Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Very Rare, Very Early Photos

While conducting research recently, I found the following photographs which are no doubt personal photographs and show the Wrather family (Chris, Jack III, undientified lady) at the Disneyland Hotel during construction and very early on (my guess 1955 or 1956). These are very unique and rare photographs and I hope to find more of them.

Photo above shows construction on the restaurant/administrative wing of the Hotel which would have been late 1955 to early 1956. The station wagon that Chris and Jackie are standing next do is the same one that is on the Disneyland Hotel postcard which I will add at the bottom of this thread.

Photo above shows the electrical tower which was south of the Disneyland Hotel complex.
Photo above shows the very first guest structures from the Original Disneyland Hotel. These five structures had 100 guest rooms.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

1965 Tower Annex Groundbreaking

A couple of photos from this 1965 event in which I don't think have been widely seen,

The Tower Annex project would double the size of the first tower building at the Disneyland Hotel. The structure would simply "bolt-up" next to the existing tower...right where those folks are looking out the window in the lower picture. In fact, if you walk in the first floor hallway just past the main elevators, you can feel where the floor slightly rises/lowers where the two buildings were joined. Check it out!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

1956 Opening Day Photo

Haven't posted in a while so how about a photo. This one is from opening day in August 1956. Can you name the people in this picture?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

1985 Oriental Gardens

Mid 1980's saw the Disneyland Hotel re-open 52 new themed rooms in 4 of the original structures to the Hotel. These rooms had earlier been converted to offices, storage and other uses including an arcade. The demand for rooms necessitated this change. The Christmas card featuring the addition of the new "Oriental Gardens" listed below is from a very good friend who was an executive at the resort for close to 40 years. A short time later, the Hotel would also begin a restructure of the North Garden units converting some units into two room suites with adjoining conference rooms. Next, I will post some pictures of this change in the North Gardens as well.

Please help to keep the ability to share the history of the World's Most Exciting Hotel alive by considering a purchase of our book

Reprints of our first book will be available shortly.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

E Versions Available

We now have an e-version (delivered to you electronically) of our first book Disneyland Hotel The Early Years 1954-1988 available for download. Additionally, we will soon be offering a never released e-version of a project we had created called "Addendums" which essentially were to be additions to our first book using new text and photographs supplemented with existing text and photographs. We only created one "Addendum" covering 1954 to October 1955 and again it was never released. For details, please contact us at or see our website for contact information. E-versions are in PDF.

We are also getting an e-version of our second book, Disneyland Hotel 1954-1959 The Little Motel in the Middle of the Orange Grove shortly.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Milestones at the Disneyland Hotel 1967 & 1972

Check-In is my favorite magazine from the original Disneyland Hotel. It ran from about 1965 until around 1973, exact dates unknown. It contained so many articles, details and photographs from this period at the Disneyland Hotel. I used my copies (about 50 different issues) for many key pieces of information in my first book on the Hotel. Several pictures too. Here are two that show important milestones....the 3,000,000 and 5,000,000 visitors at the Disneyland Hotel on the Check-In covers.

And now a very funny story on the 5,000,000th visitor cover. The folks pictured were not the actual 5 millionth guests. Seems a gentlemen and lady checked in and the streamers were launched and the band played with a Hotel exec popping out with champagne and other goodies in hand. The gentleman quickly hushed the exec and informed him the lady he was with was not his wife and to choose someone else. They quickly cleaned up and gave the distinction to the next "actual" family who showed up. True story.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

1963 Overheads

Here are some 1963 overheads....some with "Hotel Disneyland" at the top of the building and some with it not yet installed. I am trying to pin down the exact date in which this project was finished. I do know a permit was issued by the city of Anaheim to install a sign at the top of the Tower building at the Disneyland Hotel in late August of 1963.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Photo Identification

Here is what I am hoping will be a fun identification game. Can anybody spot an interesting thing contained within the picture posted below? Click on picture to enlarge.

Yes it is Walt Disney at the Disneyland Hotel!

Friday, June 1, 2012

1956 Still Images From Film Footage

I found another film from the Disneyland Hotel's past. These are from Wrather family home movies and date back to 1956. I am guessing May or June, 1956 as they are still working on construction and there is not a lot of landscaping. The pool had just opened.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

In Room Ads 1970's

Placards placed in rooms to announce Disneyland Hotel attractions are very sought after collectibles these days. The one pictured below dates from some time in the early 70's. Usually printed with a feature on either side they helped guests by announcing times and locations of the numerous amenities at the Hotel.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Wrather Personal Family Photos

Here is a collection of personal family photos taken either at the Disneyland Hotel or at Disneyland Park.

This first shot was used in the Wrather family's 1959 Christmas Card.

Next up were taken from the family's favorite attraction, Peter Pan.

Here is another family photo taken at the Disneyland Hotel around 1960.
Also from 1959, Bonita Granville-Wrather with son Christopher at the Disneyland Hotel.
Last one of the batch is from August 1964 and features Jack Wrather again with son Christopher.
Interesting fact about this picture.....the "Hotel Disneyland" lettering featured at the top of the first tower building had been only installed at this point for under a year. When the Tower was expanded in 1966, there would be enough room to fit the word Disneyland to the left of the looking glass elevator.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012