The Blog ofTracy Tofte

A Peek at the Disney Golden Oak Ranch in Placerita Canyon

In the quietest of news releases way back in 2011, Disney and ABC Studios announced completion of  two state of the art backlots on the Golden Oak Ranch. The 42 storefront urban district was constructed entirely with filmmakers in mind, and its presence in the formerly scrub-brush filled plateau just southeast of Newhall is breathtaking.

     The lots allow any filmmaker to re-create 1920’s Chicago or present-day New York, and everything in between. They’ve also constructed a residential street, consisting of 14 homes, each embodying a different architectural style on a curved road. Over the years (since 1950 in fact) they’ve been acquiring more land, and this has brought the total to just under 900 acres. While they only plan to use a small portion of the land, it is plenty impressive. Who knew how much they had going on back there on Placerita Canyon Road?  My shooting days (never mind how long ago that was…) were at their Hollywood sound stages and in the SFV.

The film industry is growing increasingly important to Santa Clarita with annual revenues now approaching $66 million. Many have remarked that Santa Clarita is doing so well because it is able to look like almost any city in the U.S. Filming permits and days of work were up 23% year over year for October, and sound stage vacancy rates remain low, so the ranch will be plenty busy for years to come.  For example, Glee”s production crew was at Golden Oak Ranch last month.

I’ve grabbed a few of the picturesque shots from the Disney development, and made a quick photo gallery here. A more extensive set of pictures was posted in May 2013 including: