This Day in History: Disneyland Hotel Opens in 1955

Heather Hust Rivera

by , Vice President, Consumer Products

Hotel Disneyland after 1966

Fifty-five years ago today the landmark Disneyland Hotel opened as the first major hotel in Orange County. When the hotel officially opened on Oct. 5, 1955, nearly three months after the opening day of Disneyland park, 104 rooms were available. The photo above was taken after 1966 when a new sign was added that read, “Hotel Disneyland.”

Today, the hotel boasts 969 rooms and signature suites including the new Big Thunder Suite and Fairy Tale Suite. We’ve shared a lot of information here on the Disney Parks Blog about the renovations at the Disneyland Hotel, including a large expansion that features renovated rooms and a new courtyard and pool area.

To celebrate 55 years of magical stays, we thought you might be interested in reading a few more fun facts about the hotel:

  • The Disneyland Hotel was originally owned and operated until 1988 by the Wrather Corporation — by entrepreneurs and personal friends of Walt Disney, Jack and Bonita Wrather. The Walt Disney Company purchased the hotel in 1988.
  • Prior to the opening of the Disneyland Hotel, less than 100 hotel rooms were available in Anaheim.
  • The Bonita Tower (currently called the Wonder Tower) was the first hotel building in the United States to use a solar heating system.
  • Until the 1960s, the Disneyland Hotel had a helipad in daily operation. Los Angeles Airways offered 28-passenger turbine-powered helicopter service to and from the Los Angeles Airport (LAX).

Join me in wishing the Disneyland Hotel a very happy 55th anniversary!


  • all the original buildings are gone, so technically what we know today as the disneyland hotel is not 55 years old because what now stands was actually added to the building over the years and the original parts were demolished in 1999

  • I was born the same day the hotel opened — 10/5/55. I wonder if they would give me a discount for that? (JK)

  • My birthday is tomorrow Oct. 6, 1955, so Disney and I have been celebrating for many years now!

  • I would love to know what the nightly rate was back then. Happy 55th Birthday Disneyland Hotel!

  • So Many Happy Memories!

  • Happy Anniversary, “Hotel Disneyland.”

    This is my preferred hotel of the three at the Disneyland Resort.

  • I think there is a glitch in the log-in system. It keeps logging me in as someone else!

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