Disneyland Resort, a resort area located in Anaheim, CA, is one of the most popular vacation destinations for tourists, and encompasses two theme parks, three hotels and a shopping/dining/entertainment area for visitors to enjoy. When the resort initially opened in 1955, the resort was simply known as Disneyland, but the company wanted to transform Disneyland into a multi-park, multi-hotel business to rival that of Walt Disney World’s success.
So, in the 1990’s, Disney executives began talking about an expansion for Disneyland. At the time, Disneyland Resort had one theme park and one hotel (the Disneyland Hotel,) but the company wanted to create another park for visitors to come to. Initially, the Disney company planned to build WestCOT, a theme park based on Epcot Center in Walt Disney World. However, the company was unable to finance the project, so WestCOT was canceled in 1995. During a three-day company retreat after the cancellation of WestCOT, the idea for a California-based theme park was born – dubbed Disney’s California Adventure, the company felt that this additional theme park, as well as their plans to build more hotels and a shopping district, would transform Disneyland Resort into something even more magical.
Construction for the new theme park began in 1998. In addition to the construction of Disney California Adventure, the company also began work on a brand new hotel – Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel, as well as Downtown Disney, a retail district. The existing Disneyland Pacific Hotel was renamed to match the theme of the new park, and was dubbed Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel.
Most of the construction for the Disneyland Resort expansion was completed in 2001, and Disney’s California Adventure officially opened to the public that same year. However, the new park was slammed with negative reviews, which impacted attendance numbers. The Disney company was never able to meet their projected attendance goals, and visitors to the park were on the decline.
During this time, several other attractions were added or refurbished at the original Disneyland Park, including updates for both Space Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean. Then, in 2007, Disney announced plans for a $1 billion California Adventure expansion to transform the second park in Disneyland Resort into the visitor magnet it was intended to be when it first opened.
Despite the fact that Disneyland Resort’s business model was revamped to be more like Walt Disney World’s multi-park and multi-hotel layout, transportation around the resort is very quick and simple. Unlike Walt Disney World, everything within the Disneyland Resort complex is within walking distance. The Disneyland Monorail System offers transportation to and from Tomorrowland, as well as areas inside Disneyland park as well as the Downtown Disney district. Otherwise, guests can get around to the separate areas very easily simply by walking to their next destination. There are also shuttles available to take guests to off-site hotels and to various parking structures.
Disneyland Resort has come a long way since its opening in 1955, and with the expansion of the second theme park, Disney’s California Adventure, the popular tourist destination continues to grow.