Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Disneyland Hotel: Part 3 - The Old Marina Buildings

We're going to continue with the "Disneyland Hotel" theme of the last several weeks. Today, we will be taking a look at the old Disneyland Hotel Marina buildings that are still standing today. They have been outlined in yellow on the postcard below (again, courtesy of Don Ballard....thank you!!!) In addition to these, there are two more buildings that can't be seen in this photo because they are blocked by the hotel tower.

Those two hidden buildings can be seen here in this 1968 concept art from Don Ballard's website and book, showing the then-proposed Marina area.

Here is the artwork again, but I've circled the structures that are still standing today. The buildings circled in red and green are currently restaurants, and the building circled in blue had a very large addition made to it in 1980 as a part of Seaports of the Pacific shops expansion, and is now part of the hotel's video arcade.

Below, is the green circled building which is Croc's Bits 'N Bites (Hosted by Nestle.) The menu here consists of fast food.....Burgers, Fries, Chicken Nuggets and Nestle ice cream treats.

Just to the right of this structure is the larger building which was circled in red. When this restaurant first opened back in 1969, it was called the Shipyard Inn. Today, it is called Hook's Pointe and features a variety of fresh seafood entrees.

Here's a vintage aerial shot showing both structures. Note the red phone booth in the lower right hand corner that is also visible in the current shot above (it looks as though it was moved just a few feet closer to the building at some point.) The long structure with the rusted metal roof is now the Lost Bar. We'll see a current shot of it in just a minute. The building in the bottom left corner is the same one that is circled in blue in the concept art above. When the hotel added The Seaports of the Pacific Shops, a "pagoda top" was added to the roof of this building.

Here's another shot of Hook's Pointe, taken from the other side of the building (what used to be the Marina side.)

And here's yet another vintage aerial shot.

This next photo was taken standing where the hotel's Marina used to be located and also the future site of the hotel's new water slides.

Compare the shot above with the one below from Don Ballard's collection. On the left is the former Shipyard Inn (Hook's Pointe) and on the right is the structure that we saw with the Pagoda added to the roof. Also note that the sliding glass doors and balconies have all been eliminated from the Sierra/Dreams Tower. This is part of an ongoing renovation to all three towers.

Let's move on now to the remnants of the old Seaports of the Pacific Shops. In recent years half of this building was converted into a very large glassware shop called Euro Gifts & Collectibles by Arribas Bros. (They also run the glass blower shops on Main St. and in New Orlean's Square and have a small stand in Downtown Disney.)

This is the south side of the glass shop, which we saw in my "Hotel Waterfalls" post. The path on the left leads down to the area with the waterfalls and cave.

This photo was taken from inside the shop, looking out at the waterfalls. Just look at that beautiful old tree (soon to be grass) outside the window!

Here we see the exterior again. There is a water feature around the base of the building.

Water spews out of these sculptures and into a pond. The pond then spills over into the waterfall area below it. Once again, I highly recommend going to see this area before it all goes away!

Continuing around the building, we end up at the rear entrance. This half of the building has been converted into a video arcade.

Now moving around to the north side of the building, we see the section that has been converted into The Lost Bar.

Here's a vintage publicity photo from Daveland for comparison.

And a couple more current shots.

Note the interior of the glass shop in this next photo compared to above. The shop has already been permanently closed and it's stock has been cleared out. Just to the right of those windows is another entrance to the arcade. This section of the arcade dates back to when the Marina was built and once again, is the building we saw with the Pagoda addition on the roof. It may not be too recognizable now from the outside, but the inside is all wooden posts and beams with a wooden "deck" floor.

And of course, I have to mention the mini-Jungle Cruise remote control boats that sits next to these structures. For more photos of these, click here for my Adventure Thru Inner Jungle Cruise post from 2009. I gave the post that title because the people in the boats very much reminded me of the little people in the "miniaturized" Atomobiles of Adventure Thru Inner Space.

Now for some good news and some bad news.....but mostly bad. As mentioned in previous posts, the hotel waterfall area, the Koi ponds and the old Dancing Waters arena are all going to be removed and replaced with pretty much nothing. The old Seaports of the Pacific shops (the glass shop, the arcade, and the Lost Bar) and Croc's Bits 'N Bites are also all slated for demolition. If you look at the concept art below from Disney, it shows a building simply marked, "Restaurant and Bar" in the exact same spot as the Shipyard Inn/Hook's Pointe building. I asked a cast member from management yesterday if that building was going to be removed and a new one built in it's place. Unfortunately she did not know for sure, but she did know for sure that the other structures would all be removed.

The one little ray of hope here, is that maybe this 40 year old building will be allowed to remain standing. Disney has announced that the new "restaurant and bar" will be done in the style of the old Tahitian Terrace from Adventureland. If done correctly, this could be a truly wonderful addition to the hotel. Of course, I would rather see something like that return to it's former location in Adventureland, but still....there is potential here for something great. I guess we'll just have to wait and see!


Daveland said...

What a lot of work - great post, Chris!

Dan Alexander said...

I really should have explored the Disneyland Hotel more on my last visit. Great Report!