Disneyland Resort

Disneyland, short for Disneyland Resort, is a theme park and resort in Anaheim, California. The Walt Disney Company’s Parks, Experiences, and Products division owns and operates the property, which features two theme parks (Disney California Adventure and Disneyland Park), three hotels, and the retail, dining, and entertainment center known as Downtown Disney.

In the 1950s, Walt Disney created the resort. Upon its initial public showing, Disney’s business partner Jack Wrather opened Disneyland and the adjacent 100-acre parking lot and Disneyland Hotel in July 1955. Following the huge financial success of Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, Disney purchased enormous tracts of land next to Disneyland in order to replicate the same multi-park, multi-hotel business model there.

The initial theme park was originally called Disneyland Park, but after the expansion, the entire complex was rebranded as Disneyland Resort, which is located near Los Angeles, CA. They bought the Disneyland Hotel from the Wrather Company and the Pan Pacific Hotel from the Tokyu Group. In 2000, Disney transformed the Pan Pacific Hotel into the Paradise Pier Hotel. Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, a second theme park called Disney California Adventure, and the Downtown Disney shopping district all opened in 2001.

In July of 1955, Disneyland debuted to the public following a press preview that was broadcast live on ABC television. Disney’s first year at the park was a smashing success, despite the calamitous occurrence that became known as “Black Sunday,” during which multiple attractions failed and other disasters occurred. Opening three months after the park, the hotel saw comparable popularity. Since Walt Disney’s resources were depleted, hotel entrepreneurs sprang up in the area surrounding the park and hotel to cash in on Disneyland’s popularity by opening their own hotels to accommodate the park’s visitors.

The city of Anaheim was keen to collect more tax money from hotel development, much to Walt Disney’s chagrin. He had hoped to escape the garish vibe of colorful lights, flamboyant neon signs, and the then-popular Googie architecture that permeated the neighborhood around Disneyland. As Anaheim expanded in the 20th century, the city developed the Anaheim Convention Center directly across the street from Disneyland’s original parking lot. Disneyland was eventually “boxed in,” prompting Walt Disney to purchase a much larger plot of land on which to build Walt Disney World. After Jack Wrather’s death in 1984, the Walt Disney Company began purchasing assets west of the park, including the Disneyland Hotel in 1989, the Pan Pacific Hotel in 1995, and a number of sites north of the Disneyland Hotel in the mid to late 1990s.

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