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Disneyland Article
Disney Cone Building Height Limit Near Disneyland Keeps The Fantasy Alive

Source:Orange County Register
Author:Art Marroquin
Dateline:December 08, 2015
Posted:December 13, 2015
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Hotels will never rise tall enough to scrape the skies near Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.

Even with the flurry of nearby construction, developers must abide by a little-known set of height limitations known by city insiders as the "Disney Cone."

"If you're building in Anaheim, then you're aware of the height limit around Disneyland," said Jeff Flint, a spokesman for the Wincome Group, which recently announced plans to build a 78-foot-tall luxury hotel on the site of the Anaheim Plaza Hotel & Suites, across the street from Disneyland.

"We're planning to build at the density level that's allowed at this site, so the city's height limit is not constraining us in any way," Flint said. "We're actually happy to do our part in keeping the magic alive in Anaheim and at Disneyland."

The policy, limiting building heights of 75 to 240 feet within a half-mile radius of the Disneyland Resort, isn't meant to keep outsiders from getting a peek at the rides and attractions.

Rather, the Disney Cone is aimed at limiting views of the outside world for the 25 million-plus annual visitors who walk into the parks for a sense of escape and fantasy - just as Walt Disney had first envisioned on Disneyland's opening day, more than 60 years ago.

"I don't want the public to see the world they live in when they're in the park," Disney once said, according to theme park officials. "I want them to feel they're in another world."

To start, Disney made sure that a dirt berm standing 12 to 20 feet surrounded Disneyland as a way to shield his guests. Trees and well-placed walls help out, too.

Disney engineers wanted to take it one step further in 1964, collaborating with city officials to adopt a series of height contours that set a maximum height of 75 feet for all buildings immediately surrounding Disneyland. Building heights gradually increase the father the structures get from the park.

The boundaries were revised in 1980, taking in more of Anaheim's resort area, and the policy was updated in 1993 to preserve the charm and character for Disney guests, said city spokeswoman Ruth Ruiz.

(Of course, from some rides, like Mickey's Fun Wheel in Disney California Adventure, guests do get high enough to see the real world.)

While height allowances are commonly used in neighborhoods surrounding an airport, this was the first known instance of applying such a rule to around a theme park.

"When Walt Disney created Disneyland, he envisioned a place where guests of all ages could temporarily escape reality and become totally immersed in the storytelling," Disneyland spokeswoman Suzi Brown said.

"We appreciate that city leaders have understood the importance of maintaining that sense of fantasy for the more-than-750 million guests who have visited the Resort over the last 60 years."

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