Disneyland and Developers in Metro Vancouver by Geraldine Santiago

Disneyland and Developers in Metro Vancouver by Geraldine Santiago

Disneyland and Land Assembly in Metro Vancouver by Geraldine Santiago 

I was in Disneyland’s Magic Kingdom recently, and while my family saw the different themed areas like “Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge”, ”Fantasyland", "Tomorrowland", "Critter Country, "New Orleans Square Adventureland", "Mickey's Toontown" and "Main Street USA, as a land assembly specialist, I couldn't help but think about the similarities and undertakings that Walt Disney and developers in BC go through when they purchase assembled properties for their projects.

After doing some research, I learned that there were a few things that Disney needed for his park:  a large regional population, a large site and a zoning that allowed an amusement park to be built and accessibility.

Disney’s staff searched all throughout Southern California and considered Burbank and Chatsworth as a contenders, but the Parks and Recreation Department in Burbank had “balked at an earlier Disney amusement park” and Chatsworth had problems being too close to the beach. 

Anaheim on the other hand, had a growing population of 14,556 and between 1940-1950, it had grown by 65%, and then grew another 30% between 1950 -1953. In addition, Anaheim was also only twenty-five miles from Los Angeles, and off the new Santa Ana Highway. (Santa Ana 5 Freeway). Orange County climate offered the least rainfall, the least humidity and the least extreme temperatures of any other options—ideal for the amusement park to be operational year-round.

In the end, Disney’s staff decided to acquire ’17 tracts of adjacent orange groves in Anaheim', which made up 150 acres. It was filled with 4,400 orange trees and 15 homes called “Ball Road Subdivision’ which makes up Disneyland park today.

When Disney decided to expand to another site, he did not want anyone to know about any of his land acquisitions, nor did he want other companies to speculate either. So, cash was paid and a numbered company was used so that the homeowners won't hold out for more if they had known it was Disney corporation behind the purchase.  

Whether it is a small developer looking to build a row of townhouses, or a large developer looking to build an apartment tower, when developers look at new areas as possible sites to redevelop, they too, research many cities and neighbourhoods, they perform feasibility studies, research present housing stock, assess future population and growth in an area, and seek out sites with location that are near public transit or near highways and research the Official Community Plan (OCP) or Neighbourhood Plan (NP). Developers also use numbered companies and confidentility clauses so that homeowners will not hold out for more. 

To read more about land assemblies in British Columbia, go to or purchase my ebook on-line today!


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