheim since 1955. The growth and expansion of Anaheim’s “economic engine” of tourism should benefit all stakeholders. Disney’s new profits should not come at the expense of our quality of life.

What can we do?
Yes, Disney is a massive corporation but, by standing together, we can make our voices heard. This petition asks Anaheim leaders to consider alternatives that benefit both tourism and taxpayers. Additionally, we call for increased truth and transparency in these dealings, and we can start at the January 23 Council meeting. 

Sign this petition today; help us save Magic Way and other public roads for public benefit, not private profit. 

If you have any questions, please email… and PLEASE SIGN HERE!

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official political troubadour of Anaheim and most other OC towns. Regularly makes solo performances, sometimes with his savage-jazz band The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at, or 714-235-VERN.