Tuesday, November 07, 2023

Disneyland Hotel Marina, November 1974

I have a few nice 1974 photos of the Disneyland Hotel's Marina, along with the Marina Tower, which was added in 1970.  As you can see, an artificial ocean was there, not only to look good, but for added fun. While guests couldn't swim in the water (was there ever a plan to let them do so?), they could take various watercraft out for a little adventure.

There are some folks in a gen-u-ine paddleboat! I find the idea of paddleboats to be more fun than the reality, but that's just me. About halfway out, I realize that I am working too hard, and could be relaxing in air-conditioned comfort while watching TV. THE DREAM.



JB said...

Major, I have to concur about the paddleboats. Neat idea, but boy are they exhausting! Like you said, at some point you just want to get off the danged thing. Apparently, some work better than others, but you can't count on getting a good one.
I tried zooming in and looking into those open balcony doorways hoping to spy on some people. But no such luck.

In the second photo, there are some nautical flags in the right half of the picture (I think they spell out "Drink more Ovaltine"). Just above the U.S. flag there is something in front of one of the balconies. I can't tell what it is. It sort of looks like some kind of flag but it's too high up to be one of the nautical flags. Plus, a little higher up, there is another mysterious thing.

Nice Disneyland adjacent (literally) photos, Major. Thanks.

walterworld said...

Those were golden times... There was a red buoy out there in the middle for years. Loved the Disneyland Hotel Marina

Thank You Major!!

TokyoMagic! said...

When was the below-the-waterline arcade added to the Hotel Marina? And how about the nighttime laser beam over the water? Don Ballard would know. Maybe Mike C. will be able to tell us. I never made it over to the Hotel until about '77 or '78, but even as a kid, I found it fun to walk around and explore the grounds, especially after they added the waterfalls, with the paths leading around and behind them. When we got just a little bit older....and braver, my friend and I took the elevator in the Bonita Tower, and found that each floor had a balcony that was directly accessible from the main hallway, with a view in the direction of the park (more or less). I believe now, all of the balconies have been removed. I wonder if they at least left the doorways that used to lead out to them? If they did, watch that first step, it's a real doozy.

Chuck said...

I love the vestigial balconies, which were eventually lost as the hotel continued to evolve. SCIENCE!!! [shakes fist ineffectually at nothing in particular]

I think I can see the room we stayed in on our one night there in ‘95. It was on the 10th floor, about smack dab in the middle of the building. Can’t remember the room number, but I still have the “Do Not Disturb” sign (it was marked “Do Not Disturb,” not “Do Not Take Home as a Souvenir”). It features the Door Knob from Alice In Wonderland.

Paddle boating is fine when you have two full-sized adults working the pedals, the mechanism is properly maintained, the temperatures are cool, and the winds are calm. It’s less fun when you are the only person in the boat who can reach the pedals, you have two squirmy kids as passengers (one of whom declares he has to use the restroom mid-voyage), the pedals squeak and resist being manipulated, and the wind picks up in the wrong direction just as you reach the other side of the lake. NEVER AGAIN.

walterworld, I wonder if it was Lifebouy. That’s red. Tastes terrible though, and has been known to cause soap poisoning and, in extreme cases, blindness.

JB, I think those mysterious things are damage to the slide emulsion, although I suppose they could be bath towels caught in a stiff breeze.

JG said...

These are from the era of my first trip over to the DLH.

Never stayed there or disembarked as a youngster, until some of my friends wanted to visit on a high school trip. I think I only did once or twice because there was always so much Disneyland calling.

I never found that underwater arcade, that might have been worth a look.

Just a few years back, we stayed in the Frontier Tower. It’s a nice hotel, but not a good value for the price, and very limited public rooms, no lobby to speak of. I’m a big proponent of lobbies and grand Californian has possibly the best.

Mrs G & I rented a paddle bike once, which is the same principle in a different form. We both got calf cramps from the funny angles of the seats and pedals. Better to watch and get exercise some other way.

Thanks Major!


Nanook said...

@ TM!-
"When was the below-the-waterline arcade added to the Hotel Marina?"

The Atari Adventure opened in 1983. I believe the laser beam premiered on June 7, 1979, as part of the opening to Water Wonderland.

Nanook said...

Oh yeah - and this...

"As a part of Water Wonderland, a giant laser sculpture was premiered. Commissioned by Jack Wrather, the laser art was entitled Still Green (a.k.a. Rather Green) by Rockne Krebs, a pioneer in laser art. The blue-green laser sculpture was presented nightly and could be viewed from many guest rooms. One argon laser was placed atop the Sierra Tower while another was located on the seventh floor of the Marina Tower, shooting two beams 500 feet across the marina. A third was positioned on the roof of Restaurant Row and shot its beam at a small mirror atop the Convention Center, 700 feet away. Nine small mirrors were placed in various locations around the property. As the laser beam hit a mirror, it was redirected to yet another mirror. One beam traveled a half mile to the fifth floor of the Inn-at-the-Park. Eventually, 14 lines of light formed the design of the laser sculpture, covering over 14-million cubic feet of space. Described as a 3-D collage, it was comprised of giant triangles and other unusual geometric shapes. It was so large that no one could view the entire work from one location. Guests walking through the Hotel's property would see an ever-changing configuration of this piece of art. Adding to the sculpture's effects upon the viewer were its reflections in the calm water of the marina and off the charcoal-tinted windows of the three towers. The condition of the atmosphere would also change the sculpture from night to night. Smog, rain, dust, all affected the color and visibility of Still Green."

(Thank you, Don Ballard).

Chuck said...

JG, I didn't realize you were a lobbyist.


Tokyo : I have to admit , I don’t think I knew anything about the hotel laser … despite having a large amount of stuff from SEAPORTS OF THE PACIFIC . The laser sounds like it must have been obnoxious.

Regarding the Marina Arcade…. It was called ATARI ADVENTURE…. And was sponsored by ATARI. I remember it’s carpeted walls. The “sunken” building however was built as a sales office for the previous Marina Boat Show exhibit. I spent very little at the Disneyland hotel during the 70’s and 80’s …. And going over there during a Disneyland visit was almost as bad as leaving Disneyland!! I would be incredibly restless until we got back into the park. I felt like it was wasting my park time as a kid.

Gosh! I think the FRONTIERLAND TOWER lobby has one of the greatest lobby features EVER!! ( wink! wink! -lol!)

Chuck said...

Mike, it is the wildest model in the wilderness!

JG said...

Chuck, Mrs. G. and I are huge proponent of "Lobby Surfing", defined as hanging out in hotel lobbies, whether you are a guest there or not, and enjoying the scenes and people-watching, maybe having a cocktail. There are some great public spaces in the fine hotels of the world. One favorite is the Peabody in Memphis, where you can admire the ducks swimming in the lobby fountain. The Brown Hotel in Louisville is spectacular too. The Palace in San Francisco was still very fine at our last stay, but haven't been back since the pandemic. I'm afraid of what we might find.

Sadly, this is becoming harder to do, especially in modern hotels where the lobbies are above ground level and harder to access, security concerns mostly.

Mike, I admired the wildest model in the wilderness before I knew you. Now, I appreciate it even more.


Major Pepperidge said...

JB, I especially recall instances when I found myself in a paddleboat (Lion Country Safari) and regretted it almost immediately. I wonder if technology has improved the experience? I definitely recognize the world “Ovaltine”, a common thing to be talked about among sailors. They don’t ALL like grog, after all. And yes, I can’t quite ID those mysterious things.

walterworld, the red buoy made an impact!

TokyoMagic!, I think somebody talked about the Atari arcade when I posted some of Sue B’s photos of the Hotel, but I don’t remember the details (as usual). I don’t think I even explored the Hotel grounds until the 1990s, there was just no time with my family, and I wasn’t very motivated. I sure wish I’d seen it all in its heyday though. I assume that the balconies were just inviting trouble from uncouth guests?

Chuck, older hotels absorb their balconies, it’s a well known fact. I would have definitely taken one of those “Do Not Disturb” signs, I’m surprised that they don’t show up on eBay in large numbers, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one. My mom told me that she HATES paddle boats, for all of the reasons you stated. She was always stuck doing all the work, after all. I’ve never tasted Lifebuoy soap, but it looks so delicious, with that beautiful red.

JG, a friend of mine who lived in Brea said that she and her friends used to go over to the Hotel to eat, explore the shops, ice skate (when they had a rink in the winter)… it was a place they really liked to go, even when they weren’t staying there. And yes, for the amount of money that Disney charges, you’d expect more luxury than is provided. You’re just supposed to be grateful to be there! I agree, the Grand Californian lobby is impressive… no idea if the rooms are anything to write home about though. A paddle bike, I think I’ve seen those. Seems awkward to say the least.

Nanook, thank you for that info!

Nanook, “Rockne Krebs” is my new favorite name. I honestly don’t ever remember hearing about that laser sculpture before, I’m sure I would have loved it when I was younger, being fascinated by lasers in general. It sounds pretty neat!

Chuck, that’s why he’s always throwing money around. Just follow him with a paper bag and pick it up!

Mike Cozart, the Atari Adventure arcade sounds wonderfully 1970s - even though it was from the 1980s. You don’t see many carpeted walls anymore. And we are poorer for it. How many boats were ever sold at the Marina? Lots? None? I really wonder. They had Piper Cub airplanes on display too. “I’ll just fly this baby home”.

Chuck, I think Andrew recently posted a photo of that very model.

JG, most hotels that I have experienced have not had lobbies that inspired much awe, but then again, I’m always looking for a bargain. It would sure be nice to stay in those fancier places! I have a friend who will ONLY stay in the finest hotels. He wants to be served and pampered, and who can blame him? I just want a minimum of vermin bothering me at night. Which reminds me, I once stayed in a hotel, and noticed that behind the curtains was a large spider’s web FULL of baby spiders. Aieeeee!

JG said...

Major, I didn't mean to leave the impression that we can afford to stay in all those fancy hotels...

We just hang out in the lobbies for free in most cases.


Dean Finder said...

Wall carpeting was a distinctive feature of the early days of EPCOT Center as well. I feel disappointed that we didn't get that future of wall carpet promised back in 1982.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Lol! Dean, I remember when wall carpeting was "sooo cool" when we were younger...especially shag on the wall. What were we thinking?! :oP

I remember seeing the Marina right after it was completed, and it was impressive, for its time, being so unique. Though the water really only covered a small area, it looked so "cool" with all the boats and little buildings--like a tropical getaway. I don't remember ever using the paddle boats, but you basically would be going in circles...no where to really go to.

Mike, that Big Thunder Mountain Railroad model at the Disneyland Hotel IS IMPRESSIVE. Made by Disney's best. I've been told that the creators actually add secret items to/inside their models, leaving their "signature."

Thanks, Major, I LOVE the Disneyland Hotels from this era.

"Lou and Sue" said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TokyoMagic! said...

Nanook, thank you for that information on the arcade and the laser. I knew I had read about the laser somewhere....most likely Don Ballard's site. I just couldn't remember any of that detailed info!

Mike, the laser wasn't really obnoxious. It was very subtle. I didn't even know that it had all those additional beams. I thought that it was just one single beam that was redirected (via mirrors) from one hotel tower to another, and only over the Marina. The beams weren't super bright, and they were very thin. I wonder how many people even noticed the one stretching over to the Inn At The Park?