Disney D23 Expo: ‘Star Wars’ attractions expected to fly through Anaheim City Hall approvals

ANAHEIM – As Disney prepares to pour at least $1 billion into improvements in Anaheim – including a new “Star Wars” land at Disneyland – few obstacles are expected at City Hall.

The “Star Wars” land expansion, anticipated for 14 acres on the north side of the popular theme park, will bank off of an environmental-impact report completed in 1996, when Disney submitted a master plan that permitted the construction of Disney California Adventure, Downtown Disney and the Grand Californian Hotel, city officials said.

Despite Walt Disney Co. Chairman Bob Iger’s Saturday announcement that “Star Wars” will land in Anaheim, the company has until the end of 2017 to formally notify the city of its intent to move ahead.

“This isn’t going to be the Disneyland from Walt’s days,” Anaheim Councilwoman Lucille Kring said. “Disney is getting pretty aggressive with their rides, and people can’t seem to get enough of these ‘Star Wars’ movies.”

Under the 1996 accord, Disney will be required to apply for permits that allow for the demolition of the Big Thunder Ranch, a few adjacent warehouses and perhaps other buildings; Disney has only said the new land will go in the area that includes Big Thunder Ranch. The company must also file paperwork seeking permission to fill the area with attractions based on the popular “Star Wars” franchise, including a ride that will allow park-goers to control the Millennium Falcon spaceship.

While construction is already permitted for a 5,000-space parking structure on Disney-owned property just east of Harbor Boulevard – known as the Pumbaa Parking Lot – a specific plan must be approved by Anaheim’s Planning Department.

“There is such a pent-up interest in the ‘Star Wars’ franchise that this attraction will certainly be a success for Disney,” Councilman James Vanderbilt said.

Disney has 28,000 workers in Anaheim, already making it Orange County’s largest employer. The project is expected to create 1,400 permanent jobs at the Disneyland Resort and an additional $15 million in annual tax revenue for the city, according to a Disney-commissioned report completed by KPMG, an auditing firm.

Councilman Jordan Brandman said that the anticipated increase in tax revenue will allow the city to build more parks and community centers, while also closing a $560 million city-employee pension liability.

“This is the Anaheim way of economic development that we’ve always done to create good jobs and resources for our residents,” Brandman said.

Iger’s weekend announcement of “Star Wars” attractions at Disneyland came just more than one month after the Anaheim City Council voted 3-2 to impose no admission taxes at the Anaheim theme parks for 30 years, extending a ticket tax ban that started in 1996 and was set to expire next year.

If Disney doesn’t spend at least $1 billion, then the deal falls away. However, the ticket-tax ban could be extended another 15 years if Disney later embarks on a separate $500 million project.

Although a “Star Wars” land is also planned for Walt Disney World, government officials in Florida were not asked to approve a ticket-tax ban as a condition to build the proposed project.

“I believe Disney would have built this new land (in Anaheim) regardless, because it’s in their best interest to do it,” said Mayor Tom Tait, who opposed the ticket-tax ban along with Vanderbilt.

“No other company in this country has a 45-year exemption from any types of taxes,” Tait said. “Clearly, this wasn’t necessary, given that Walt Disney World doesn’t have the same deal, but the same investment is being made there.”

Disney officials said that the threat of a ticket tax has only been raised in Anaheim, and not in Florida or any of the other cities where Disney operates theme parks worldwide. At the time the ban was approved, Disney officials said they believed a ticket tax would hurt attendance, guest spending and the company’s ability to “significantly invest” in the theme parks.

“This is a proven policy that has worked very successfully in Anaheim,” Councilwoman Kris Murray said. “Disney didn’t ask for any public assistance, and this expansion is not costing the resident a single dollar.”

Contact the writer: 714-704-3769 or amarroquin@ocregister.com

Car crashes into Fullerton doughnut shop; driver injured

FULLERTON– An 84-year-old female is in the medical facility after she drove her automobile right into a doughnut shop Sunday, police claimed.

Cops got a call at 12:27 p.m. after the woman, believed to be between 70 as well as 80 years of ages, drove her Toyota Camry right into Glady’s Donuts in a shopping center at 345 S. Euclid St., stated Fullerton cops Sgt. Chris Wren.

Cops got on the scene as well as a tow truck was extricating the Camry from the store.

The woman suffered injuries yet it was uncertain if they were dangerous, Wren stated. No one else was injured in the occurrence.

Contact the writer: 714-796-2254 or eritchie@ocregister.com!.?.! or Twitter:@lagunaini!.?.!

Photos: Day 2 of Disney’s D23 Expo delights thousands of fans

ANAHEIM – More than 6,000 people were in line early this morning – many laying on the Anaheim Convention Floor in sleeping blankets – for Day 2 of the D23 Expo, Disney’s biennial fan convention.

While some people are in line to be among the first to purchase exclusive Disney merchandise, most have lined up to ensure a seat in the 7,500 capacity Hall D23 where Disney will discuss their upcoming live action films at 10:30 a.m.

Frances Tegge, 55, of San Francisco was the first in line. She and her son, Nick, 26, arrived Thursday immediately after the expo ended at 6 p.m.

They both slept on the cement floor of Hall E, the basement hall of the convention center.

“It was really cold,” said Tegge, who has yet to sleep in her hotel room the past two nights at the Alpine Inn.

“We wanted to be the first in line because we’re hoping to see Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, the original ‘Star Wars’ crew,” she said.

Disney is unveiling previews- for the first time – several upcoming movies and films including Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War,” “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” “The Jungle Book,” and more.

Though J.J. Abrams, the director of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” said they won’t be releasing a third trailer of the film, there will be “Star Wars” surprises at The World, Galaxies, and Universes: Live Action at The Walt Disney Studios.

And after yesterday’s surprise filled day – seven previews of upcoming animated films, and appearances by Johnny Depp in the Disney Legends awards, and Ellen DeGeneres (“Finding Dory”), and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (“Moana”) in the John Lasseter hosted Pixar and Disney Animation panel, fans want to see what’s behind the Disney curtain in Day 2 of the D23 Expo.

By 6:30 a.m. an overflow line, which does not guarantee a seat, had formed.

Jessie Foster, 37, arrived around that time Sitting on the floor and brushing her face with make-up, the Santa Monica resident likes her chances of getting a seat in the panel.

“After attending the Pixar Animation panel, I think I’ll have a seat for this,” she said. “The room is massive.”

“I can’t wait to see what surprises they’ll have for us,” she added.

Also later today, Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek is expected to discuss Disney theme parks in Shanghai and Walt Disney World, and possibly what’s new in store for the Disneyland Resort.

It’s official: ‘Star Wars’ theme land coming to Disneyland

The galaxy much, far is concerning Anaheim.

The Walt Disney Co.’s Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger announced today that a “Superstar Wars” themed land is coming to Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

He destroyed the news throughout a panel discussion at the D23 Expo, Disney’s biennial follower gathering.

“I am delighted to reveal the next chapter in the long as well as exciting history in between Disney Parks and Celebrity Wars,” Iger claimed at the end of The Globe, Galaxies, as well as Universes: Live Activity at The Walt Disney Studios. “We are developing a jaw-dropping brand-new world that represents our biggest single themed land development ever before.”

Iger showed a picture and a snippet of concept fine art of the colony to a stimulating crowd, who offered him a standing ovation.

He stated the “Star Wars” themed land will occupy 14-acres at both amusement park, which “will certainly transport guests to a whole brand-new “Superstar Wars world.”

In Anaheim, the land will certainly remain in the Huge Thunder Cattle ranch area, consisting of some backstage locations, The Register has learned.

The land will feature 2 trademark rides, consisting of one “adventure that places you in the middle of a critical battle in between the First Order and also the Resistance.” He also said there would certainly be a cantina, most likely based on the Mos Eisley Cantina from “Star Wars IV: The New Hope.”

Iger claimed more specifics of the land will certainly be offered by Bob Chapek, the chairman of the Walt Disney Parks as well as Resorts, at an afternoon panel.

The city of Anaheim, which recently consented to a $1 billion manage Disney, subject to the company to increase the Disneyland Hotel in exchange for banning a gate tax on admission tickets for a minimum of Three Decade at Disneyland as well as Disney The golden state Journey, issued a declaration following Iger’s statement.

“This is interesting information for the city of Anaheim and represents a considerable assets in our area,” stated Ruth Ruiz, Anaheim spokeswoman.

“The City board in July led the way for this by embracing an enjoyment tax obligation policy and development contract with Disney,” she stated in an emailed statement. “The measurement of the ‘Superstar Wars’ land unveiled at D23 talks to the rationale behind that plan. This will be a major financial investment that will certainly create works, spur more visitors and develop extra profits for the city that will certainly be used to give services for our individuals.”

Because buying Lucasfilms for $4 billion in 2012, followers have actually asked yourself when Disney would present added rides and tourist attractions based on “Star Wars” to their amusement park. Celebrity Tours as well as the Jedi Training Academy are presently the only “Star Wars” themed destinations at Disneyland.

Iger had actually informed capitalists that Disney Imagineers remain in the process of developing and developing “Star Wars” themed tourist attractions, that will greatly boost the room epic’s presence in numerous places.

In the past couple years, Disney has actually silently purchased $100 million worth of land around the resort consisting of 2 structures north of its Pumbaa car park on Disney Means and Harbor as well as a resort straight nearby from the park’s eastern esplanade area.

Part of the deal asked for a new 5,000 spot parking framework on the Pumbaa great deal, and the building of “needle moving tourist attractions” within the style park’s impacts that would help draw in more site visitors.

The business has filed permit applications to use several of the regularing buildings as storehouse and also support facilities.

A new Star Wars area might considerably enhance presence, hotel occupancy and raise a labor force that currently flaunts 28,000 staff members.

Even more than 25 million individuals saw the Disneyland Resort amusement park in 2013, baseding on the Themed Amusement Association, an industry field team, with Disneyland getting more than 15 million of those gos to.

Contact the writer: 714-704-3764 or jpimentel@ocregister.com!.?.!

Haggen to close 4 of 11 stores in Orange County; more may follow

The California closures include

Los Osos: Los Osos Valley Road (Santa Barbara)

Newbury Park: Newbury Road (Los Angeles)

Simi Valley: Cochran Street

Simi Valley: 660 E. Los Angeles Ave.

Bakersfield: E. Stockdale Highway

Santa Clarita: McBean Parkway

San Marcos: Rancho Santa Fe, San Diego

El Cajon: Fletcher Pkwy., San Diego

La Mesa: Lake Murray Blvd., San Diego

Chula Vista: Telegraph Canyon Road, San Diego

Chula Vista: Third Ave., San Diego

San Ysidro: W. San Ysidro Blvd., San Diego

Four of 11 Haggen stores in Orange County will close in the next 60 days, the company announced Friday.

Haggen said it would shutter or sell stores in California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. The Bellingham-Wash.-based grocer debuted in Orange County this spring after acquiring stores from the Alberstons-Safeway merger. In a list provided by the company, 16 stores in California were slated for closure.

Local stores that will close in two months include:

Irvine: Portola Parkway

Mission Viejo: Los Alisos Boulevard

Tustin: 17th Street

Tustin: E. First Street

The fate of the remaining seven stores in Orange County is unknown.

Haggen said in a statement that most of the stores being closed or sold were acquired as part of the transaction in which Albertsons and Safeway divested 146 stores. Additional stores will be sold or closed in the future as part of the company’s “right-sizing” strategy.

The company stated it has not determined how many jobs will be affected as a result of the closures and sales.

“Haggen’s goal going forward is to ensure a stable, healthy company that will benefit our customers, associates, vendors, creditors, stakeholders as well as the communities we serve,” said Bill Shaner, Haggen chief executive at the Pacific Southwest division. “By making the tough choice to close and sell some stores, we will be able to invest in stores that have the potential to thrive under the Haggen banner.”

The Pacific Southwest division is based in Irvine. In mid-July the it announced layoffs at each of its new stores. Haggen reportedly cut between six and 10 jobs per store across its Southwest region.

Greg Conger, president of United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 324 in Buena Park that represents local workers at Haggen, told the Register in July that courtesy clerks at 83 stores were being let go and a large number of full-time employees were being demoted to part-time.

The union filed a grievance on behalf of the full-time staffers who were reduced to part time because “arbitrarily reducing someone from full time to part time without recognizing seniority is against the contract.” Individual grievances will be filed later, he added.

According to the Santa Barbara Independent newspaper, a class action discrimination lawsuit was filed in Santa Barbara Superior Court on July 31 against Haggen on behalf of a 60-year-old developmentally disabled man who had worked as a courtesy clerk at a Vons location Haggen bought. The suit was filed on behalf of all California-based developmentally disabled courtesy clerks that Haggen has laid off since the beginning of this year.

In a statement, Haggen said employees were laid off due to financial need: “The decision to eliminate the clerks helper job classification in our Pacific Southwest Region stores was made out of business necessity.”

The company struggled in Orange County almost immediately after opening as customers criticized the grocer’s pricing strategy.

Karen Lyons, a Corona del Mar resident, said she stopped shopping at the Corona del Mar Haggen, formerly an Albertsons, because the prices were simply too high.

“A lot of people stopped coming to the store because of that issue,” she said. “Haggen didn’t have any discounts on its own brand. Their meat department’s prices, everything went up.”

Lyons said the pricing was similar to that of Bristol Farms and Whole Foods, both of which are nearby.

Through the acquisition, Haggen expanded from 18 stores with 16 pharmacies and 2,000 employees in the Pacific Northwest to 164 stores and 106 pharmacies employing more than 10,000 people in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada and Arizona.

Guy Ball, of Tustin, was among the Haggen shoppers who complained about high prices.

“I was finding that I would go in expecting to spend about $60 and it would be an $80 bill,” Ball said. “They don’t have a range of sales. They have gotten better, but it’s still not enough for me to go in on a regular basis. I still don’t see the overall value of going there.”

“I think Haggen severely misread the market. I think they thought we could all afford the change and were expecting Whole Foods pricing, but that’s not the case. Most of us are middle class,” he added.