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January 21

January 21, 1988 – Disney Acquires The Wrather Corporation

“Disney has great capabilities and will take our properties onto greater heights.” – Bonita Granville Wrather

On January 21, 1988, Disney finished the $152.3 million dollar acquisition process of the Wrather Corporation, which included the acquisition of the Disneyland Hotel. The relationship between The Walt Disney Company and The Wrather Corporation began back in 1955; Walt had realized the need for a hotel near the new theme park, but did not have the funds to create it, and convinced his friend Jack Wrather to build a hotel across the street. The hotel continued to grow through the years, eventually having three towers (originally named the Bonita, Marina, and Sierra). Throughout the years, Disney attempted to purchase the hotel, as it was seen as awkward that Disney did not own something with its name attached. When the deal was finalized in 1988, Disney not only acquired the hotel, but acres of land for potential expansion, and the lease to operate the RMS Queen Mary in Long Beach, California


January 20

January 20, 1995 – Courtyard by Marriott Opens in Walt Disney World

On January 20, 1995, the hotel Courtyard by Marriott opened in the Lake Buena Vista area of Walt Disney World. This hotel occupied the spot that had been held by the Howard Johnson Resort Hotel, and had undergone extensive remodeling. It operated under the Marriott banner until 2003, when the resort was purchased by Holiday Inn.

April 8

April 8, 1999 – Hook’s Pointe & Wine Cellar Opens in Disneyland

On April 8, 1999, the restaurant Hook’s Pointe & Wine Cellar opened in the Disneyland Hotel. Replacing the Shipyard Inn, this award-winning restaurant was well-known for seafood dishes, alongside an impressive wine cellar. It closed on July 25, 2010, due to a major makeover of the Disneyland Hotel, and was replaced by Tangaroa Terrace.

May 25

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May 25, 2011 – Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar Opens in the Disneyland Hotel

“Mystery, romance, and adventure await you at this bewitching tiki bar inspired by the world-famous Jungle Cruise.”

On May 25, 2011, the specialized bar Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar opened in the Disneyland Hotel. Based on the Disney park ride Jungle Cruise – particularly the character of Trader Sam, the “head” salesman – the bar features artifacts from many of his “adventures” and exploits. The bar features a variety of specialty drinks, including the Uh Oa!, a concoction of light and dark rums, and several types of fruit. The bar also releases certain special effects when certain cocktails are ordered. There are also Polynesian-inspired appetizers, including a slow-roasted kālua-style pork sandwich. A similar version of the bar, known as Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace, opened in Walt Disney World’s Polynesian Resort.

May 17

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May 17, 1991 – The Port Orleans French Quarter Resort Opens in Walt Disney World

“Revel in the romance and pageantry of New Orleans’s historic French Quarter at this Moderate Resort hotel…”

On May 17, 1991, the Walt Disney World hotel Port Orleans French Quarter opened. Themed around the lively atmosphere of New Orleans and Mardi Gras, the hotel has 1,008 rooms complete with gold, green, and purple accents. The hotel also features the quick service restaurant Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory Food Court, along with two lounges: Scat Cat’s Club and Mardi Grogs. Another popular amenity is the swimming pool Doubloon Lagoon, which features a sea serpent. In 2001, the Dixie Landings resort combined with Port Orleans, and eventually split off to become Port Orleans Riverside.

February 4

February 4, 2005 – Tokyo Disneyland Announces New Hotel


On February 4, 2005, the Oriental Land Company, Ltd. announced that an agreement had been signed with the Walt Disney Company to build a third hotel for the Tokyo Disneyland theme park. This was deemed necessary due to the growth of visitors to the resort, along with the other two hotels – Disney Ambassador Hotel and Tokyo DisneySea MiraCosta – reaching 90% capacity annually. The hotel was announced to be a nine-story, 700 room resort that would cost about 44 billion yen (about $391,000,000). It was also announced to have a Victorian theme to reflect the surrounding World Bazaar theme area nearby.

January 2

January 2, 2001 – The First Guests are Welcomed to the Grand Californian Hotel


“From poolside to hearthside, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa offers award-winning food and wine, cozy lounges, Character Dining, and much more.”

On January 2, 2001, the first paying guests were invited in to the newly opened Grand Californian Hotel. The hotel, located in the Disney California Adventure park, is the first Disney hotel to be located within a park. The design celebrates the simplicity of California’s coastline, featuring tributes to Arroyo craftsman, mission pioneers, and California-centric architecture. The hotel has 712 standard-size rooms, 34 suites, 2 vice-presidential, and 2 presidential suites; it also features the Napa Rose restaurant, which features several award-winning wines.

December 11

December 11, 1995 – The Disneyland Pacific Hotel is Acquired

Pacific Hotel

“The acquisition of the Pan Pacific Hotel enables us to offer additional lodging choices for the guests of the Disneyland Resort.” – President of Disneyland Paul Pressler

On December 11, 1995, the Disneyland Pacific Hotel opened after an extensive deal with the original owners, the Tokyu Group. The hotel was originally built by the Tokyu Group in 1984, and was named the Emerald of Anaheim. In 1989, after a consolidation effort by the Tokyu Group of its two hotel brands, the hotel was renamed the Pan Pacific. In 1995, the hotel was acquired by Disney for $36 million (about $56.5 million in adjusted inflation). In 1996, a special cast-only pin was released this day, celebrating one year of Disney ownership of the hotel.

November 19

November 19, 1990 – The Beach Club Resort Opens in Walt Disney World

Beach Club Resort

“Discover the casual elegance of this charming, New England-style Resort hotel.”

On November 19, 1990, the Beach Club Resort opened in Walt Disney World, next door to the Yacht Club Resort and near the International Gateway of Epcot’s World Showcase. The deluxe resort was designed by architect Robert Stern, and features a New-England coastal style. It features several special amenities, including a 750,000 gallon, three-acre swimming pool known as Stormalong Bay, as well as a special character dining experience at Cape May Café.

October 5

October 5, 1955 – The Disneyland Hotel Opens

Disneyland Hotel

“Be surrounded in the spirit and wonder of Disneyland past and present.”

On October 5, 1955, the Disneyland Hotel opened across the street from the Disneyland Park. When the park was in development, Walt Disney wanted to build a hotel nearby, but didn’t have the funds to do so. Entrepreneur Jack Wrather, a friend of Walt’s, was convinced to build the first Disneyland Hotel, a simple motor inn with only 100 rooms. The hotel, owned under the Wrather Corporation, grew over the years, and after Walt’s death, the Disney Company decided that it was time that it owned the hotel. In 1988, after acquiring the Wrather Corporation, they not only gained complete control of the hotel, but the Queen Mary in Long Beach as well. The Disneyland Hotel is notable for its connection to the park by monorail, making it one of the most popular hotels on the Disneyland property. The hotel is also known for its selection of restaurants, the monorail-themed pool, and its three towers: Adventure, Fantasy, and Frontier.