Monday, February 22, 2016

More Disneyland Hotel Aerial Pix, July 9, 1979

Continuing our look at some aerial photos circa 1979, I present these two examples. The photographer/pilot was clearly more interested in the Hotel than the park (which is not how I would have done things), but we do get a last look at half of Disneyland in this one. You can see the giant show buildings for the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean, the entry and ticket booths, the Monorail track snaking through the parking lot, and even the Submarine Lagoon.

Presumably the parking lot in the lower left was for Hotel employees or guests? I wonder what the name of that little motel just to its right was? 

Here's where things may start getting a bit tedious for you, the humble and lovable reader. The final six photos in this series are various angles of the Hotel, getting gradually closer and closer. I'm not saying that they're not fun... after all, this shows things as they were 37 years ago. But it's a lot of the same thing over and over. You'll see what I mean.


Chuck said...

I'd never noticed that they had to realign the monorail tracks further to the south when they built the show building for the Indiana Jones Adventure.

Try as I might, I have not been able to track down the name of that little motel. Whatever it was called, it was torn down when the Emerald Hotel (today's Paradise Pier Hotel) was built in 1984.

Farther down from the Mystery Motel in the second photo on the same side of the street are an unnamed eatery, the Apollo Motel (1741 S. West St.), another unnamed inn, the Lamplighter Motel (1759 S. West St.), the Princess Motel (1769 S. west St.) and another clump of buildings on the corner, across Katella from what I think was a Sambo's restaurant.

Somebody needs to put together an interactive map of vintage Disneyland-area motels so that all seven of us on the Internet who actually care about this sort of thing can sleep better at night.

Nanook said...

@ Chuck-

Make that "eight". And once the map is completed, we can achieve some of those 'zzzzzz's' at a motel of our choice-!


The thought of the image of the hotel growing and growing sounds like a 1950's Sci-fi film that never quite got produced.

Chuck said...

Maybe that's what happened to that little unnamed motel - somebody hit it with an embiggener and it turned into the Emerald.

David Zacher said...

I think that Motel was called the the Wanderlust. I really enjoy these aerial photos and all the others that you post, Major. I was looking for that RR flyer over the weekend and found some black and white blurry DL photos that you wouldn't post, even as Leftuggies. My dad took movies (Arrrr! They're lost! Sorry, but I scream every time) and the kids took lousy photos.

(I didn't find the flyer either. Sorry. It was mistaken identity).


K. Martinez said...

In the second image on view are two hotels that I've stayed at while visiting Disneyland. The Disneyland Hotel in the 1970's and up on the other side at the top corner what is now known as the Annabella Hotel located on the same block as the spaceship-shaped Convention Center. The Annabella is where I usually stay these days when visiting the Disneyland Resort. I love a good aerial! Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

Oh! And there's Monorail Gold at the Disneyland Hotel Monorail Station in the second image.

Chuck said...

Thanks, David Zacher! Even now that I know the name, there's precious little out there on this place. Even postcard collectors don't seem to show it much love.

I did manage to find a few pictures. Here's the official postcard view:

Here's one taken from the Sierra Tower of the Disneyland Hotel:

And here's one of it under construction in the background:

Finally, a Super 8 clip of the abandoned motel awaiting demolition in 1982:

Nanook said...

@ Chuck-

Wow-! Nice sleuthing work, here. In the background of the post card view we can spot portions of some of the garden rooms of the Disnehyland Hotel. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

@Chuck and David Zacher, this is brilliant work you've done. There should be some kind of abandoned motel Nobel Prize to award for this. So cool to read up this history of the old places. There really needs to be a book written.

The last picture also shows the old bowling alley, north east corner of Katella and Walnut, the parking lot goes all around the building. Wasted an idle hour or two in there bowling the night before the day in Disneyland. The southern part of the block bounded beyond Paradise Pier is now all parking for Downtown Disney.

After my first stay at the Disneyland hotel over this past Christmas, I am a convert. Much better experience than the Grand Californian, less crowded, less noisy, fewer kids. A much more relaxing "corporate hotel" experience. Next trip, we are planning to break the park visits in two and spend a day hanging out on the hotel grounds in the pool, spa etc. rather than doing 3 park days in a row, which is exhausting.


Anonymous said...

@Chuck, You are correct, the restaurant on the southwest corner of West and Katella was also Sambo's. I remember eating in this one when it was still all pancakes. It's a Coco's now, and not bad for that sort of thing as of 2008 anyway. I found a postcard view of the old Sambo's facade somewhere on the internet. It was exactly the same size and floor plan of the Sambo's in my home town, which is still there, but not Sambo's anymore.

Going back to read your list of the businesses, the "un-named eatery" on the west side of West Ave (the little rectangular building next to the larger motel) was also a Sambo's. Seems odd to have two so close together, but that's how it was. Starbucks and Denny's seem to follow the same logic.

This info comes from a Anaheim history site, might be that Synthetrix site you linked to above. That author had a night aerial with the businesses tagged. He claimed the little orphan Sambo's there was the last one ever built, the peak of the Sambo empire before it's eventual decline. I wish I had bookmarked it.


Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, your Monorail observation is interesting! My impression is that any changes to the Monorail are extremely expensive, I wonder if they would be willing to do that these days. I used to be interested in the motels near the park, especially the postcards, but they started getting pricey, and I gave those up. Chuck, YOU need to make an interactive map of the hotels and motels!!

Nanook, I think we can be sure that there would be a lot of interest in a map like that, no doubt about it. The Hotel grew after being bitten by a radioactive spider… the rest is history. With great amenities comes great responsibilities.

Chuck, they don’t make embiggeners like they used to.

David Zacher, nice! I just love the name of those old Motels, they are somehow so perfect for both the places and the era. It’s a shame you couldn’t find your flier, but I think Steve G. will have one very soon.

K. Martinez, there was a Disneyland HOTEL?? ;-) It’s funny how Walt hated those Motels so much (or at least the general clutter of Harbor Blvd and other nearby streets); meanwhile all of us are so nostalgic for all of it.

K. Martinez, yes, you’ll notice the yellow Monorail at the station in several of these photos.

Chuck, thanks for all of those great photos and that clip! So sad to see it being demolished.

Nanook, even though I never stayed at the Disneyland Hotel, I miss those garden rooms. I can’t decide whether I would have wanted one of those, or a tower room.

JG, thanks for the info about the bowling alley! I never knew that was there. I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed the Disneyland Hotel; my understanding is that the rooms are bigger than the ones at the Grand Californian, which is also super expensive. I think your future plans (allowing for a break) sound like a good way to go.

JG again, ah, Sambo’s. If only they had chosen a less controversial name, even though it supposedly was taken from the names of the owners SAM Battistone and Newell BOhnett. My grandparents used to take us to one, I always loved it. My brother put A-1 steak sauce on his french fries, which I thought was an awesome idea.

K. Martinez said...

Nice work, Chuck.

Chuck and JG, It would be a great if there was a book on the history of the Anaheim motel and commerce area surrounding the Disneyland property from it's days prior to the opening of Disneyland to what is there today.

Magical Hotel said...

I have some information on the Wanderlust and a couple of pictures which I will share once I dig them up. This establishment went in shortly after the Disneyland Hotel.