Disney has finally announced that they will build a new luxury hotel to open in 2021. The hotel will be built on a plot of land between the current Disneyland Hotel and the Mickey and Friends parking structure. With that news, let’s take a look at the past, present and future of the Hotels of Disneyland and what the newest construction plans mean to the area.
The Disneyland Hotel
The original Disneyland Hotel opened three months after Disneyland’s grand opening in 1955. It started out as a two-story complex with 100 rooms. It wasn’t even owned by Disney until 1984. You can read a wonderful history of the Disneyland Hotel, complete with vintage photos, from our friend Don Ballard HERE.
Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel
Originally called the Emerald of Anaheim when it opened in 1984, the Japanese owners changed the name to the Pan Pacific Hotel in 1989. Disney purchased the hotel in 1995 and renamed it in 2000.
Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
The newest of the Disneyland Hotels opened in 2001 with DCA. The Grand Californian is the only resort hotel with a gate directly into a theme park. The entry into California Adventure is located just off the hotel pool (near the 3 restaurants) and leads directly into the Grizzly River Rapids area of the park.
The New Hotel
The as yet unnamed new hotel is said to be 700 rooms and will have a 4-Diamond rating, the new property is to be built on the existing Downtown Disney Parking Lot. Sandwiched between the Mickey & Friends tram loading area and the entrance to Downtown Disney, the construction will remove a significant number of outside hourly parking spots and the trees between them.
With the hotel building taking the current Downtown Disney parking, there will also be a parking structure built where the current Disneyland Hotel parking lot is located. The new structure will replace the lost Downtown Disney parking and provide parking for the hotels.
In 2015, the City of Anaheim agreed not to impose an entertainment tax if Disney invested $1 billion in improvements. Around the same time, a separate tax break was offered to developers to build more luxury hotels in the area. These incentives were followed by the news that Disneyland would be adding Star Wars Land, a new parking structure on the east side of Harbor Boulevard and now a new luxury hotel. Things could look very different in the area soon.
Interestingly, Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait says he’s not in favor of Disney applying for the hotel tax incentive, as he doesn’t think the Disney Company needs it. What do you think of the plans for the new hotel so far? Do you like the theme (or lack thereof)? Location? Do you think the new hotel will offer direct entry into Star Wars Land? We’d love to hear your thoughts.
Banner Photo Credit: Disney