The Disneyland Dream Suite was a 2,200-square-foot (200 m) luxury apartment at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. It was created for the "Year of a Million Dreams" promotion that ran from October 1, 2006 through December 31, 2008, and closed in 2014.
History of the Suite
In the early 1960s as construction of New Orleans Square was proceeding, Walt Disney decided he needed a bigger entertaining facility for various VIPs that came to the park. He already had an apartment above the Fire Station on Main Street, U.S.A. but it was too small to host elaborate events. Walt decided to place the suite in New Orleans Square, set back from the hustle and bustle of the park.
Disney brought in set designer Dorothea Redmond, famous for creating the sets in Gone with the Wind, to help him with the apartment layout. To furnish and decorate the area, he left his wife Lilly and Walt Disney Studio set decorator Emile Kuri to collaborate as they had on other projects (such as Club 33, the Firehouse Apartment, etc.). The project was christened by The Royal Suite, inspired by its location off New Orleans Square's Royal Street.
After Walt Disney died on December 15, 1966, many projects at Walt Disney Productions were put on hold or abandoned. At the request of his brother Roy, who felt the family would not enjoy The Royal Suite with Walt gone, the project was quietly set aside. It was fairly close to completion at the time of Disney's death, including infrastructure and plumbing.
The Dream Suite
On October 1, 2007, The Walt Disney Company announced that the recently closed Disney Gallery would be remodeled and turned into the Disneyland Dream Suite. The remodeled suite would be the realization of Walt's dream to have a larger private apartment built at Disneyland, and would be made available to randomly selected guests of the park. The space underwent a whirlwind remodeling, with Disney Imagineers closely following the original design drawings from Dorothea Redmond.
Located above Pirates of the Caribbean, the Disneyland Dream Suite includes a living room, open-air patio, two bedrooms and two bathrooms.
"Our plan has been to use the renderings that Walt worked on with Dorothea Redmond and to replicate those as exactly as we can", said Walt Disney Imagineering Art Director Kim Irvine. "Her illustrations were very specific, with a color and style for each room".
"But to make it special for the guests, we want it to be more than just beautiful suite. We want it to be filled with things that might have inspired Walt as he dreamed of Disneyland".
One of the most distinctive characteristics of the Dream Suite is the private balcony, which overlooks the Rivers of America. From here, guests have an unobstructed view of the nighttime spectacular Fantasmic!. In addition to that night's lodging in the Disneyland Dream Suite, each selected 2008 Disney Dreams Giveaway winner of the Disneyland Dream Suite will also be celebrated as the honorary grand marshal in that day's Disneyland parade.
The Suite is still given out as a prize through various promotions.