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Disneyland Hotel Makeover

Heather Hust Rivera

by , Vice President, Consumer Products

Big news…Today we’re sharing details and concept art that will give the Disneyland Hotel a fun, fresh makeover. The pool area is getting a whole new look, including a brand-new pool, all-new immersive water play area and a complete redesign of the Never Land Pool. Plans also call for a new restaurant and bar, and re-theming of the hotel’s three guest room towers.

The biggest transformation (and what I’m most looking forward to) are the changes coming to the pool area. With a nod to the iconic original park signage, “Disneyland” will be spelled out in familiar blocks atop a platform supporting two huge water slides (the larger slide will be 26 feet high and will stretch 187 feet before it plunges into a splash pool below). Reminiscent of the original Monorail station at the Disneyland Hotel, at each slide’s entrance will sit a replica Monorail Car that guests will glide through as they twist and turn their way to the pool below. The pool will also feature a third, two-lane mini slide, perfect for little ones, which is just 3 1/2 feet high and is 19 feet long.

Never Land Pool

The Never Land Pool will receive a complete cosmetic makeover but will retain its unique shape. A new, four-foot deep pool will be built between the Never Land Pool and the water play area. A footbridge will stretch over this new pool, connecting both sides of the courtyard area and giving easy access across the property. Six new cabanas will also be added. To help you visualize all these exciting, new changes, here’s a rendering from an aerial view.

Aerial View: Never Land Pool

And that’s not all! Two new dining locations will be introduced in the current location of Hook’s Pointe, Croc’s Bites and Bits, the Wine Cellar and the Lost Bar. A new “smart casual” dining concept will feature Tahitian architecture that is reminiscent of the ’50s and ’60s era of the hotel and the original Tahitian Terrace restaurant in Disneyland park. A new bar will draw on the adventure theme from the Jungle Cruise attraction.

The new water play area, pool and dining locations are scheduled to be completed by summer 2011, and the remodeled Never Land Pool is slated to be completed by summer 2012.

The hotel’s three guest room towers will be renamed to reflect Disneyland park’s distinctive lands. The Dreams Tower, currently under renovation and scheduled to be completed in 2010, will become the Adventure Tower. The Wonder Tower, next to undergo transformation and slated for completion in 2011, will be the Frontier Tower, and the Magic Tower, which will be finished in 2012, will become the Fantasy Tower. A large marquee featuring classic artwork for Adventureland, Frontierland and Fantasyland will identify each tower.

Now that you’ve heard about all these changes, what are you most excited about?


  • I’m excited about the slides HOWEVER… Please please please keep the koi ponds and waterfalls. It is something I look forward to seeing each and every time I stay at Disneyland Hotel. I would gladly give up the slides to keep the falls. πŸ™

  • What will be done with the koi fish? We stayed at the resort for our honeymoon 11 years ago and would love to have a Disney fish for our pond!

  • Please don’t remove the waterfalls and koi pond, they are the most magical part of the Disneyland Hotel. I think there is a major opportunity here to refurbish and incorporate them into the new theme.

  • The new plans look amazing & the water slides – WOW!!!! We have always stayed at the Grand California. On a trip a few yrs back we extended our stay and were moved to the DL Hotel. Althought it was “cute”, the experience was not pleasant. There were long waits for the elevators, a hot water main break above our room that flooded our room & the hotel manager didn’t want to compensate us! Usually Disney goes above and beyond. Will the mechanicals in the hotel be updated as well?

  • Wow! These are going to be great! I love the retro theme and all the new water fun. I really really wish you could keep the waterfalls and koi ponds as many others have stated here, they are such an integral and unique part of the hotels and their history. They really do set a wonderful mood and I have so many memories of walking through the area and feeling I was in a truly special place.

  • I am trying to weigh the pros and cons of the new layout. Practically speaking, while I do enjoy the Peter Pan theming of the pool- during the peak seasons there is NOT enough seating and swimming area. No one wants to pay the money for the DLH and then be crowded out. So yes, there is a NEED for more pool swimming and seating space. The slides will become popular I’m sure.

    I’m glad to see that the water..thingy.. in the back by Wonder tower will be gone and become grass, but I just don’t understand why both the koi ponds and waterfall have to go. The koi ponds fit really well with tahitian theming.. is there some way to incorporate those by the resturant area (even if smaller in size). (I’m not clear if what is Hooke’s Point right now is what will be the tahitian rest. but I assume so)

    I think the pool and slides idea in general is a plus, but I just dont understand trading the volleyball area and the cove pools for a big area of grass…. I means that’s ALOT more grass than is currently anywhere on the grounds.

    Please, please reconsider keeping the waterfalls. It’s one of the pluses when you find out you’ve been assigned to the back tower, and it really adds wonderful ambiance to the grounds. I hate to see some of the current feeling of quiet, peace, and oasis replaced for … alot of grass.

  • I’ve stayed at the Disneyland hotel twice in the past five years, and wandered the grounds for many many years. Please, the waterfalls and koi ponds were so cool after a day at the park. And as a longtime DL fan, first visit when I was 8 in 1957…please…Skull Rock!!! I was so sad when it went away from Fantasyland, along with the Chicken of the Sea ship, and so delighted to find it back when swimming in the Neverland Pool. If you are keeping anything, please, please, keep Skull Rock.

  • Oh, I will very much miss the Neverland Pool! I loved looking out at night and seeing the pirate ship sails lit up and the image of tinkerbell on the bottom of the pool. This was one reason why I stayed at the Disneyland Hotel. I loved the sound of the birds when everything was quiet too. Too bad and very sad to see it go.

  • I love it. The imagineers knocked this one out of the park. If only they could find a way to build something like it at WDW!!! (I know, I know, they have 32 hotels already and they want to keep each resort unique)

  • As a Wonder Tower fan, nothing beats walking past the waterfalls at the end of the day on the way home. Overall I think the new plans look amazing but it will be sad to loose the tranquility of the waterfalls. I look forward to visiting in Dec 2011 to enjoy the new Disneyland Hotel.

  • This is excellent. As part of the D23 crowd, I’m pleased to see the old Disneyland sign coming back in this new way. (John Stamos wouldn’t sell ya back the original one, huh?) Disney is really beginning to figure out the right balance between things that are new and current and things that are nostalgic (e.g. the new/retro Monorails, or skewing World Of Color for a younger audience, and at the same time re-theming the Grizzly River Run queue to be more retro.) This is a perfect place for a little nostalgia.

    Will there be DVC units at the Disneyland Hotel when the remodeling is all finished?

  • I like the retro nods with the monorail slides and sign platform. But I do find it interesting that you guys are going the retro route while changing the tower names yet again. Why not celebrate the Disneyland Hotel’s own history by going back to the original names ofr the towers? Plenty of theming can be done within them to tie the whyole resort together (I’d love to stay on the Haunted Mansion theme floor!). It’s especially odd since there isn’t even a Tomorrow or Main Street tower.

  • So are Hook’s Ship and Skull Rock being removed completely? Cause it would definitely still work with the Disneyland Nostalgia theme of the redesign seeing as they’re loose recreations of that old Fantasyland icon.

  • Sorry guys, not too impressed. Those waterfalls have a very special place in my heart, along with that awesome underwater arcade. I was okay with the pond and arcade going away, but the removal of the waterfalls is truely a sad moment. My family sometimes had to stay off property, but we would still find time to walk over to the waterfalls and take a stroll. With the removal, there’s no reason for us to take a stroll over there anymore.

    For people staying at the hotel, this would definitely be a plus, and a minus.

  • NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Why must you get rid of the Koi Ponds, they are beatufull, adds so much to the area and it doesn’t make sense to destroy real nostalgia for fake nostalgia. πŸ™

  • We are also going to REALLY miss the waterfalls. That was our favorite part of staying at the Disneyland Hotel (and one reason why we justified spending so much to stay there). It is something that is very unique and can’t be found elsewhere. The pool is nice, but we really wish you could find a way to keep the waterfalls!!

  • I remember staying at the Disneyland Hotel back in 1983. We actually stayed in the side 2 story part of the hotel that is no longer there. It is now parking lot and downtown Disney. I so loved the whole theme between the hotle towers. There was a huge “lagoon” of sorts almost a bay if you want to call it. There was a nice wood pier and paddle boats, electric motor boats and sail boats you could rent. Then way in the back corner past the waterfalls was the ‘Dancing Waters’. We watched them every night. I was so disappointed when I went back as a mom with my family in 2007. The Dancing waters area was so sad looking and in shambles. The big bay area gone. πŸ™ It is sad to see it change but I am glad it is being finally renovated. Disneyland hotel should be kept in a magical state and kept up with the rest of the park. I am looking forward to the new additions and seeing the new ideas the imagineers have for us. Sorry to see the Peter Pan theme go, for he is my favorite. Maybe they’ll bring back more of Peter Pan into the park again?! πŸ˜€ Thanks Disney for all you do to make the magic continue for us all!

  • I’m really going to miss getting “lost” at the Lost Bar. Do we know when the bar will close for renovations? I was planning on celebrating there the night before my brother’s wedding at the end of September.

  • I’m really going to miss the waterfalls. They’re one of the coolest spots in the whole resort and something that’s been there and remained magical since I was child.

    But these improvements look great.

  • really like the look of most of the improvements although ive seen pics of the new renovations of the hotel and definitely don’t like the no windows/mini balcony (as soon as we check in my mom and i like to stand out there and take everything in) I’m really going to MISS THE WATERFALLS!!!!! going to that area was like entering a new world it was also a nice place to take a walk and stay cool from the spray. personally I’d rather they stayed more than having another pool to swim in.

  • It great that Disney continues to try to make the resort more enjoyable for their guests but it is truely unfortunate that we will loose the Lost Bar in this renovation – It’s been a nice resting place away from the crowds for me for many years…

  • I do want to say that I LOVE the Tiki theme idea of the new Restaurant (really miss the one in DL – used to go all the time!)& am SO excited about the Jungle Cruise theming of the new bar!! Those will both completely add to the ambiance in that serene & romantic courtyard area – I really hope the background music will extend outside the buildings themselves as well! My most favorite Disney venue of all time is the former Adventurer’s Club bar at WDW’s Pleasure Island & I miss it terribly. Hopefully there will be some similar eclectic atmosphere inside this new one! I’m very excited about the theming there for SURE!
    But while I do realize that the newly remodeled rooms are more soundproof & the windows won’t open (very sad about that because it was wonderful to be able to have fresh air & in the old days, the sounds of music would even drift into the rooms!), I am truly hoping the relative “quiet” is preserved in the courtyard area. Wandering the pathways is/was so romantic and relaxing – being able to go behind the waterfall, even just lying on a lounge chair with a drink in hand…
    Having such a flashy, splashy water pool in that area will seriously detract from the overall ambiance… not to mention the view! For most adults that travel without children (& many who travel with), this will not be a good location for those slides at all. πŸ™

  • My thoughts on this are two-fold. While I agree that a water park area is a welcome addition (and I do love the retro look), I am wholeheartedly against it being so close to the hotels themselves! (Why not put this on the “outside” area by the wedding chapel??)
    To our family, the hotel is an oasis of calm amidst the “madness” of the parks – a place to ESCAPE the hustle & bustle! We LOVE the view of the lit pirate ship, wandering through the waterfall area, & the koi pond!! It is peaceful & serene – just what most people need after a rushed day of crowds & attractions. The LAST thing the hotels need is more noise & activity.
    People “escape” to their hotel rooms for napping & relaxing, to rejuvinate before heading back out to the hectic frenzy. By locating such a huge water slide feature so close to the towers, you take completely away from the “hidden” sanctuary that was the courtyard.
    PLEASE PLEASE locate this more towards Downtown Disney – or at LEAST over by the wedding chapel grounds. Keep the area surrounded by the towers a place of calm & relative quiet.
    I am NOT saying I don’t like the ideas – I’m just saying PLEASE just locate them AWAY from the “serenity/sanity” inner courtyard area!

  • Um, I will totally eat at the Tahitian Terrace restaurant every week. I promise. I couldnt be anymore excited.

  • I will really miss the waterfalls. The new additions look cool, but I don’t know if losing the waterfalls will make up for them, especially for someone who’s not actually staying at the hotel.

  • I too will miss the waterfall area with the Koi pond… bummed now. Not all guests are families, and that area was one of the most romantic spots on property…

  • Really love the makeover! I think my favorite will be the Tahitian style dining area. I miss the restaurant that was next to the Tiki Room. I was just a kid, but remember the ice cream sundae with banana chips on top!

  • Oh My Gosh, even more to love about Disneyland.

  • cont ……..

    As many have previously posted, I too agree that the koi ponds and the waterfalls should be incorporated with the new designs. It shouldn’t be taken out completely.

  • The new restaurant and bar looks like a nice casual outdoor place to go and get a bite to eat. The slides look like it will be fun for the kids. Being that I am from the area, I have never stayed at the Disneyland Hotel and probably will never in my lifetime considering how expensive it is, even when there are discounts for AP holders. I will miss Croc’s, The Lost Bar and the waterfalls. Disneyland has always been a special place for me from when I was a child to the adult (kid at heart) that I am today and sometimes it is hard to see some of the changes take place. Disneyland will always be one of my favorite places to go and it’s obvious that it will continue to change but as long as the memories from back in the days are still there I will be happy : ) ……… Queue the music please! LOL

  • I made a post about this last night but it appears that it never showed up. Yes, they are removing the koi ponds and waterfalls. By removing them, I am loosing my favorite area of hotel. I am very sadden that they could not incorporated them into the new pool area. It would have tied in with the new Jungle Cruise bar as an Adult area of the pool. This is one change I am really not on board with.

  • I’ve been wondering why the miniature Jungle Cruise boats were placed where they are, next to the Lost Bar. Now it makes perfect sense!

  • This is great news! Bring back the glory that once was the Disneyland Hotel! Tell them to build fast – I can’t wait.

  • The changes sound great but PLEASE don’t lose the koi pond and waterfalls! That is our favorite part!!!! Makes the Wonder tower a great retreat!

  • How about bringing back the Fantasy Waters show… it is so sad to walk past the swamp there that was once a cutting edge show. I realize it is nothing compared to World of Color, but it was still a fun little light and water show.

  • I love the new designs especially the new slides. I can’t wait to stay when it is all done.

    The one thing I do not like is the loss of the waterfalsl and Koi pond. That will be missed.

    What are they doing with the area where the electric water show in the back area? They just show it as a lot of grass.

  • Does that mean that all of the Koi ponds, waterfalls and garden walks will be be removed. I for one love the existing Disneyland Hotel Gardens. The changes look very cool, but tell me some of what is there will remain.

  • I can’t wait, although I’ll be sad about losing the waterfall walkway – it’s a family favorite. What really disappoints me thou, I just bought Annual Passports for my family & we’re planning to stay at the hotel a few times over the next year. We typically spend almost as much time at the pool, as we spend at the parks. Does anyone have any idea when the Neverland Pool will be closing down to start up renovations?

  • Great ideas in keeping with the Disneyland tradition. I can’t wait to see what it will look like in person for my first trip to Disneyland!

  • I’m really sorry to see the Peter Pan theme leaving. I think the water slide looks great but I wish they’d kept some of the pirate theme. I really Really miss having tuna sandwiches for lunch at Skull Rock and this was the closest thing to that childhood memory. I think a lot of people are going to really enjoy the new changes but I guess I miss the nostagia of it. I’m glad though that the pool area will be getting new cabannas and attention.

  • As a fan of anything Disney (especially Disneyland!!) for the past 55 years I have come to understand, accept, and welcome the changes and updating of Walt’s Dream that will “never be finished”. I also understand when a part of the park is under-utilized and sadly, this is the case with the waterfalls. It is one of my favorite places too. Cool and serene when everything else is going 100 mph!! My hope would be that a part of it could be preserved or at least a similar design element incorporated in the changes.

    We have enjoyed the “new” rooms in the Sierra, opps, Wonder. oops, Adventure Tower and they are very well done. How about a coat rack on the wall like the Grand California has??? The exterior has a wonderful look without major architectural changes.

    We hope you maintain the “historic” feel in the main lobby area with all of the vintage Disney photos and memorabilia!!

  • Can’t wait to see the new Tahitian restaurant. Hopefully it has a Tiki decor. The Jungle Cruise bar sounds great too. Maybe it’ll be like to old Harry’s Safari Bar at the WDW Dolphin.

  • OMG!!! This is so awesome! I love that water slide, and I’m not even a water slide kind of guy! The new restaurant and bar sound great too. This whole thing is just such an awesome improvement to what is currently a rather tired and dated looking facility. I love the land themed tower names too, another big improvement over names that are already over-used in the Disney Empire. Good news, good news, good news!

  • Most excited about being able to find the bar. That “lost bar” is soooo elusive! πŸ™‚

  • This looks great! I particularly like how the Disneyland Hotel will now pay thematic tribute to its namesake. The new water activities look like they will provide a lot of fun to future guests. It also looks like the landscaping near each tower will reflect their individual themes – nice touch!

    The one thing I think I’ll miss are the little Jungle Cruise boats. I make sure to play these with my family whenever we’re at the resort.

    It also seems like a “Tomorrow” tower is missing from the plans. Future expansion, perhaps? πŸ˜€

  • Can I just say, I LOVE the way that the Imagineers are going through a retro phase and really embracing Disney’s heritage. I think the plans look brilliant, and a very wise decision not to do a Tommorrowland block! (Walt would approve)

    The retro Monorail water slides are my favourite addition.

  • the block letters on top of the slides takes me back to childhood when our family would drive into disneyland you knew you were there once you saw that sign, thats a nice touch

  • I am going to miss the Neverland theme, but I do look forward to the new one.

  • All of the changes sound pretty cool. I am excited to see how it turns out. I will miss the Neverland pool though because Peter Pan was my favourite movie growing up.

  • The current Disneyland Hotel holds so many memories within it’s current offerings. In the overhead rendering, it appears that the waterfalls are being replaced by grass? Is this this case? I certainly hope not as the waterfalls are such a unique and iconic feature of the hotels. What about the dead area that used to be the Dancing/Fantacy Waters? I assume the shops and Lost Bar complex will be removed for the new Monorail slides?


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