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The Anaheim Convention Center and its surrounding hotels.

Disney’s Anaheim Expansion: What It Could Mean for Business Events

More tourists could affect demand at nearby meetings-focused hotels. A CVB executive in Anaheim answers a few questions about the evolving situation.

April 16 saw the Anaheim City Council unanimously approve Disneyland Forward, the first expansion of the Anaheim Disney complex in 20 years. A final vote is set for May 4 but is likely to be a formality. The project will bring large new attractions to the two theme parks located there, but without enlarging Disney’s real-estate footprint. There’s a 10-year timeline for the $1.9-billion project to be fully completed; the opening of new attractions will happen in stages over that time.

Given that Disneyland is walking distance from the Anaheim Convention Campus—home of the city’s convention center, the Anaheim Marriott, the Hilton Anaheim, the Sheraton Park Hotel Anaheim, and the Westin Anaheim, plus smaller overflow properties—it’s possible that the expansion could bring compression to the hotels within the campus.

MeetingsNet asked Ronnie Collins, senior vice president of sales and services for Visit Anaheim, a few questions about the changing hospitality landscape there.

MeetingsNet: What will the Disney expansion mean for meeting and convention groups looking for space in the hotels surrounding the convention center? 
Ronnie Collins: The expansion means an enhanced experience for meeting and convention groups. With more dining, entertainment, and immersive experiences nearby, the campus becomes a more attractive destination, enticing attendees to stay [there].

MeetingsNet: Are any more hotels planned for the area in conjunction with the expansion?
Ronnie Collins: The Disney expansion is a long-term project, and while specific details are yet to be announced, we anticipate additional hotel offerings will emerge within the project's development. This expansion should diversify our accommodation options.

MeetingsNet: If more tourists visit the area as Disneyland expands, will it become more difficult for meeting groups to obtain the room blocks they’d need for business events held at a hotel within the convention campus or at the convention center? 
Ronnie Collins: Anaheim’s unique blend of leisure and business has always been a strength, and the Disney expansion will only enhance this dynamic. We anticipate increased interest in conventions, and Visit Anaheim's strategic planning and business analytics will ensure that we can efficiently manage room blocks for our clients, to guarantee smooth accommodation of business events throughout the year.

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