Friday, December 25, 2009

1958 Disneyland/Disneyland Hotel Film

I had another reel of film converted to DVD and have posted some of the still images from it. I saved over 100 shots so I will be posting more. This was 1958 and depending on the time of the year (crowds were sparce at Disneyland in other shots) the Hotel had either a little over 300 rooms or a little over 330 rooms. A fourth Garden Structure was added in 1958 increasing the room total to 334.

Guest leaving room

Administration Building 1958

Tram at the Disneyland Hotel 1958

Hotel Tram 1958

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Restaurant Ads 1970

The below ads came from a 1970 Disneyland Hotel Check-In magazine dated September-October 1970. The new Marina Tower had been open less than a year.

My website is

Monorail Bar ad 1970

1970 ad for the Top of the Park lounge

Coffee House Ad 1970 - The Coffee House would later become the Monorail Cafe.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Cove

An excerpt from our book The Disneyland Hotel: The Early Years 1954-1988

The Cove (later called Papeete Beach) was a swimming pool that appeared to be a tropical lagoon with a beach of white sand (imported crystal silica), lined with palm trees. This 3,800 square foot pool was built on two levels. A rock formation in the center was both a waterfall and a slide from the upper to the lower level. Anthony, the world's largest pool builder constructed the pool. Next to the Cove was a tropical tidal pool. The Tidal Pool was a wading and splashing area for the younger set. The area had timing machines that created tides on cue. To achieve realistic rock formations for the pool, noted sculptor Greg La Chapelle spent months searching the California coastline from Laguna Beach to Santa Barbara to find interesting and unusual rock formations, many encrusted with ancient sea creatures. He would apply a plaster cast to an interesting formation and later reproduce the cast in concrete at the Hotel.

The Cove Early 70's - A view from the southwest corner of the Disneyland Hotel property.

Water World at the Disneyland Hotel

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

August 1970 Family Photographs

Today's entry features personal family photographs from Annette Brown (taken by her family) when she was just 6 years old at the Disneyland Hotel in August of 1970. She wrote and told me she only remembered one tower building (Sierra Tower) when she visited in the summer of '69, one year earlier, which was when construction of the Marina Tower had just begun. These 1970 photos were taken just six months after the Marina Tower and Marina had opened. Construction was still in progress on the Cove area in the southwest section of the property. Thanks very much Annette for sharing these treasures with all the blog readers.

Annette Brown at 5 years of age in front of the Cove at the Disneyland Hotel. Construction is still visible in the background of this photograph.

August 1970 view from the Sierra Tower - A full summer parking lot at Disneyland. The pool at the Hotel also looks pretty crowded.

August 1970 view from the Sierra Tower - The Olympic Pool down below and Disneyland off in the distance. The putting green is also visible at the bottom of the picture.

Nice view from the Sierra Tower showing the Plaza Building on the right and some of the Garden Rooms on the northeast section of the Hotel property. A golf cart is also visible taking guests to and from their rooms at the bottom left.

From the southwest corner of the Hotel property with the Marina Tower on the left and Sierra Tower on the right.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

1965 Tencennial Disneyland Newspaper Supplement

A couple of pictures which were contained in the newspaper insert for the tenth anniversary of Disneyland published in 1965.

Monorail at the Disneyland Hotel - The lone Tower Building in its earliest iteration at the Disneyland Hotel.

From the Disneyland Tencennial Guide in 1965. Plans were underway to double the size of the Tower Building at the Disneyland Hotel.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Plaza Building Shops

Mall and Plaza Shops - Cover of Mall and Plaza Shops Brochure from the 1980's

Thursday, November 26, 2009

First Addendum is Finished!

The first addendum to the book Disneyland Hotel: The Early Years 1954-1988 is finished and at the printer. Please check the website for details on release date. It came out even better than I thought. The addendums will essentially be a complete rewrite of the book. These will contain new (old) photos, text and details not contained within the original book as well as the original photos we did have in the book. This will fill in many of the gaps we had while writing the book and will enable the enlargement of many of the pictures we had to reduce due to size constraints and time limitations, not to mention the new photos included we have since received. Each addendum will cover select sections of the book and go into much further detail on events and happenings. I am very happy with how this first edition came out. A limited number of copies will be available very soon. Again, please check the website for further details.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Plaza Building at the Disneyland Hotel

At the request of several viewers of this blog, I have posted some new Plaza Building pictures below. Thanks for your input and I hope you like these pictures.

Check-In Magazine - Pre-opening ad on the Plaza Building at the Disneyland Hotel.

Check-In Magazine - In the late 60's, the Disneyland Hotel magazine Check-In featured a story on shopping at the Plaza Building.

Here is a close-up showing a partial tennants list at the Plaza Building at the Disneyland Hotel. Does anybody remember any of these?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Back to Posting

My son asked me to start posting again. I have a bunch of new goodies to share and will be posting tonight. Some great overhead shots I had never seen before.

1966 Overhead - Construction of the Anaheim Convention Center. This pic also shows the Disneyland South Gate/Katella Gate.

1960's Overhead - A very full Disneyland parking lot in this early 60's overhead. The Hotel is in the left center.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Disneyland Hotel

October 5th, 1955 the Disneyland Hotel opens with 7 rooms while an 8th was used as the original office. Happy 54th birthday Disneyland Hotel!

Watch our website for some important announcements and updates:

Thursday, October 1, 2009

1988 Restaurant Brochure

Front cover of a Disneyland Hotel restaurant brochure from 1988, the year Wrather and Disney worked out the details to sell the Hotel.

Neon Cactus sure brings back some memories

Some of the many restaurants at the Disneyland Hotel

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Early 60's Monorail Yellow

Monorail Yellow leaving the Disneyland Hotel station. I guess the guy in the second car didn't hear the message to keep your arms and legs inside. I used to love looking out my Garden Room at the Monorail going by. The distinctive sound of the Monorail horn was strangely not an annoyance. We would come back mid-day and take a relaxing break in our air-conditioned room or maybe head over to the Monorail Cafe for a burger and shake. This was probably the only place in the world I didn't mind to shop. Of course the Olympic Size pool was also very nice to cool off in. The Hotel was so fun in its original configuration and I sure do miss it. This photo is part of Bill Cotter's collection and I thank him for allowing me to use it.

Warning!!! - "Please keep your arms and legs inside the Monorail car at all times"

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Hotel Tram

The Disneyland Hotel tram arriving to pick up guests. Again from Bill Cotter's won derful collection of photos available on Ebay.

Richfield became Arco and the station at the Hotel changed accordingly (middle right).

Friday, September 25, 2009

Marina at the Disneyland Hotel

Does anybody have any idea what that flying saucer looking device is on the right middle of this photograph?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tower Annex 1965 and 1966

Today's posting features groundbreak photos from the Tower Annex project in 1965 as well as the completed building with Hotel owner Jack Wrather & Hotel exec Frank Bret. The project would cost $5.5 million and would include the Plaza Building complex. The Hotel now had over 600 rooms and suites.

The Tower Annex Building - Jack Wrather and Hotel General Manager Frank Bret pose with the new Tower Annex building in the background.

The Disneyland Band plus unidentified speaker at the 1965 Disneyland Hotel groundbreaking for the Tower Annex project.

Jack Wrather addresses the gathering at the 1965 groundbreaking ceremony for the Disneyland Hotel Tower Annex project.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Marina Tower Construction

Very early on in the Marina Tower Construction

1969 photo of the Marina Tower Construction

Monday, September 14, 2009

1977 Groundbreaking

Groundbreak Festivities of the final tower at the Disneyland Hotel

The Bonita Tower Groundbreak Ceremony

Monday, August 10, 2009

Disneyland Hotel Postcards

Tonight I posted some Disneyland Hotel postcards on the blog. My friend has a site dedicated to Disneyland and Disneyland Hotel postcards this link will take you to the Hotel section.

I'll post more of these soon. for our official website and for our book.

Monday, July 27, 2009

1957 Vintage Footage From The Disneyland Hotel

Tonight, I am displaying some great still shots from some 16 mm film footage of the Disneyland Hotel from 1957 which I recently had converted to DVD. I now have over 100 (at least) new images from this footage and these are shots from rare areas not usually seen. This footage was professionally shot and features images of the first lobby, the shops area (includng the interiors of a couple of shops), the gardens, the Hotel signs, the Gourmet Restaurant, the Tram loading zone, the playground, the putting green and some great interior room shots. As if that weren't enough, you can follow the events of a beautiful, statuesque blonde as she drives up to the Hotel then tours the grounds. She resembles Marilyn Monroe but I do not know who she is. Hope you like these shots. You can check my website for a picture of her and below. I believe this footage was to be used for a TV commercial but I can't be sure.

Watch my website because I just may make this DVD available as well as many of the images from the footage.

Disneyland Bonus Pics from 1957

Monday, June 22, 2009

Other Hotels

Tonight I have added some great pictures from the Charter House Hotel circa 1962. I want to also display some of the other local area facilities to show the competition the Disneyland Hotel faced and just in case you may have stayed in one of these other facilities. A common theme in mail I get is, for most folks, the Disneyland Hotel was just too expensive when they visited Disneyland. I'll try and display some other great spots. Hope these also bring back some great memories.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Need Your Help! Please Respond.

To everybody who reads this blog.

I am creating addendums to my book Disneyland Hotel The Early Years 1954-1988 These addendums will feature news and events that did not make it into the book that will hopefully fill in some of the gaps in the Disneyland Hotel story and provide many new images depicting the Hotel's rich history. I have accumulated a large amount of ephemera, photos, documents, brochures and such since the book came out and did not want to really create an updated new version of the book. I did this mainly to help those interested in the history of the Hotel with regard to the cost of an updated book. The addendums will be priced right and folks can buy whichever issues they are interested in.

I have two distinct ideas in mind as to what each issue will contain.

First idea is to write them chronologically starting with the idea to build the Disneyland Hotel and all activities up to the first opening (announcement, groundbreaking, pre-opening brochures, delays, overhead shots) on October 5th, 1955. Next issue would start on the first opening day and go until the end of 1956......and so on.

Second idea is to create addendums with a mixed bag of stories, pictures and events from the Hotel's history with no central dates or themes....sort of like the E Ticket magazine.

Each issue will contain 20-24 pages (maybe more) and I hope to put out 4-6 issues each year. Again, these will feature new information and photos from the Hotel's past that were not in the book. I may duplicate some photos to help with stories or enhance the before and after affect.

Please let me know which version you would prefer to see....either respond to this blog or send me an email My apologies to those who have already reserved first issues, I am working hard to get these out right away.

Thanks very much!

Donald W. Ballard

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Back From Vacation

Just got back from a wonderful (outside of the rain) vacation aboard the Disney Magic on a cruise in the Caribbean. I will resume posting right away. I am taking requests on what you would like to see.

Our website is

Thursday, May 7, 2009

August 1970

Some great personal family photos were sent to me by Annnette Brown of Southern California from two trips her family went on in 1969 and 1970. This was just before and just after the Marina Tower had been constructed and opened changing the Hotel's address from West Street to Cerritos with a brand new, spacious lobby.

If anybody else would like to send family photos from a stay at the World's Most Exciting Hotel, please do so and I would be happy to post them. Personal photos often show things not ordinarily seen from the Hotel's history like tonight's post of construction in the Cove area of the Hotel. is our website. If you want a book, betetr hurry up as we are almost out and we are not anticipating a reprint.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Late 1960's Conference Rooms

Today, I added some great (and very rare) internal conference room pictures to the blog. The brochure is from 1969 so the shots could be from 1967-1969 based on past experiences with photos used by the Disneyland Hotel publicity department. These were taken just prior to the building and opening of the Marina Tower in 1970. I am hoping Mr. Kittle can confirm if one of them is from the Oak Room conference center. I did see the room advertised in the brochure. It looks pretty elaborate just like the Oak Room itself. The room with the pool outside is a real mystery to me. for our book on the history of the Disneyland Hotel.

Monday, April 13, 2009

1956 Hotel Brochure

Tonight I have posted pictures of the rare 1956 pink & black Disneyland Hotel brochure. This is the last I need and now my brochure collection (obsession) is now complete. I have posted the brochure inside and out to show you all the details listed inside.

My website is

I will be adding more content to my website as well as an update on the book addendums which are progressing nicely. Drop me a line if you are intersetd in a book addendum. Issues 1 & 2 are sold out but we may add another print run once they are finalized.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Disneyland Hotel 1965

It's 1965 and the Disneyland Hotel is expanding again. Work has begun on the new Tower addition which would double the size of this building and increas the Hotel's capacity to over 600 rooms. It would also allow for the building to be properly named "Disneyland Hotel." Due to the location of the glass elevator, the words at the top of the first tower stated "Hotel Disneyland." Disneyland and the Disneyland Hotel celebrated ten year anniversaries in 1965.

Please visit my website for more on the history of the Disneyland Hotel.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

And Still More Personal Photographs.....

I love these personal pictures. is the website for the book Disneyland Hotel The Early Years 1954-1988. It's out of print with very few copies available.

Got this from someone today:

Just ordered your book thru your website (finally - big procrastinator) but I thought you'd be interested to see what it was going for on Amazon!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Some new original photographs

Today, I wanted to thank Bill Cotter for allowing me to share some great, original shots of the Original Disneyland Hotel from his own personal files. Bill some times has these pictures on disk on Ebay auctions and if you get a chance, you should get them while you can. His shots are always in beautiful living color and show great detail of areas not often displayed any more. Bill's book "The Wonderful World of Disney Televeison" is also a must have in my opinion. It's a tremendous resource for any Disney enthusist with great details on the shows. Thanks very much Bill and maybe you could write in and share a website address so others could see?

History of the original Disneyland Hotel:

Monday, February 23, 2009

How About it?

Does anyone out there have any photographs of Walt Disney and Jack Wrather taken together? The one I posted below is the only picture I know to exist. I would have to believe there were more than one picture of these two taken together. Let's see it if you have it.

I did just find another photograph. See below. Taken at nearly the same time but different. Still waiting for any others that may be out there.

At the "official" Grand Opening of the Disneyland Hotel in August, 1956

A rare color shot of Walt Disney and Jack Wrather at the Hotel's opening in 1956

Close-up of the ribbon Jack Wrather is wearing "Host Disneyland Hotel Opening"