Ultra Swank - Retro Adventures

The Disneyland Hotel in Yesteryear Anaheim

Written by Christopher Alm • August 27th, 2009
The Disneyland Hotel in Yesteryear Anaheim

I am strangely fascinated by the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California. Built in 1955 along with the park it was actually not operated by the Walt Disney Company until 1988 due to the building of the park had tapped Walt Disney for most of his financial resources.

The Hotel has obviously been rebuilt, added to and updated over the decades but it still features the original space-age styled monorail from the 1960s (with updated trains). For anyone who want to know more about the construction, design and architecture of the hotel I highly recommend that you dig into the The Disneyland Hotel book which features photos, scans of brochures and lots of other swanky ephemera from yesteryear Anaheim.

Has anyone of you stayed at the resort back in the 1960s and 1970s? Do tell us about it. (Via)

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Christopher Alm

Christopher founded Ultra Swank in 2005. Has a crush on mid-century graphic design, defunct airlines, Disneyland and the Century 21 Exposition. Is a collector of easy listening music from the 60s and 70s and a Swedish expat living in Barcelona, Spain.

Find out more about Christopher Alm

  • Cam

    Oh, Love to go to Disneyland! Just been to Universal Studios, both Orlando and California (the original!)…lovely! ;)

  • Unfortunately, the Monorail is no longer a part of the Disneyland Hotel. The official name for the old Hotel stop is now Downtown Disney. It’s in the exact same location however, the original Disneyland Hotel (from 1955) was demolished in 1999.


  • Oh how neat! I just drove past Anaheim last night!

  • @Cam Lovely! I am jealous! I have only visited the one in Florida so far!

    @Jennifer Anaheim is quite a nice neighborhood now isn’t it?

  • @Don So the monorail is still there but it doesn’t go to the hotel any longer? But with the trams also gone, how do people go from the hotel to the park? Is the original tower also gone?

  • The original (Sierra) Tower is still there and is now the oldest remaining part of the Hotel (1962). At least the north half of the building is from 1962 with the south half being added in 1966. It is no longer called the Sierra Tower and I can’t for the life of me remember what it is called now. I think the Towers are now Dreams, Wonder and Magic.

    The original Disneyland Hotel used to go all the way to West Street (now Disneyland Drive). They tore out all the original Hotel in 1999 to make way for Downtown Disney. You can still take the Monorail to Disneyland but the stop is now in Downtown Disney. You have to walk a bit from the Hotel property (not real far) to get to the Monorail Station which is in exactly the same spot it has been in since June of 1961. They removed the original Garden Room structures, the original restaurants, the Monorail Cafe, the Plaza Building, Olympic Pool, Travelport and all the stores that made up the original structures dating back to 1955 and 1956. The Hotel property now starts at the old Sierra Tower building and moves west.

    You can also walk to Disneyland from the Hotel through Downtown Disney which essentially would equate to a walk through the old Disneyland parking lot. The trams go from the parking structure which is off the Hotel property and do not stop at Downtown Disney.

  • @Don Thank you for the in-depth information! It’s reassuring to know that at least parts of the original structures are still there (for now). But it’s a shame they demolished the original two story building along with the monorail station. I think I read that it had a too narrow platform that weren’t fit to handle the crowds of people using it.

  • Actually, none of the original structures remain. Garden Structures were added in 1955, 1956, 1958 and 1960. Administration Complex (restaurants, shops, old lobby) was added in 1956 and changed over the years They are all gone now. The oldest remaining building is from 1961/62 which used to be the Sierra Tower. Disney is now in the process of redesigning the Tower Buildings to modernize them. All we have left of the original are pictures and memories.

  • @Don Thank you for clearing that up. Not often that you have the honor of having the author helping out with the facts. Best of luck with your book!

  • Diego

    I am going to miss the old hotel. I stayed there not to long before they started the renovation and I made sure I visited the Monorail Cafe before it was removed.

  • Built in 1955 forth with the esplanade it was in fact not operated by the Walt Disney Company until 1988 due to the architecture of the esplanade had broke Walt Disney for a lot of of his banking resources.

    Hotel Gramado

  • richi fords

    The oldest actual architecture is from 1961/62 which acclimated to be the Sierra Tower. Disney is now in the action of redesigning the Tower Buildings to improve them. All we accept larboard of the aboriginal are pictures and memories. 

    Palms Residency Hotel

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