City officials had been considering a segment along Disney Way that included a stop near the resort. But that segment was scrapped in favor of one along Alro Way, which would have the streetcar stop directly in front of Disney's main gate, according to reports from the project's design consultant, PBS&J.
The reports, which were first uncovered by Anaheim activist and blogger Cynthia Ward, also make it clear that Disney had a heavy hand in the design change, which added millions of dollars to the estimated cost of the project, which now stands at $319 million.
"There are several technical disadvantages with the variations on Alro Way that were proposed by Disney, including raising the [Southern California Edison] power lines, significant land acquisition, and possible business relocations," states the report from PBS&J, which has since been taken over by WS Atkins, a British firm.
Specifically, the city must acquire an IHOP restaurant and a hotel and raze both to accommodate the Alro Way option. These properties are among a number of land acquisitions that could cost more than $30 million, officials estimate.
Anaheim officials insist that Disneyland is not controlling the design of the streetcar project. Public Works Director Natalie Meeks goes so far as to say PBS&J's statements about Disney proposing design changes are inaccurate. City officials also said PBS&J had performance problems that were ultimately resolved.
Though the Alro Way route certainly benefits Disney, the design change was entirely in the hands of city officials, Meeks said.