Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Christmas at the Disneyland Hotel, 1995

I have three snapshots, courtesy of Irene, Bruce, and James! I have very few Disneyland Hotel photos, so it's nice to see the way it looked 20+ years ago during the holiday season.

First up is this view with the Sierra Tower looming over a jolly Christmas tree. My knowledge of the history of the Hotel and its grounds is minimal at best, and my copy of Don Ballard's excellent history is not handy, so I'm probably going to be vague (or just plain wrong). The ground in the foreground appears to be sand, and I know that at one time there was a sandy beach for frolicking, though I believe it was much further away from the Sierra Tower. 

I believe that the next two photos are from 1995, and they show what might be the very same area as seen in the first photo, only a genuine ice skating rink has been installed. That guy on the mini-Zamboni knows that he has the best job ever, and he can't help being a little bit smug about it. "No autographs!", he'll growl if you approach him.

The novelty of actual outdoor ice skating obviously was a real attraction for Californians. Look at 'em all! Not a single one of them on their butts, either (I would be). I'm sure there were a few showoffs who skated backwards, or did graceful spins. How I despise them!

I believe that octagonal building in the background is the Pavilion, which extended out into the Marina pool. Now the Marina has been replaced with the Never Land Pool. 

Thanks to Irene, Bruce, and James!


TokyoMagic! said...

I think I see a young Tonya Harding wannabe in that last photo. And since there appears to be water in front of Dumbo and Timothy in that same pic, I'm assuming that the skating rink was built out over the marina?

I haven't been to Downtown Disney at Christmastime for a couple years now, but the last time I was there, they were still putting up a skating rink. It was located between the Earl of Sandwich and the ESPN Zone.

In the second pic, that building on the right is still standing today and is where the Tangoroa Terrace is now located. Trader Sam's is in the same building, but on the opposite side.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

I knew they must exist but I had never seen the wee version of the Zamboni before. I want a white stencil sticker (for my car rear window) that has big Zamboni and a wee Zamboni family.

Not only is it the best job ever but when he's done smoothing the ice he can head over to the Monorail Café for some corned beef hash and eggs.

Chuck said...

Startled to note that I don'r have any recollection of the DL Hotel at Christmastime. I guess we just focused on the Park. Or maybe somebody made me look at one of those little flashy things.

The framed snowflake decoration in the last photo looks like it could be the flag of Elsa'a breakaway ice kingdom.

Thanks again to Irene, Bruce, and James!

K. Martinez said...

Happy Birthday, Walt Disney!

Timothy Mouse on the present is cute, but he's missing his whip. He's got to keep those ice skaters in line.

I like these Disneyland Hotel pics during the holidays. Thank you, Irene, Bruce and James.

zach said...

Thank you, Irene, Bruce, James and The Major.

Feeling grateful this morning. It's just fun, that's what it is. I do look forward to daily Gorillas Don't Blog.


Irene said...

That last photo is just so Christmasy! I am so glad I did not just dispose of all these photos or put them somewhere to gather dust and that you are all enjoying them so much. Also - Happy Birthday Uncle Walt! and RIP President George H.W.Bush #41.

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, I don’t see anybody clubbing another skater in the knee! Being unfamiliar with the Marina, I wondered if the skating rink was just a place to eat or enjoy the view during the rest of the year, or was the thing built out over the water just for Christmas? You mentioned Trader Sam’s, which made me wonder another thing; it seems to be wildly popular and successful. How much money does that single bar make in one year. My guess: A LOT.

Alonzo, if you were truly committed, you would name one of your children “Zamboni”. It’s not too late to do it retroactively. Corned beef hash and eggs sounds like something Walt himself would have enjoyed.

Chuck, I hardly spent any time at the Disneyland Hotel at all! I never even walked around the grounds until the 1990’s. Parts of it still felt rather “old school”, though I know it had undergone MANY changes.

K. Martinez, I think I see what you are getting at, and you are right: Timothy needs to upgrade to a light saber. You have such good ideas! ;-) There will be more Disneyland Hotel holiday images coming up.

David Zacher, aw, thanks for the kind words. It’s always a good idea to count one’s blessings, so to speak. Helps put things in perspective.

Irene, I am very grateful that you shared the photos with me! There’s lots more to come.

Anonymous said...

What David Zacher said.

Also, I want to see Timothy Mouse with a light saber standing over the gateway to Wookie World, guarding the entrance to Ewok Alley.

While I am really enjoying these pictures, (grateful to Irene and Bruce for sharing), the last photo reminds me how awful the 1970's renovations were. That Pavilion building possesses a special kind of mis-proportion and the alternating arches on the central piece just give me the creeps.

Say what you like about the Hotel and Downtown Disney, but the design of the modern ensemble is much much better now.

Some years back, in the Vatican Cathedral of St. Peter, I saw a guy driving a floor polisher as big as a Zamboni, and thought, how cool would it be to be the guy who drives the Zamboni in the Vatican. He would not give me his autograph either.

Thank you Major.


JC Shannon said...

I think it was Will Rogers who said, I never met a man I didn't like. Well I say, I never met a man who didn't want to drive a Zamboni. Come on, you know you wanna. I never got to stay at the DH but it looked pretty cool from the outside. I had no idea they had an ice rink. Cool. You can almost imagine you are in a place where it snows. I am late to the party, but it appears everyone is in an attitude of gratitude. Let me say I too look forward to GDB every morning, and I am grateful Major's efforts and to all of you for the great comments, and witty banter. Thanks to Irene Bruce and James for sharing these scans.

Melissa said...

Love the little kid in the helmet at the far left of the third picture. Safety first!