Disney Submits Plans for New Disneyland Resort Luxury Hotel
Today the city of Anaheim finally received the plans for Disneyland's long rumored fourth Disneyland Resort hotel. If you know anything about city planning and development you know that plans are just that - plans. However, the City Council's tax incentive policy does allow developers to develop four-diamond luxury hotels as long as they adhere to the AAA's luxury hotel guidelines. Disney intends to do just that by investing $225,000 per guest room and in return keeping 70% of that 15% room tax for the next 20 years. Sweet.
The property, located at 1401 Disneyland Drive, is on a 10 acre parcel currently known as the Downtown Disney parking lot (nightmare!) on which Disney proposes to build a parking structure and 700 room luxury hotel. Only the Disneyland Hotel and Disney Grand Californian Hotel & Spa (someone gift me a room night there PLEASE) currently have the four-diamond rating - so a new luxury hotel will be a welcome addition to the Disneyland Resort. I expected this to happen across Harbor and am pleasantly surprised to learn it's happening North of Downtown Disney.
It appears as though the Wincome Group has won the City of Anaheim contract lottery with already 2 other properties in development and now this new Disney property. I'm talking Mega Millions jackpot here people. It all comes down to money and these are big players in the middle of a big development a few years in the making. I mean, have you seen the new Great Wolfe Lodge in Garden Grove!? Only a handful of the hotels on Harbor have had major renovations in recent years and we are finally seeing new (great job Marriott) properties pop-up. It's a good time to build and I look forward to seeing the hotel options grow in the years to come not just for my Disney trips, but also for Supercross and other So Cal adventures.
As I sit here and wonder if this will be a Star Wars themed hotel with a hyper space style monorail extension into the park, I am excited and not in the least bit opposed to this new change.
I'm an old school Disney geek. I want this new luxury world created not just by current WDI staff, but also by Walt's remaining team. I want Bob Gurr at the helm. I want to be transported to Disneyland 1955 while being quietly submerged in the highest, most transparent technologies of today. I want this to look, taste and smell like Walt but feel like the tomorrow we will never see. I want tikis and space suits and moving sidewalks. I know it's a dream, but hey - isn't that what Disney is all about?
Yes, this will impact Disneyland race courses in the coming years and make traffic in the area a headache, but those Downtown Disney lots are such a (mostly unused) cluster right now anyway that this is a welcome and much needed step forward. I only hope it has that Walt Disney classic sense of whimsy and child-like magic with hidden grown-up touches seamlessly built-in.
What are your thoughts? Can't wait to hear you chime in!