Disneyland Resort


Disneyland Resort
DLR2005Castle.png
Disneyland Resort

Disneyland Park
Disney California Adventure

Resort Hotels

Disneyland Hotel
Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel

Downtown Disney District

The Disneyland Resort is a recreational resort in Anaheim, California. The resort is owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company through its Parks and Resorts division and is home to two theme parks, three hotels and a shopping, dining, and entertainment area known as Downtown Disney.

The area now known as the Disneyland Resort was developed by Walt Disney in the 1950s and for over 40 years was known simply as Disneyland. When it opened to guests in 1955, the property consisted of Disneyland, its 100-acre (0.40 km2) parking lot, and a hotel known as the Disneyland Hotel, owned and operated by Disney's business partner Jack Wrather.

After succeeding with the multi-park, multi-hotel business model at Walt Disney World in Florida, Disney decided to apply the same business model in Anaheim and acquired large parcels of land adjacent to Disneyland. This included purchasing the Disneyland Hotel from the Wrather company as well as the Pan Pacific Hotel from its Japanese owners; Disney re-branded the latter as the Disneyland Pacific Hotel. After its first publicly known proposal for a second theme park in Anaheim was scrapped, construction began in 1998 on a theme park called Disney's California Adventure Park, later renamed[1] Disney California Adventure Park; a hotel called Disney's Grand Californian Hotel; a renovation, renaming, and re-theming of the Disneyland Pacific Hotel as the Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel; and an admission-free shopping and dining area called Downtown Disney. During the expansion, the name Disneyland Resort was coined to refer to the entire Disney complex, while Disneyland Park was coined to refer to the original theme park.

Contents

History and development

Grizzly Peak in Disney California Adventure

Concept and construction

Walt Disney's early concepts for an amusement park called for a park called "Mickey Mouse Park" located adjacent to the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank (presently the site of the West Coast headquarters of ABC). However, as new ideas emerged, Walt and his brother Roy quickly realized that the Burbank location would be too small for the project. The brothers hired a consultant from Stanford Research Institute to provide them with information on locations and economic feasibility.

The consultant recommended a remote location near Anaheim, adjacent to the then-under-construction Santa Ana Freeway. Covered by Orange County's namesake orange groves at the time, the consultant correctly predicted that the location would become the population center of Southern California. Since the location was remote in the 1950s, Walt Disney wanted to build a hotel so that Disneyland visitors traveling long distances could stay overnight. However, the park had already depleted his financial resources, so he negotiated a deal with Hollywood producer Jack Wrather in which Wrather would build and operate a hotel called the Disneyland Hotel across the street from Disneyland.

1955–1998: One park

Disneyland held a special televised press preview event on the ABC network on July 17, 1955, and opened to the public the next day. Although the preview event was disastrous and would later be dubbed "Black Sunday", Disneyland became a huge success in its first year of operation. The hotel, which opened 3 months after the park, enjoyed similar success. Walt Disney originally wanted to build more facilities for Disneyland visitors to stay in Anaheim, but since all his financial resources were drained, entrepreneurs established their own hotels and other hospitality industry businesses in the area surrounding the park and hotel, eager to capitalize on Disneyland's success.

To Walt Disney's dismay, the city of Anaheim, eager for the tax revenue generated by more hotels in the city, was lax in restricting their construction, and the area surrounding Disneyland became the atmosphere of colorful lights and flashy neon signs that he had wanted to avoid (and which years earlier had caused the city of Burbank to deny his initial request to build his project in Burbank).[2] The city also constructed the Anaheim Convention Center across the street from Disneyland's original parking lot, and residences were constructed in the area as part of the city's growth in the late 20th century.

Eventually, Disneyland was "boxed in", a factor which would later lead Walt Disney to acquire a significantly larger parcel of land for the construction of Walt Disney World.[3] In later years, the Disney company gradually acquired the land west of the park, most notably the Disneyland Hotel in 1989 following Jack Wrather's death in 1984, the Pan Pacific Hotel (now Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel) in 1995, and several properties north of the Disneyland Hotel in the mid to late 1990s.

1990s: Planning an expansion

After Walt's and Roy's deaths in 1966 and 1971, respectively, the Disney company would go on to achieve success with the multi-park, multi-hotel resort complex business model of Walt Disney World in Florida, which opened in 1971, while continuing to achieve success with the one park, one hotel business model at Disneyland.

In the 1990s, however, Disney decided to turn Walt's original park into a multi-park, multi-hotel resort destination as well. In 1991, Disney announced plans to build WestCOT, a theme park based on Walt Disney World's EPCOT Center, on the site of the original Disneyland parking lot.[4]

The cost to build WestCOT was estimated at US$3 billion, largely due to the high cost of land that Disney would have needed to acquire. With the new Euro Disney Resort—which opened in 1992—becoming a financial and public relations albatross for the company, Disney was unable to finance the project, and cancelled WestCOT in 1995. In the summer of 1995, Disney executives gathered in Aspen, Colorado for a 3-day retreat.[4] At the retreat, the executives came up with the idea for a California-based theme park—dubbed Disney's California Adventure—to be built on the same site slated for WestCOT. US$1.4 billion was budgeted to build the park, a retail district, and hotels.[4]

1998–2001: Park becomes resort

Construction began in 1998 and the majority of the Disney property outside of the original park was a construction site until 2001; the interior of Disneyland Park remained largely untouched during this time. Temporary surface parking lots were set up across West Street with tram service to the main entrance to offset the loss of the 100-acre (0.40 km2) parking lot. Parking lots were also set up on smaller parcels of land Disney had acquired east and southeast of the park, primarily used for employee parking as well as guest overflow parking.

Several Disneyland landmarks were demolished during this time, most notably the marquee on Harbor Boulevard, whose three versions had stood at the entrance to the Disneyland parking lot since 1958; the last was installed in 1989. Also demolished were all of the Disneyland Hotel's original buildings from 1955, as well as most of the hotel facilities outside of the three guest room towers. The remaining Disneyland Hotel facilities were extensively renovated to replace some of the amenities that were demolished.

Aside from Disney California Adventure, new construction on the former parking lot included Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Downtown Disney. A section of the southeast corner of the original parking lot initially remained in use as a parking area, earmarked as future growth space for California Adventure. A Bug's Land, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, and backstage facilities were incrementally built into this space, and it was completely built over with the construction of Cars Land.

Across West Street from Disneyland Park and the construction site of Disney California Adventure, the six-story Mickey & Friends Parking Structure was built on newly acquired land north of the Disneyland Hotel as the replacement main parking area for the theme parks. The Disneyland Hotel was downsized to accommodate the construction of Downtown Disney and surface parking lots. The Disneyland Pacific Hotel was renovated, re-themed, and renamed to match the portion of Disney's California Adventure the hotel tower overlooks, becoming Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel.

Streets were regraded, renamed, re-routed, or outright eliminated, and the traffic pattern to access Disneyland and the Disneyland Hotel by vehicle, widely known among locals and frequent visitors for over 40 years, was altered. Most notably, West Street was regraded, re-routed near its intersection with Ball Road, and renamed Disneyland Drive between Katella Avenue and Interstate 5.

The construction on the Disney property was accompanied by the city of Anaheim's renovation of the area surrounding Disneyland, now dubbed the Anaheim Resort. The flashy, colorful neon signs that lined Harbor Boulevard and other area roads—which Walt Disney himself had opposed many years earlier—were taken down and replaced with shorter, conforming signs. Streets surrounding the property were widened, repaved, and landscaped, and variable-message signs were installed to assist with traffic flow. Freeway onramps and offramps were reconfigured as part of a larger expansion project on Interstate 5 between State Route 91 and the Orange Crush Interchange.

2001–present: Disneyland Resort

Most construction was completed by early 2001, and Disney California Adventure held "preview" openings in January 2001. Word of mouth reviews from those entitled to attend the previews (mostly Disney employees, annual pass holders, and American Express card holders) were largely negative. The park opened to the public amid much fanfare on February 8, 2001; however, the negative reviews impacted attendance, and the company's initial attendance projections for the park were never met.

Disney spent much of California Adventure's early years attempting to boost attendance at the park. In the short-term, Disney brought the venerable Main Street Electrical Parade to the park, quickly added Who Wants To Be A Millionaire - Play It!, and offered discounted admission and other promotions aimed at boosting attendance.

In addition to the short-term fixes, long-term projects to address the park's early criticisms have included the permanent addition of a bug's land to add attractions geared towards children, and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror as another E ticket. Some of the park's oft-criticized early attractions were closed within the first year of operation, including Superstar Limo, Disney's Steps in Time, and Disney's Eureka! - A California Parade.

After Disney California Adventure's opening, new attractions began appearing at Disneyland Park as well, including The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters; both were modeled after similarly named attractions at the Magic Kingdom. Other major projects at Walt Disney's original park included a substantial renovation of the nearly 30-year-old (at the time) Space Mountain, the return of Submarine Voyage as the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, and the introduction of new trains to the Disneyland Monorail System.

In 2007, Pirates of the Caribbean was refurbished to bring its look closer to that of the film franchise. The Resort celebrated the 50th anniversary of Disneyland Park from 2005 to 2006 in an 18-month celebration known as the Happiest Homecoming on Earth. This was part of the larger Happiest Celebration on Earth promotion at all Disney theme parks. The Year of a Million Dreams promotion was the successor to the Happiest Celebration on Earth, and ran from 2006 to the end of 2008. Disney's current promotion, What Will You Celebrate?, began January 1, 2009, and offered free admission to visitors on their birthday in 2009. Disney has kept the Celebrate! marketing theme in 2010 for its US based parks, but no longer offers free admission on a guests birthday.

Present expansion

In 2007, Disney announced a US$1.1 billion expansion project for Disney California Adventure, including construction of a new land based on the Disney-Pixar film Cars, a new evening water show—Disney's World of Color, as well as substantially retheming and adding new attractions to existing areas. The project began construction in 2008, and will be completed in phases from 2010 to 2012. Disney's Grand Californian Hotel completed an expansion to add Disney Vacation Club suites, while the Disneyland Hotel started an extensive renovation in the summer of 2009 and is expected to last the next few years. In early 2010, the park was renamed to Disney California Adventure (i.e., the possessive form of "Disney" was dropped).

There has been widespread speculation since the construction of Disney California Adventure started that Disney would build a third park in Anaheim, most likely a water park. However, Disney CEO Robert Iger stated in 2007 that the company's focus is to fix its second park before moving on to a third park.

Expansion spreads across the world

The expansion of Disneyland into the Disneyland Resort later had a similar effect on its sister properties in Japan and France, both of which also were single parks. In 2001, Tokyo Disneyland became Tokyo Disney Resort with the addition of Tokyo DisneySea. The following year, Disneyland Park Paris became Disneyland Resort Paris with the addition of Walt Disney Studios Paris.

Location

The Disneyland Resort is located several miles south of downtown Anaheim, near the border of neighboring Garden Grove. The resort is generally bounded by Harbor Boulevard to the east, Katella Avenue to the south, Walnut Street to the west and Ball Road to the north. Interstate 5 borders the resort at an angle on the northeastern corner.

Not all land bordered by these streets is part of the Disneyland Resort, particularly near the intersection of Harbor Boulevard and Katella Avenue, and along Ball Road between Disneyland Drive and Walnut Street. Disneyland Drive cuts through the resort on a north-south route and provides access to the Mickey & Friends Parking Structure, Downtown Disney, and the three hotels. Magic Way connects Walnut Street to Disneyland Drive just south of the Mickey & Friends Parking Structure and provides access to the parking structure, Disneyland Hotel, and Downtown Disney.

Special offramps from Interstate 5 combined with a reversible flyover over the intersection of Ball Road and Disneyland Drive permit easy access into and out of the Mickey & Friends parking garage during peak morning and evening traffic times. The official address of the resort is 1313 South Harbor Boulevard.

Attractions

Theme parks

  • Disneyland Park, the original theme park built by Walt Disney, which opened on July 18, 1955.
  • Disney California Adventure, a theme park that celebrates the history and culture of the Golden State, which opened on February 8, 2001.

Other attractions

  • Downtown Disney, an outdoor retail, dining and entertainment district located between the entrance promenade of the Disneyland Resort theme parks and the Disneyland Hotel.

Resorts

Operations

Major administration and service properties (other than those integrated into park/hotel facilities) include:

  • Team Disney Anaheim, the administration building for the Resort that also houses its employment office.
  • Disneyland Resort Center, an ancillary administration building primarily serving the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort and Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons.
  • Mickey & Friends Parking Structure, the primary parking area for guests of Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure.

Transportation

Unlike the Walt Disney World Resort, all properties at the Disneyland Resort are located within walking distance from each other; therefore, there is very little vehicular transportation between properties. The Disneyland Monorail System transports guests between the Tomorrowland station, inside Disneyland Park, and the Downtown Disney station (formerly known as the Disneyland Hotel station). Admission to Disneyland Park must be purchased to ride the Monorail. Parking lot trams provide free transportation from the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure, the main parking area, to a Tram stop in front of the World of Disney store in Downtown Disney, near the Main Entrance Plaza.

Shuttles to off-site hotels and overflow parking areas pick up and drop off at the Main Entrance Plaza east of the theme parks' main entrance. Taxis are available on the west end of Downtown Disney, near the ESPN Zone. Anaheim Resort Transit (ART), a quasi-government agency designed to help improve the air quality in the city of Anaheim, also provides shuttles on a pay per ride, or pay per day basis from Disneyland's east shuttle area to various hotels and other attractions in the area. Disney has made a deal with the ART system and the OCTA to operate buses from the Toy Story parking lot, which is located south of the Disneyland Resort. Disney also operates the Pumbaa Lot on Disney Way, and has the Simba Lot west of the Paradise Pier Hotel. Disney also has contracts with the Anaheim GardenWalk and Anaheim Convention Center, where Disney can use parts of their parking spaces on selected days.

Public transportation is available from the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) and Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) adjacent the east end of the property, along Harbor Boulevard. OCTA also provides service along the north and south ends of the property, along Ball Road and Katella Avenue, respectively.

Emergency services

The Disneyland Resort maintains a private security staff charged with protecting the company's assets and interests, including controlling access to restricted areas, detaining shoplifters, enforcing park/resort rules, and imposing and enforcing trespass warnings. Most of the time Security officers working in guest areas serve as de facto information posts, and also handle guest issues such as lost children and personal property damage. Law enforcement outside the authority of Disneyland Resort Security is the jurisdiction of the Anaheim Police Department (APD), which maintains a regular 24-hour presence at the Resort.

The resort maintains its own private fire department, called the Disneyland Resort Fire Department (DFD). DFD has several fire trucks stationed throughout the resort property and has the capability to put out minor structural fires; however, its primary purpose is fire prevention and investigation. Most of the department's operations are behind the scenes; the Main Street Fire House and other emergency-response-themed facades at the Resort are for show only and are not actual operations of the DFD. The resort also maintains a staff of nurses 24 hours a day to operate first aid stations situated in each park and hotel, as well as to act as first responders to emergency situations that occur away from the first aid stations. Fire and rescue services beyond the capability of the DFD and/or the nursing staff are handled by the Anaheim Fire Department (AFD), which has a station just east of the Resort property. AFD also maintains a constant paramedic presence at the Resort.

Attendance

The May 2008 issue of trade magazine Park World reported the following attendance estimates for 2007 compiled by Economic Research Associates in partnership with the Themed Entertainment Association:

  • Disneyland, 14.87 million visits (No. 2 worldwide)
  • Disney California Adventure, 5.68 million visits (No. 11)

Management

Executives

The president of Disneyland Resort is George Kalogridis. Kalogridis reports to Al Weiss, president of Worldwide Operations for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

Current management

  • President, Disneyland Resort - George Kalogridis
    • Vice President, Disneyland Park - Jon Storbeck
    • Vice President, Disney California Adventure - Mary Niven
    • Vice President, Downtown Disney and Disneyland Resort Hotels - Tony Bruno

Past management:

  • President, Disneyland Resort - Ed Grier (2006–2009)
  • President, Disneyland Resort - Matt Ouimet (2003–2006)
  • President, Disneyland Resort - Cynthia Harriss (1999–2003)
  • President, Disneyland Resort - Paul Pressler (1994–1999; Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, 1999–2002)
  • President, Disneyland Resort - Jack Lindquist (1990–1994)
    • Former Senior Vice President, Operations - Greg Emmer
  • Former Executive Vice President - Dick Nunis (1972–1980)

Operations

The day-to-day operations of the Resort are overseen by a hierarchy of operations managers or "stage managers," who change with each shift. They are colloquially known by their radio call signs, which usually contain the manager's department name (e.g., Merch, Foods) and an identifying number. Usually "One" denotes the manager in charge of that department for Disneyland Park, "Two" denotes the same for Disney California Adventure, "Three" denotes the same for the Resort Hotels, and "Four" denotes the same for Downtown Disney.

See also

References

  1. ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disney_California_Adventure_Park
  2. ^ City of Anaheim - A Brief History of Modern Day Anaheim
  3. ^ Walt Disney would use several dummy corporation names to purchase the land in Florida in order to avoid a burst of land speculation. See History of Walt Disney World
  4. ^ a b c Marr, Merissa (2007-10-17). "Disney's $1 Billion Adventure". The Wall Street Journal. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119257768823361264.html. Retrieved 2009-10-23. 

External links

Coordinates: 33°48′33″N 117°55′08″W / 33.8091°N 117.9190°W / 33.8091; -117.9190


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