Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Soarin' Over The Disneyland Hotel, 1973

This aerial shot over the Disneyland Hotel was taken forty years ago on November 27, 1973. So many changes to take note of! From this vantage point, it is easier to see that the Monorail didn't move away from the Hotel, but rather the Hotel moved away from the Monorail! The beginning of Downtown Disney starts where the old Disneyland Hotel once stood. Here's a better view of the now demolished section that was located where ESPN, Rainforest Cafe, and Earl of Sandwich now stand.

Where the current pool is was once a Marina, back when the Frontier Tower wasn't even around:

Two vintage land views of the Marina, beginning with September 1976:

January 1984:

Moving closer to the park, you can see the edge of New Orleans Square and the show building for the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction:

Hope you enjoyed soarin' over the hotel...1970's style!

See more vintage & current Disneyland aerial photos on my aerial web page.


Major Pepperidge said...

I do love aerial photos! Don Ballard should like this one.

JG said...

This is great. Trying to figure out the overlay of my 1970's memory of the Hotel grounds with today's Downtown Disney makes my head spin.

Is it possible to do a Google Earth overlay? I know the towers didn't move, but it seems like everything else did.

I remember that Marina, it seemed kind of weird compared to Disneyland, but I never spent much time in it, just a few minutes between monorail stops.

Thank you Dave.


K. Martinez said...

I've stayed at the Marina Tower on the top floor facing north and in the Sierra Tower facing west towards the Marina on the lower level, but never did stay at the Bonita Tower which doesn't appear in this image. A lot of 1970s memories in that place for me.

Awesome aerial with zoom images. Thanks, Dave.

Anonymous said...

I can't thank you enough for posting this Dave. There aren't too many of us that seriously geek out over the hotel but I sure do. I never got to stay there but as a kid I have a lot of great memories of visiting the place. The family would arrive the night before going to the park, staying at a local Stovalls motel but then sneaking over here to walk around and enjoy their spread. These pics bring back memories of the monorail station platform, the club by the registration area ( last name of it I recall was Sgt. Preston's before demolition ), the underwater arcade in the marina, and things that would appear later in the hotel's life, but not yet in these pics. I loved the paddleboats but have no idea what those things are on either side of the dancing waters show. To the west there's some kind of artificial delta stream trickling into the "ocean" perhaps? To the east, where the underground caves would someday go, there's a... What is that? Some kind of inlet? Pools? Swamp? Either way, it makes me miss the dancing waters and underground caves all that much more. Thanks for the great pics.

JG said...

Looking at these again, it seems that the photos were taken after a recent rain.

Look at the first zoom-in of the front building, you can see the darker areas on the roof where water has ponded away from the drains. Often, long-span buildings with wood or steel framing will sag in the middle of the span over time, creating bathtubs or ponds lower than the drains. Water can't escape so it sits until it evaporates, damaging the roof.

The other roofs do not exhibit this darkening, which implies their drainage was better, that is, the recent rain has gone away, either evaporated or down a drain. These later buildings are bigger and more likely steel or concrete or both.

I bet there were a lot of leak and mold issues in that front building.


Jeff B. said...

If you are having an issue visualizing how Downtown Disney replaced the old hotel, think of it this way: Take the square, 60 acre property and draw a line down the middle. Imagine at the time of its creation that the prime property was up by the road, so naturally all of the buildings are there! In fact, the "back lot" was initially filled with golf courses. When it came time to build the first tower, it was built right on the imaginary line we drew earlier. Then the marina and other features started to crowd out the golf attractions. When the Marina Tower is built, it forever makes the initial buildings less important, because the Hotel Lobby is moved to that building. With new pools in the middle of the towers and the focus of activity there, everything on the "first half" of the property is becoming more and more irrelevant-- and dated! So, essentially everything on the first half of the property was bulldozed and Downtown Disney replaced the "shopping section".

Ironically, a hotel is about to replace the part of Downtown Disney that replace the old parts of the hotel and monorail building! After less than 20 years!