The Orange County Register is reporting that the Walt Disney Company, through a subsidiary, has bought the Carousel Inn, located across Harbor Blvd from Disneyland, for $32 million.
According to the Register, Disney is not planning to assume operation of the hotel, which will remain under control of its current management. So this appears simply to be a case of Disney taking the rare opportunity to buy land adjacent to the Disneyland Resort when it became available.
Disney has bought Anaheim-area hotels before. The iconic Disneyland Hotel, after all, did not start under Disney ownership. Jack Wrather built and owned the hotel, using the Disneyland name under license, until the Walt Disney Company bought it in 1989 -- five years after Wrather's death.
FWIW, that was the deal that gave Disney control, for a while at least, of the Queen Mary in Long Beach, which inspired Disney Imagineers to design a theme park to surround it -- plans that eventually became Tokyo DisneySea.
In 1995, Disney bought the Pan Pacific Hotel, which eventually became the Paradise Pier Hotel.
Therefore, the Grand Californian is the only Disney-owned Anaheim hotel that's always been in Disney's hands.Tweet
I think maybe they did that to have more options later on maybe expansion? Probably not a bad investment either.
As far as I've heard, Disney owns that old RV park north of the 5 and the Toy Story Lot, but those are the only nearby "off site" properties that Disney owns. Anyone know of others?
I've seen it mentioned, but no verification that it is true, that they own the real estate in the form of apartments around the toy story lot through a third party? not sure
My guess is the properties they are really after are the ones at the corner of Harbor and Katella. Buying the Carousal Inn gives them the option to do a property swap with one of those hotels after Disney can get Carousal out. I don't see Disney wanting to operate a across Harbor Blvd simply because they don't want to have a single hotel across the street and be isolated from the rest of the resort. It would take years and a fortune to buy the other properties to expand the resort across Harbor Blvd, so I doubt their intention is to expand the resort there. Perhaps Disney has no plan whatsoever, and bought the hotel simply because they had the rare opportunity to do so. They can make up their mind while Carousal continues to pay the rent. It may be business as usual for now at Carousal, but there's no way Disney bought the property so they can continue to lease it.
I hadn't thought about a property swap with the Candy Cane Inn, but that's an intriguing idea.
WoW! I think buying Anaheim hotel properties would be a wiser use of funds than buying theme park marvel rights from Universal.
If they got the cash and they got the opportunity, why not buy them up? Disney can easily turn it into a Disney resort.
A property swap does nothing for Disney. Trading one property for another gains them nothing. Disney doesn't do a win-win. They do a win-lose. They win, you lose. Disney will continue to buy up properties and decide much later on how to develop them. The third park is a long term strategy. They aren't close to begin it, but 10 to 20 years is not that far away. (California Adventure is already 15 years old.) Acquiring properties is a long process and once they have a concentration that makes sense, they will make their move. Remember, they wore down the owners of the strawberry fields. A corporation will outlast the original owners.
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How many other properties to they own and haven't incorporated into their Disneyland Resort? I wished they bought GardenWalk. Maybe $200 million was too rich for them, but I can't imagine the prices getting lower. Real estate prices actually increased lately. They should buy out the properties on the corner of California Adventure. There are plenty of declining strip malls south of Katella and on Harbor Blvd. They can connect the properties to their employee parking lot and future third park.