The Disneyland Resort is a recreational resort complex 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. It opened to the public July 17, 1955.
The Disneyland Resort's main properties include:
- Disneyland Park, the original theme park built by Walt Disney, which opened on July 17, 1955.
- The Disney California Adventure, a theme park that celebrates the history and culture of the Golden State, which opened on February 8, 2001.
- Disneyland Hotel, the original hotel built by Jack Wrather which opened in 1955 and was acquired by Disney in 1988.
- Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, based on the craftsman style of architecture of the early 1900s.
- Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel, a hotel themed after the section of Disney's California Adventure it overlooks.
- Downtown Disney, an outdoor retail, dining and entertainment district located between the entrance promenade of the Disneyland Resort theme parks and the Disneyland Hotel.
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 Fairy Tale Weddings.
- Mickey & Friends Parking Structure, the primary parking area for guests of Disneyland Park and Disney's California Adventure.
The Disneyland 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. 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. The "1313" is a tribute to Mickey Mouse, as the letter "M" is the 13th letter of the alphabet.
Attempted buyout of Knott's Berry Farm
At about the same time as the failed attempt to build Disney's America in Virginia in the early 1990s, the descendants of Walter Knott decided to sell Knott's Berry Farm. The Walt Disney Company initially decided to accept the offer due to the fact that Knott's Berry Farm was only a short distance northwest of Disneyland. It was then planned to convert Knott's Berry Farm into Disney's America.
After a number of problems, however, Disney's America was scuttled for the second and last time. One such problem was the fact that the Disneyland Monorail would have to be extended. Economic issues and competition with the automobile drew questions about the ability to extend the monorail. The key factor, however, was because the Knott family rejected Disney's offer out of fear that Disney would end up eliminating most of what Walter had built. In the end, Cedar Fair bought Knott's Berry Farm. Ironically, Cedar Fair eliminated more than what Disney had intended.
Park becomes resort
Disneyland Park's opening occurred across July 17 and 18, 1955. Due to budget constraints, Walt Disney did not own much of the area surrounding the park, including the Disneyland Hotel (which was owned by Disney's colleague Jack Wrather). In subsequent years, the Disney company gradually acquired the land west of the park, notably the Emerald Hotel of Anaheim (now Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel), the Disneyland Hotel, and several commercial properties north of the Disneyland Hotel. Smaller parcels of land east and southeast of the park were acquired as well and are presently used for parking.
In the early 1990s Disney announced plans to build WestCOT, a theme park similar to Epcot in Florida, on the site of the original parking lot. Had that plan come together with the plan to convert Knott's Berry Farm into Disney's America (see above), Disneyland would now cover three parks making it Disney's second largest resort after Walt Disney World. The plan was scrapped several years later and construction on Disney's California Adventure began in 1998. Along with a major renovation of the Disneyland Hotel, retheming of the Paradise Pier Hotel (then called Disneyland Pacific Hotel) and construction of Downtown Disney, Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and the Mickey & Friends Parking Structure, the expanded complex was inaugurated as the Disneyland Resort in early 2001.
The May 2008 issue of trade magazine Park World reported the following attendance estimates for 2007 compiled by Economic Research Associates in partnership with TEA (formerly the Themed Entertainment Association):
- Disneyland, 14.87 million visits (No. 2 worldwide)
- Disney's California Adventure, 5.68 million visits (No. 13)