I have fond memories of going to the hotel with friends as a teen, when we didn't have the money to go into Disneyland. Annual passes did not exist back then, so we couldn't just go into the park anytime we wanted to! We would hang out at the Hotel, walk around the waterfall area, look in the shops and sometimes buy a ticket for a round-trip on the Monorail (they would lock you in the rear nose of the train and the door would NOT be opened when it reached the Tomorrowland station. To a huge Disneyland fan, it could've been considered a form of torture.)
Speaking of the Monorail, let me begin this post with concept art from Disney for a planned water slide area at the hotel.
Disney has announced that this will be a new addition to the existing pool area at the Hotel. The top platform is supposed to be reminiscent of the Hotel Monorail station with a replica of the old Disneyland signage above. The slides will include recreations of original monorail cars, which guests will actually "slide through" on their way down.
The postcard below is borrowed and used with permission from Don Ballard. Check out his blog and his website. I highly recommend his book, Disneyland Hotel, The Early Years 1954-1988, which can be purchased on his website, and he is currently working on addendums to his book which will be filled with additional info and images that he has aquired just since writing his book.
The following concept art from Disney shows the placement of the waterslide area (almost direct center.) It will be connected to the existing Neverland Pool, which will retain it's current shape, but it too will be getting a make-over. If you look to the south of the waterslide area, you will see a grassy area just in front of the soon-to-be Frontier Tower (formerly the Bonita Tower and currently the Wonder Tower.) This is the spot where the Hotel waterfalls have existed for the past 31 years.
Now, let's take a closer look.
There are multiple paths that lead down to, and actually underneath the waterfalls.
There are some smaller waterfalls as well. That building in the background is a remnant of the old Seaports of the Pacific Shops at the Hotel. We'll take a closer look at that building in a future post.
There is also a "hidden" cave located in this area.
Let's go in!
It's kind of like Tom Sawyer Island! It even smells a bit like the caves on Tom Sawyer Island if you know what I mean!
Another interior shot......
....and again, with a flash.
Exiting the cave......
This section of the Hotel property really is beautiful. It's a shame Disney feels a need to get rid of it.
Here's the view from above.....
In part two of this series, we'll take a look at the Hotel's Koi Ponds and Dancing Waters. Click here to read that post now.