In 1955, Walt Disney struck a deal with Jack Wrather and business partner Maria Alvarez to own and operate the Disneyland Hotel under Wrather-Alvarez Productions. Located directly across the street from Disneyland Park, the hotel was designed for visitors to stay overnight due to the long driving times it would take to get to Southern California’s populated areas.
So, in October 1955 the Disneyland Hotel opened, 3 months after the official debut of Disneyland park. Initially, the hotel contained just over 100 hotel rooms. Later, in 1956, shops, dining establishments and recreational activities were added to the hotel to give guests more of a reason to extend their vacation.
Years later, the Disney company wanted to purchase the Disneyland Hotel from Wrather so it could be contained under the Disney company umbrella. When Wrather refused to sell, Disney eventually purchased the entire Wrather company.
Between 1999 and 2001, Disney decided to expand the Disneyland Hotel and demolished a huge portion of the hotel to create room for Downtown Disney, as well as additional parking areas. Now, none of the original buildings from the 1955 version of the hotel remain standing. Instead, the Disneyland Hotel has undergone several major changes to appeal to a more modern crowd, and continues to expand.
Currently, the Disneyland Hotel features 988 guest rooms located in 3 towers, with gorgeous landscaping, lush gardens, an updated swimming pool, and plenty of delicious dining options. Various room types, including standard rooms, club-level rooms and suites are available. Additionally, guests may be lucky enough to run into some of their favorite Disney characters for special meet-and-greets in the Disneyland Hotel lobby, or arrange for a special wake-up call from Mickey Mouse himself.
Some notable renovations of the Disneyland Hotel began with the introduction of the Big Thunder Suite, a special suite themed after the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad attraction at Disneyland park. Another specialty themed suite, the Pirates of the Caribbean suite, was also introduced in 2010 and features all of the decor and ambiance you would expect from a room modeled after a pirate theme! The Mickey Mouse Penthouse Suite, decorated with all things Mickey, was also made available for bookings in 2010 and features floor to ceiling windows with breathtaking views of the theme parks and surrounding area.
More recently, the Disneyland Hotel welcomed two new restaurants onto the property – Tangeroa Terrace and Trader Sam’s – Enchanted Tiki Bar. Tangeroa Terrace features plenty of casual dining options for breakfast, lunch and dinner with tropical inspired fare, while Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar will feature a delicious array of beverages (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and tasty bar fare. Both restaurants opened May 25, 2011.
Finally, on May 29 2011, the Disneyland Hotel opened their brand new water play area, which expands on their pool renovation. The new water play area includes the classic Disneyland block signage, as well as the exciting monorail water slides and a D-Ticket themed swimming pool. Additional developments that are slated to open later this year include the E-Ticket pool, (opening in the spot of the former Neverland pool), Mickey and Minnie themed spas, six new poolside cabanas with flat-screen tv’s, phones, fridges and fans and re-theming of some of the hotel’s suites.