Saturday, June 14, 2008

Official Grand Opening, Disneyland Hotel August 25th, 1956

Although the Disneyland Hotel opened for business on October 5th, 1955, the "official" grand opening took place in late August of 1956. This was after the Hotel's shops and restaurants were opened and three additional graden structures were added to the grounds. The Hotel now had over 200 rooms, a full slate of shops and restaurants, an Olympic-Size swimming pool and tram service to and from Disneyland Park. The Hotel was near or at capacity nearly every night and was regularly turning away guests due to lack of rooms. This grand opening was a star studded affair and featured some of Hollywood's biggest stars. Walt Disney also attended the festivities himself. Pictures of Helen Alvarez on the grounds are extremely hard to find. She did not regularly show up at the Hotel and in fact, began to feud with the Wrather's almost from the day the Disneyland Hotel opened for business. The partnership (after many litigations) dissolved in early 1958. Souvenirs that have Wrather-Alvarez Hotels stamped on them are certainly the rarest and most valuable of collectible items from the Hotel's past.

Alan Ladd, Helen Alvarez, Jack Wrather, Bonita Granville-Wrather and a sideways Mazie Wrather cut the ribbon at the Disneyland Hotel's official grand opening ceremony in August of 1956

The two principal and majority owners of the original Disneyland Hotel, Mr. Jack Wrather and Miss Helen Alvarez in this newly found gala opening day event photo for the Disneyland Hotel

The Disneyland Hotel's official grand opening. From left to right, Bonita Granville-Wrather, Helen Alvarez, Jack Wrather, Mazie Wrather (Jack's mother), Yvonne DeCarlo and William Bendix in this newly found photo.

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