Thursday, October 04, 2018

Disneyland Hotel Instamatics

A young Mr. X took today's photos over at the Disneyland Hotel, probably from around 1966 or '67 (please correct me if I'm wrong). 

I don't remember that fountain at all, so it was kind a surprise to find this picture. The railing that surrounds it is kind of ugly (we can be grateful that there is no chain link), but I suppose clumsy people might have fallen in without it. I wonder if it was just temporary? There appears to be some work being done, possibly having to do with the expansion of the Sierra Tower, which was done in 1966. There is a sign just at the base of the palm trees that reads "Disneyland Hotel Tower Annex". 

Now we're looking up at the neon sign atop the expanded Sierra Tower (remember when it used to read "Hotel Disneyland"?). The giant (16 feet tall) letter "D" was recently in the auction of Richard Kraft's collection at Van Eaton Galleries.

I took this photo of it when I went to the exhibit! It made quite an impression when standing so close to it. Someone bought it for around $86,000.

*Note: I am still out of town, but not for much longer! Thanks for checking in each day.


Nanook said...


Oddly-enough, I do remember that fountain. And many years later [as we've seen with so many other 'water features'] it was magically turned into a large, round 'planter'.

I think many of us wondered just how the hotel signage managed to be flopped, if you will. Was it an afterthought-? And if not, couldn't the elevator shaft be re-located to accommodate a properly-positioned sign-?? Hmmmm. I had no idea the going-rate for large, neon "D's" was $86K; that would make it one expensive sign, if the balance of the letters were to sell at the same rate-! It's one hell'a-va, 'D', though.

Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

The railing looks to me less like something to keep people from falling in and more like it functions as a "keep out" sign.

Stefano said...

I like seeing that first version of the tower, "Hotel Disneyland" put a Frenchie twist to it.

Nanook, how they managed to flop the sign also brings up the question of how the addition was seamlessly grafted on, quite an engineering feat. There was no good excuse for not being able to correct the structural issues that eventually closed the Skyway, only stinginess and indifference.

That is an attractive fountain; it looks like the Theme Building at LAX formed out of water, or ditto the starfish entrance to P.O.P. In the 80s there was still a "moat" around much of the Sierra Tower; friends and I would cool our feet in it during mid-afternoon breaks from the park, with nary an employee to tell us "no".

DrGoat said...

I remember the fountain too. We never stayed a the hotel, but we walked around it. The hotel was kind of an A ticket ride.
That giant D is out of this world. More attracted to that life bouy next to it.

David Zacher said...

Dibs on the DL Hotel pool life saver!


JC Shannon said...

I miss the original Disneyland Hotel, it was mid-century modern coolness. I never stayed there either, as we lived in North Hollywood, but it was very neat to look at. The big D is very collectable I would imagine, but where would you put it? The life ring would look perfect in my guest bedroom, next to my other park memorabilia. Thanks to Major for today's Insta goodness.

K. Martinez said...

The big red 'D' is super cool! Thanks Mr. X & Major!

JC Shannon, I miss the original Disneyland Hotel too, however I have stayed there several times back in the 1960's and 70's as I lived and still live in the Monterey Bay area. It was a special place for sure. Funny thing is, now that Disney owns the hotel I no longer have the desire to stay there.


In the original tower there was a banquet/meeting room with large folding doors that chairs could be be stored in - inside you could see remains of the original blue glazed tile that was once the exterior South-end of the original shorter tower!!
Another thing I miss was in the main lobby tower ( the current Fantasyland Tower) was the sunken bar and cocktail lounge with the glass floor with seating area and piano with the water underneath that flowed in from the outside fountains. We used to love to watch people come over with their drinks and get startled when the stepped onto the clear floor and thinking for a second they had stepped off into a indoor pool!! The exciting and moody lighting of the water under the glass floor was so cool at night!

I also really miss the “Wonderful World of Water” outdoor waterfalls and grottos.