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Hang on to your suspenders, Mickey, those Imagineers have just expanded your girth.
For the first time since its opening 45 years ago, Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., has a new theme park.
Where some saw only the blight of an asphalt parking lot, Disney Imagineers saw room for a 55-acre $1.4 billion park called California Adventure, which opens Thursday. The expansion also includes a 750-room hotel, the Grand Californian, and a Disneyland version of Downtown Disney.
But why should we, who have the World at our doorstep, care about a landlocked Disney theme park in California?
"We think that what we provide here is really part of the overall Southern California package," says Tom Brocato, Disneyland's press director.
Many visitors come to the area to take in Los Angeles, San Diego and its premier attractions, which, of course, include Disneyland. With the new additions, it's hoped that visitors will consider making Disneyland Resort their base of operations if not the reason for their visit.
Of course, Disney World is much more vast than its sister park. But Brocato says that the more diminutive Land has far more "coziness and quaintness" and is easier to negotiate. Guests, he points out, can walk from park to park. Walking from Disney World's Downtown Disney to the Magic Kingdom would be an eight-mile trek (though there's no need to walk; shuttles run between the two).