Rumors and Commentary

What Comes Next for Disneyland?

Over the last month we’ve looked ahead at some theme parks, pondering what they could add next to augment their current state. After taking a look at Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, and Magic Kingdom it’s now time to hop across the country and do the same exercise for the original theme park – Disneyland. The park has gone through some dramatic changes in the last five years and has one major project in the works, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. After that, the docket is clear. In this post, we’ll discuss five additions that Disneyland could, and maybe should, make going forward.

This post is quite a bit different from its predecessors in that I absolutely love Disneyland. It is easily my favorite park stateside and one of the best theme parks in the world. In trying to keep these posts somewhat practical, we also have to factor in that there’s not much room to expand. Disneyland has more than enough to do for a full day anyway, with over 35 attractions and some quality shows.

Security castle DL night

Unlike the five other American Disney Parks, Disneyland is close to a finished product. That’s not to say there won’t be changes along the way. Parks can grow stale without change no matter how great they are. It’s just that change at this point means that something will likely have to be replaced due to such a crowded footprint. There are very few weak spots in the Disneyland roster but I’ll try to pinpoint and remedy them in this post. Here we go!

An Immersive Tomorrowland Table-Service Restaurant

Disneyland has a very good dining scene with excellent and affordable options. That said, I have two places where it could get better. There’s a lack of table-service restaurants and Tomorrowland doesn’t offer much in the way of any food. Two birds with one stone here but adding an immersive sit down restaurant here is a no brainer. I’ve got nothing against Alien Pizza Planet (it’s decidedly average) but that’s a spot that could be improved upon. Whether it’s a campy Tomorrowland theme or a restaurant to pair with Space Mountain, adding a fun option here would be exciting!

Tomorrowland mural Space Mountain DL

Retire Mickey’s Mix Magic

Mickey’s Mix Magic, the latest Disneyland nighttime spectacular, holds a strange and soft place in my heart but it is not a very good show. Remember… Dreams Come True and Disneyland Forever are much better even if they don’t utilize as much of the projection technology. I would be happy to see Mix Magic gone forever with an older show or a brand new one taking its spot.

DL Halloween Screams blue red fireworks

Add Different Missions to Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run

This is a small one and on a newer attraction but it seems like a no-brainer. Smuggler’s Run is a great experience but the ride isn’t as repetitive as some others. How do you change that? By giving it the Star Tours treatment and adding different missions and scenes to the ride. That would certainly be a plus on the Falcon for repeat riders, giving it some longevity.

SWGE Millenium Falcon green lightsabers DL

Bring Back the PeopleMover!

Disneyland’s PeopleMover is the subject of many rumors and legends. I’ve heard about ten reasons why it closed down and I’m not sure how many of them I believe. No, I don’t know how easy or feasible it would be for Disneyland to reopen the PeopleMover but they absolutely should. Tomorrowland has a sneaky good attraction lineup and this would really put it over the top.

Tomorrowland rooftop DL

Swap out Toontown for an Extended Fantasyland

Long time readers will know that we are not fans of Toontown. We understand why it’s there and see some of its merit but it is unquestionably the weak link of Disneyland. It will be improving with the addition of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway but I think it would be better if the land just turned into an extended Fantasyland. Runaway Railway and Roger Rabbit could stick around in that case, as could Mickey’s House if you’re so inclined. Take out the rest and add another dark ride and de-toonify the area. It would make the strongest Fantasyland any park has even stronger.

Toontown Water tower DL

Disneyland is nearly perfect already so these changes are smaller than the previous posts. But theme parks are never done changing and I’m excited to see what moves are made in the coming years!

What do you think should be done next at Disneyland? Let us know, along with any questions you might have, in the comments below. Planning a trip to Disneyland? Check out our planning guide to help you along the way! If you enjoy what you’re reading here on Wandering in Disney, please subscribe to the blog on the right side of this page. That’s where you can find links to our social media accounts, as well. Thank you for reading!

8 replies »

  1. what were the rumors you heard that the people mover was down? Just out of curiosity. Nice update on the park!

    • The most outlandish rumor is that the PeopleMover closed because of deaths on the ride. There have been accidents but that was long before it closed. It really just closed to save money.

  2. Good suggestions but the PeopleMover is never going to come back. It’s not ADA compliant and has passed the point where it can be grandfathered in (like Matterhorn) since it’s been non-operational for too long. Also, the infamous Rocket Rods also put too much stress on the support beams and effectively broke the track beyond repair. It would probably be too hard to take out the track without closing the whole land which is why it’s still up but I’d expect it to be gone entirely or rebuilt from the ground up if/when they ever redo Tomorrowland.

    For me, I’d love to see them get rid of Autopia and the Submarines, although the water does make for a pretty picture, and put in their place a new E-ticket. Possibly the Tron coaster or something similar but different to that or the new Guardians Ride they’re building in Orlando.

    • It’s too bad about the PeopleMover, Tomorrowland could really use that kinetic energy.

      For large scale additions, I’d love to see them replace Autopia especially. I think the submarines are unique and the area offers a nice transition but to Fantasyland’s Matterhorn. But for the right E-ticket, getting rid of those definitely makes sense. It would be an interesting move though since they continuously seem to put money into Autopia every few years.

      • I agree about the submarines but I suspect they’ve been on Disney’s chopping block for a while. The ride breaks down often, is difficult to maintain, and is really slow and inefficient to load. It’s biggest perk definitely is the ambience and movement – in fact, many of my favorite pictures are shot from the monorail station and capture the submarines and Matterhorn in one shot. Luckily, I don’t think they’ll be making any major changes in the near future as their focus seems fixed on expanding to the west side of the resort with the Disney Forward project.

      • I completely agree with you. I enjoy the submarines mainly because of what they do for my photography and late night walks. I don’t ride them often at all.
        Honestly, I think their focus should be elsewhere at this point as Disneyland is in good shape overall, especially relative to other American theme parks. There isn’t anything pressing that needs to be added for now.

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