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Disneyland Hotel: The Early Years 1954-1988 Hardcover – July 7, 2005

4.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Fabulous! Well written/organized and full of interesting pictures - most of which I have not seen before. --Charles Ewers

This is a perspective that's been long overdue. It's just a terrific book. --Peter Csanadi

About the Author

Donald W. Ballard lives in Northern California with his wife and children. He first became interested in the Disneyland® Hotel in the late 1970’s. He never considered a trip to Disneyland® complete without a stay at the Disneyland® Hotel. The Hotel was an adventure and experience in itself to him aside from the joys of Disneyland®. By 1998, he decided to start documenting the Disneyland® Hotel’s history. He began compiling many vintage paper items, photographs, magazines and souvenirs from the Hotel’s rich history. What first started as a short article for a Southern California travel magazine eventually became this book. Along the way, Don learned a tremendous amount about the Hotel’s original owner Jack Wrather and recognized many parallels Wrather had to Walt Disney. Both were innovators and risk takers. Both had the guest’s experience and enjoyment first and foremost in everything they planned. Both were told Disneyland® and the Disneyland® Hotel would fail yet both persisted in their plans. What tremendous courage each man had… Don was fortunate to have stayed many times at the Disneyland® Hotel in its pre-1999 format and experienced many of Jack Wrather’s amenities. He loved the Monorail Café and the Olympic Pool as well as the old Garden Villas and Suites. He was also fortunate to stay in the North Garden Villas the last night they were open to the public in May of 1999. Though sad to see the historical section of the Disneyland® Hotel removed, he understood the need for change. He and his family love the new Neverland Pool and Downtown Disney. He hopes that with this book, he can rekindle your fond memories of happy times spent at the original Disneyland® Hotel.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 136 pages
  • Publisher: Ape Pen Publishing; COLLECTABLE Golden Anniversary Edition edition (July 7, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976877910
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976877912
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #677,855 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Alastair Dallas on July 30, 2005
This book is clearly a labor of love--it is filled with photos of the hotel's original construction, its connection to Disneyland by monorail, and the erection of the first and subsequent towers. It details the quiet motel's sporadic but inexorable expansion into a world-class resort, and offers a fascinating glimpse of two unique individuals: Jack Wrather, the Texas oil man turned TV producer who built the hotel at Walt Disney's suggestion, and his actress wife, Bonita Granville. In addition to gathering a great deal of information into a single volume, the book beautifully reproduces an amazing collection of various Disneyland Hotel brochures and other memorabilia. I own nearly every book that touches on Disneyland, and highly recommend this addition to anyone's collection. I particularly appreciate the book's aesthetically-pleasing design.
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If you have ever stayed at or visited the Disneyland Hotel prior to the conversion of the property to Downtown Disney this book will certainly bring back memories and warm feelings. An attractive retrospect into the history of a hotel that set the stage for not only the Walt Disney company's future in the hotel industry (it was not originally owned by them) but also pre-dated most hotels on many amenities that we now take for granted, like televisions in every room.

The book spins a nostalgic tale beginning with the conception of that park across the street and continues all the way to the groundbreaking of the Downtown Disney district. The story also includes tie-ins to much of American history from the 1950's through the 1908's such as the owner's connection to the Ronald and Nancy Reagan and many popular television shows. This is a very unique and entertaining book.

The book is full of photos of the hotel as it changed over time, brochures, aerial photography (great for comparing the parks progress), anecdotes, and historic photographs. I Highly recommend this to any serious Disney enthusiast and history buff. It would be interesting to see what the author could have as a follow up.
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I remember staying at the Disneyland Hotel with my family in the 60s, 70s and early 80s. What a wonderful, magical place. This book has a lot of really great photos and information on this hotel. Some of the decor from the 50s 60s and 70s was wild. I stayed at the Disneyland Hotel last year, after not being back since the transformation and wow, had it changed. Even took this book with to compare some of the changes. Amazing. If you have a love of Disneyland or this resort, this book is a must purchase.
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Sweet mother of Abraham Lincoln I love this book. I have fond memories of the Disneyland Hotel in the 80's and 90's, this book does an excellent job of covering the history of the Hotel, hitting the highlights and going in depth where needed. I've looked for something like this all my born days; Disney won't put it out, thank goodness for Don Ballard.
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The book was one of the best I have read, very well written and brought back a lot of nostalgia, especially since I have been going to Disneyland for a while now. I recommend it to anyone looking for Disney History or a collector, it's got great pictures of the landmark, and interesting info about the hotel.
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There are quite a few books about Disneyland the park, but very little about Disney the hotel, and this book fills the gap very well!

A well-written and detailed book about the beginning years of the hotel (hopefully the later years will be written in a later volume?) full of many colorful and insightful photographs. The pictures are not just of the hotel, but of memorabilia such as menus, room tags, etc.

I highly recommend this book for any Disney collector, history buff, or anyone interested in the mystique of all things Disney!
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This book is for fellow Disney history geeks similar to myself. I stayed at the hotel every summer growing up and had been on the lookout for a book on it's history for quite sometime. I ordered this as soon as I found it and am quite pleased that I did. It's very detailed and includes MANY pictures I had never seen, including many fine aerial shots of the hotel and the surrounding area. This was obviously a labor of love for the author and it shows. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED...
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