Today in Disney History: Disneyland Hotel Opens, 1955

Michael Ramirez

by , Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort

Sixty years ago today, the landmark Disneyland Hotel opened its doors just three months after Disneyland park opened to the public. Designed as a hotel with families in mind, the Orange County hotel was the first major resort to be built in Southern California since the early 1940s.

After 60 dazzling years, the Disneyland Hotel continues to create magical memories for families visiting the Disneyland Resort. Here are some photos and fun facts!


During its first year of operation, the hotel had only 104 guest rooms. Pictured above are the original owners, Jack and Bonita Wrather. The Disneyland Hotel was built and owned by Walt Disney’s friend, Jack Wrather, until The Walt Disney Company purchased the Wrather Corporation in 1988.


Today the Disneyland Hotel has 975 beautifully appointed guest rooms, including a unique collection of themed suites—from the Big Thunder Suite to the Pirates of the Caribbean Suite.


The Coral Swim Club at the hotel was added in 1956, which included a year-round heated swimming pool. As an added amenity, food and refreshments were served poolside as guests lounged in the sunshine.


Today the hotel boasts three pools, two waterslides, spas and poolside cabanas. If you’re wondering what it’s like travel down the two Monorail-themed slides, which were added in 2011, check out the video here.


The 3.5-acre World of Water marina opened in 1970, showcasing the latest designs in powerboats, cruisers, sailboats and even a fully furnished houseboat! And yes, those are helicopters sitting where today’s Goofy’s Kitchen and Steakhouse 55 are located.


Today, the Disneyland Hotel sparkles with décor as part of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration. Located just steps from the Downtown Disney District and both theme parks, the hotel offers a variety of experiences for guests of all ages.

Happy 60 years to the Happiest Hotel on Earth!


  • Times really have changed Jennifer.

    I miss the water falls, The Koi fish, the RC boats, the under water arcade and Stromboli’s. I also miss watching the helicopters take off.

    My wife’s grandma was one of the first maids there. She always spoke about cleaning Shirley Temple’s room and seeing her cute little shoes.

  • I remember those boats. We took the monorail to the hotel for dinner when it used to go all the way there from Disneyland. This was back in the 1980’s, when a single mom could afford to take two kids to the park and to a good dinner. Times have definitely changed.

  • Happy Anniversary, Disneyland Hotel!

    I love the remodel, but miss some aspects that are no longer there that I enjoyed immensely. I used to love going to Sergeant Preston’s bar that became Saguarro’s with a desert western theme, the Monorail Café, the walk-under waterfall, the mini-Fantasmic water show in the back, and the remote motorboats.

    Thank you, Disney, for entertaining me all these years.

  • I had always wanted to stay at the Disneyland Hotel, since I first visited Disneyland in 1978. My family and I finally had that opportunity in November 2012. It was a fantastic visit to Disneyland and a dream come true for me. The Disneyland Hotel is amazing. I hope we can visit Disneyland and stay at the Disneyland Hotel again soon.

  • A year ago we stayed at this hotel as well as the Paradise and we just love DISNEYLAND.

  • We once again really enjoyed our stay there last week in the Adventure tower. The pools were also great and again enjoyed the easy access to the Monorail, shops, etc.

    The only item we missed this time was that there is no longer a business center capable of mailing boxes via UPS back home. That was really handy to have on earlier trips.

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