Disneyland will build a fourth on-site hotel

June 8, 2016, 7:07 AM · Disneyland is working on plans to add a fourth on-site hotel at the resort, with eyes on a 2021 opening.

My colleagues over at the Orange County Register had the news last night. The hotel would be built on the site of the current Downtown Disney surface parking lot and would have 700 rooms, placing it third in size for the resort's hotels. The Grand Californian is the largest Disneyland resort hotel, with 1,019 rooms. The Disneyland Hotel has 990 rooms and the Paradise Pier 489. A new parking garage on the hotel site would replace the current Downtown Disney parking spaces and provide parking for hotel guests.

While there's no announced name or theme for the hotel at this point, "guests will dine in an upscale rooftop restaurant watching Disneyland’s nightly fireworks over Sleeping Beauty Castle. There will be two pools, a fitness facility, concierge service and a kid’s play area. The average nightly rate would be about $450," according to Disneyland officials cited by the Register.

The Register also reports that Disneyland will be applying for a tax subsidy the City of Anaheim made available to developer who build new four-star/diamond hotels in the city. The Grand Californian and Disneyland Hotels currently have that designation.

Disneyland is building a 14-acre Star Wars Land on the north side of the original Disneyland park, which should help draws millions more visitors to the resort, which posted strong attendance gains last year thanks to the start of its 60 anniversary Diamond Celebration, according to the latest industry attendance report. A fourth hotel would allow Disneyland to accommodate more of those visitors... while also earning more income from them by keeping them on site for the duration of their stay at the resort.

Construction on the new hotel would not start until 2018. The Anaheim city council won't need to approve the construction of the hotel, as Disney's already cleared for that, but the council will have to approve the tax rebate.

Replies (24)

June 8, 2016 at 7:50 AM · Seems like a tight fit in the former Downtown Disney parking lot. It's on 10 acres. There not a lot of space for the resort amenities like the pool, which in the artwork, looks like it butts up against the hotel building. I'm a little disappointed that it can't be more ambitious. $450 a night room is comparable to the Grand Californian; however, since the Great Wolf Lodge just opened down the street, they should consider building a full resort on the south Downtown Disney parking lot with a huge water park.

The artwork looks rushed. The theming is non-existent. More modern contemporary. Maybe it's just preliminary, but they didn't even bother with any Disney touches. It is rumored that there may be a private entrance for these hotel occupants. Who knows?

June 8, 2016 at 10:32 AM · Another Disney hotel that I can't afford to do more than look around the lobby. I wonder how long until you need a Fast Pass to do that.
June 8, 2016 at 10:47 AM · It's about time that Disney finally decided to build a 4th hotel. As it stands right now, it is not uncommon for all three hotels to be completely booked during summer and on holidays. However, much like anon mouse, I am quite disappointed in the execution of the hotel. Based on the lot and based on the concept pictures, it doesn't seem that this fourth hotel will be all that impressive. It honestly just looks like a glorified Paradise Pier Hotel. The hotel looks cramped and compact. What Disney should have done is build this hotel on the south Downtown Disney lot like anon mouse suggested. This would allow for far more rooms and a more spread out resort much like the Disneyland Hotel and Grand Californian. Also, based on the concept art, the hotel doesn't really feel Disney to me. It just feels like another luxury contemporary resort. Like I would be fine with paying around $250-$300 a night for a room, but $450 is far too much. For that price I might as well just stay at the Great Wolf. The only good thing about this hotel is probably the restaurant on the rooftop. It'll be interesting to see how this hotel stacks up against the Great wolf.
June 8, 2016 at 12:16 PM · I think it's kind of ridiculous to criticize the design and execution of a hotel before there's even an actual design and theme, let alone before it's been built. How can anyone think it's going to be like a glorified Paradise Pier Hotel? No way. The Paradise Pier and the Disneyland Hotel were acquired hotels and not built by Disney. As for the space. There's plenty of room for a quality hotel at that site and the location makes far more sense than putting on the south side of the property next to the electrical towers. Considering it's location, so close to the DL park and monorail station, along with the room rates and amenities, it actually sounds like this possibly is going to become the new flagship hotel of the resort. I suspect the ESPN Zone and Rainforest Cafe will also affected (moved or moderated) as the result.

Re. Great Wolf Lodge. I honestly don't think it will even be considered part of the conversation or seen as a real competition. No one who is going stay at this new hotel will care one wit about the GWL. It's all about location, location, location.

June 8, 2016 at 1:18 PM · Imagineering is designing the hotel so I hardly think it's going to be a glorified PPH. I'm guessing, with that location, on a sky bridge and personal entrance to DL. I have a feeling this will be the most upscale and probably most highly themed hotel in the resort.
June 8, 2016 at 1:21 PM · No theme was announced because Disney probably hasn't 100% decided on one yet, so why put out concept art which will only lead to more complaining if it isn't adhered to.
June 8, 2016 at 2:01 PM · @Disneyobsession

They haven't even decided on a theme yet. I wouldn't judge the hotel based on the footprint and a few sketches. I'd wait until they actually unveil the hotel. How can someone be judgmental about the "execution" when the hotel hasn't even been built?

The location is excellent because it is close to the monorail stop. If it was based on the South side, the walk would be too far. Especially for a hotel that is supposed to be on the same level as the Grand Californian.

June 8, 2016 at 7:12 PM · Any news on whether DVC villas would be included?

As for the concept art, the theme possibly looks art deco, in which case the finished product could be amazing. There's really not much to comment on now though, and certainly not enough to start criticising Disney for (although I guess that's what we're supposed to do in the comments section).

June 8, 2016 at 2:58 PM · Isn't it a bit too early to complain about this resort? After all, we know very little for sure and concept art does not necessarily represent the finished product perfectly. Personally, from what I've heard so far this seems like a good addition to the resort. The location makes a lot of sense, the size is appropriate, and the resort really needs the added capacity, especially once Star Wars Land opens. My only complaint is that it won't be ready until 2021, but better late than never I guess. Now, would I stay here? Probably not, because I don't go for $450 a night hotels, but I'd definitely wander over and check it out on a visit.
June 9, 2016 at 5:04 AM · Sounds like it would also be the second closest to the parks (ish).

Didn't Disney just buy a hotel too? Wonder what that is going to turn into.

June 9, 2016 at 7:30 AM · That would address the need for high-end hotels in DLR. But what about the economy hotels?

Disney could make a deal with those small hotels in Harbor Blvd. and theme them (external décor and internal furniture) with Disney`s movies like Dalmatians, Nemo, Donald Duck, Toy Story, Princess Sophia, etc… Each one with a different theme. In exchange, Disney could take a % of the revenue (or profit).

By doing that not only, Disney would bite a piece of the low-end accommodation market, but also would put an end to the cheap looking of Harbor Blvd, and given it a Disney atmosphere.

June 9, 2016 at 9:38 AM · @ Anthony Murphy the hotel that DLR purchased is Carousel Inn across Harbor Blvd. They are going to demolish it and use the space for a pedestrian walkway that will connect the theme parks with a new parking garage that will be built atop the Pumbaa lot.
June 9, 2016 at 9:54 AM · Flavio that would make a lot of sense. Many of those motels along Harbor Blvd were family-owned and fiercely independent. I'm not sure if that's still the case. But I think Disney would probably be just as reluctant to partner with a bunch of different operators. Besides Disney Anaheim doesn't really need to add value hotels. As you point out there's a ton of relatively inexpensive hotels/motels so close to the parks. It's not like WDW where the outside world is far away and there's lots of land in which to build cheap Disney motels. There's also a limited amount of space so they have to be really judicious in what they build.
June 9, 2016 at 9:59 AM · If people didn't bust on concepts, what fun would the comments be?? We just have to wait to see which side is right.
June 9, 2016 at 10:55 AM · From the Orange County Register article that Robert mentioned above:

"Mayor Tom Tait said he’s “very disappointed” with Disney for applying for the tax incentive."

'I don’t think Disney needs a subsidy,' he said. 'They do quite well without one. Our city needs that tax revenue to provide basic services to our residents. ... The council already voted to not tax them for 45 years, and that’s not enough. So, they want us to write them a check every year for 20 years. I think it’s outrageous.'

Why is Disney behaving like the neighborhood bully? It's no wonder that the rest of Anaheim looks like a war zone.

June 9, 2016 at 11:06 AM · If DLR wants to be a real resort, they need some affordable on-site hotels.
June 9, 2016 at 11:46 AM · Even if Disney hasn't 100% agreed on the theme yet, the lot is still far too small for Disney to build a signature resort on. The lot is just about 10 acres. Even if Disney were to utilize that entire lot for the hotel, that would still make this hotel smaller than the Disneyland Hotel and the Grand Californian, since a few acres would need to be dedicated for a parking structure. So let's just say that Disney decided to make the parking structure about 3 acres. That would leave 7 acres available to build a new hotel on. That 7 acres is considerably smaller than the approximately 13 acres that the Grand Californian sits on or the approximately 11 acres that the Disneyland Hotel sits on (both excluding the land occupied by parking lots and structures). This also makes the new hotel much more dense than the GCH and the DLH, since he GCH has a room density of about 78 rooms per acre, and the DLH has a room density of about 90 rooms per acre, while the new hotel would have a room density of about 100 per acre. So I'm just saying that for the price, this hotel does look like its gonna be a lesser value than that of other surrounding hotels.
June 9, 2016 at 1:53 PM · I'm figuring this hotel will not be a "resort" in the sense you might be thinking and instead it will be more like the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel and Ambassador. A larger hotel does not automatically mean higher quality.
June 9, 2016 at 2:41 PM · Disneyobsession, I don't necessarily agree with your conclusion. With clever design hotels in Asia have been able to make incredible use of smaller parcels of land to include incredible facilities. The only compromise it's might have to make is the large outdoor pool area that GC has. Although if you look at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore you get an idea what's possible even on that front (not that I'd expect anything like that here).
June 9, 2016 at 3:23 PM · Sylvain Comeau 'If DLR wants to be a real resort, they need some affordable on-site hotels.'

Why would Disney build a value priced hotel when the likes of Embassy Suites and Travelodge are right outside the gate and going for $150 a night? I'm stating the obvious here, but the local hotels fill the value role, leaving Disney to rope in more of the higher end market with its limited space. Makes perfect sense.

June 9, 2016 at 3:37 PM · Sylvain, It's the high end hotels that make for a "real resort." Low end hotels make for a Six Flags.
June 9, 2016 at 5:05 PM · Disneyobsession, you have got to be kidding. The idea that a luxury resort can't be built on a small acreage of land is ridiculous. There are plenty of hotels much more deluxe than anything Disney has produced. Many in large cities, in tighter spaces. Come on now.
June 10, 2016 at 7:20 PM · @

Tait opposed the hotel tax incentive, so it's no surprise that he doesn't like the fact that hotels want to take advantage of the tax advantage.

Any evidence that Disney is being a "bully" in this case?

June 11, 2016 at 8:47 PM · legally. I think tait's position is not constitutional or legal. They gave this incentive to other hotel corporations. If the city, wanted to restrict it to only the other companies, they should have stated it was a 2015 offer only. They didn't, that kept the incentive law on the books. If disney is building the same quality of hotel, I think a court would rule in favor of disney for the incentive and legal fees.

I actually wish, the caselaw was against disney. But. I don't think it is. If is was, disney would be more inclined to leave the area, for future park expansion. There is just a little bit of area in disneyland and a little bit of area in the back of CA adven left. although, at some point, they could remove autopia, while could be a whole land of space.

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