Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Disneyland Hotel Expansion

Not surprisingly, as Disneyland grew, so too did the Disneyland Hotel. With new features, shows, attractions and additions to Disneyland, attendance also grew creating demand for lodging for guests. Disneyland added three new major attractions for 1959: the Monorail (which would soon play a huge part in the Disneyland Hotel's plans), the Matterhorn and the Submarine Ride. These were all opened in the Summer of 1959. The Disneyland Hotel would add two new North Garden Structures to help accomodate the guests expected for the 1959 Summer season . This would be the largest configuration of rooms in the traditional two-story Garden Structures makeup of the Hotel. The Hotel now had over 300 rooms and suites. Major changes loomed over the horizon for the Hotel. These pictures represent the last that would be seen of the motor-hotel/motel format as originally planned by Jack Wrather and Walt Disney in 1955. Soon, Jack Wrather would begin looking up and Walt Disney would utilize his mass-transportation plan he had envisoned with the Monorail.

Interesting notes on these pictures. If you look in the 1959 shots, there is freshly ground dirt at the spot of the original "Littel Gourmet" restaurant. This was the quickly converted ranch-house (original to the Hotel property) that was used as the original dining facility on the property until the actual "Gourmet" was opened in mid-1956. It had been used mainly as a storage facility after the "Gourmet" was opened. This area is directly below the Richfield Service Station in the lower right of the close-up pictures. In the 1960 picture, this area has been freshly paved and lined for additional Hotel parking.

In the 1959 close-up picture, there are cars parked where two new North Garden structures would soon be added. When writing the book there was somewhat of a mystery as to just when these last two structures were built and opened for business. This June 1960 overhead shot clearly shows the last two structures open for business with cars parked directly in front of them. In several early Hotel publications, it was printed that 1961 was the opening of the last two Garden structures.

In exactly one year from this June 1960 photograph, the Hotel would undergo major changes. See previous postings on 1961.

My thanks to Chris Jepsen from the Orange County Archives for these photographs.

Just prior to Hotel expansion in 1960

Fresh ground at site of "Little Gourmet Restaurant." cars parked where two new Garden Structures would be added.

June 1960 Overhead Disneyland Hotel/Disneyland, Before the Monorail, Before Golf facilities. The largest configuration of rooms prior to the addition of the Tower Buildings.

Two new Garden Structures, paved over original "Little Gourmet Restaurant" location

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