Disney Legend John “Jack” Wrather, Jr. was born in 1918 in Amarillo, Texas. Jack was a successful businessman as well as Hollywood producer, and the person Walt Disney turned to when he needed a hotel built next to Disneyland.
In 1954, as the Disneyland project was well underway, Jack got a call from Disney asking if he was interested in building a hotel next to the park. As he later explained, “I had heard a little bit about the Disneyland plan but when they told me where it was going to be built, all I could exclaim was ‘Anaheim! Oh, God! Anaheim!’ Then I asked them why they didn’t call Hilton or Sheraton…They said they had called them, but Hilton and Sheraton never heard of Anaheim and weren’t interested.”
With Disneyland being rushed to open in July of 1955 for its television premiere, the Disneyland Hotel was also being built at breakneck speed and was not ready to welcome its first guests until October of 1955.
The Disneyland Hotel, like the park itself, turned out to be a big success. In the years after its opening, Disney made several attempts to buy the Disneyland Hotel, but Jack resisted. Jack passed away in 1984. Disney finally acquired the Disneyland Hotel in 1987, when it purchased a half share ownership in the Wrather Corp. and then purchased the other half in 1988.
The plant life and horticulture is one of the distinct things about Disney. The topiary of Mickey, Minnie and Pluto greet you as you exit the Disneyland Hotel.
The downtown Disney District is a collection of shops and restaurants, but don't forget to stop at the many photo ops along the way. Here, the LEGO store has wonderful character displays.
The country’s second-largest LEGO Store is a fanciful space filled with impressive displays, interactive play areas and a huge selection of LEGO products.
Both inside and outside the store, you’ll be dazzled by life-sized Disney characters lovingly rendered in LEGO, from a fire-breathing Maleficent to Belle and the Beast preparing to take the dance floor.
Here’s some of what LEGO has in store for you:
Pick-a-Brick Wall – This enormous display of LEGO components makes it easy to find what you’re looking for. Select specific LEGO bricks, elements and mini-figures in a variety of colors and shapes. Buy only one brick or an assortment for your next creation.
The Living Room – Stay and play in this interactive area where you can enjoy hands-on, minds-on exploration. Use pieces you already own to create simple, seasonal models or get what you need from the Pick-a-Brick Wall.
Brand Ribbon – Follow this display around the perimeter of the store to discover cool LEGO model displays, fun facts and key moments in LEGO history.
Outdoor Play Area – Get some fresh air while constructing a project or playing with your latest design.
LEGO Activities – The store hosts workshops and LEGO Club Meetings for LEGO enthusiasts of all ages.
If you go inside the LEGO store, be sure to look up and you'll see Genie, Aladdin and Jasmine flying overhead.
Read our REVIEW of Goofy's Kitchen Character Breakfast located inside the Disneyland Hotel at the end of the Disney District.
Growing up in Los Angeles in the 70s/80s we visited Disneyland on a regular basis and often after school, before "Annual Passes".
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