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  • Disneyland Hotel original owner


    Hi All,

    I just got the most interesting phone call. Last week, I mailed a book to Helen Alvarez Smith in San Diego. Ms. Smith was the original half-owner of the Disneyland Hotel until Jack Wrather bought her out in 1958. When I sent her the book, I enclosed my phone number and she just called me. We spoke for about 30 minutes on the phone. She is going to mail me a letter and also send a whole bunch of pictures from the early days of the Disneyland Hotel (I will be sure and post the photos here). She is a very spry 85 years old and in perfect health. She said the book brought back many happy memories for her and also evoked some great stories on the very early days of the Disneyland Hotel. I can't wait to meet with her and talk over the history of the Hotel. If you look at old brochures (1955-1958), you see Wrather-Alvarez Hotels, Inc. on the backs of them. It was absolutely thrilling talking with Ms. Smith on the phone. I have been trying to find her for over six years.


    www.magicalhotel.com
    sigpicwww.magicalhotel.com

  • #2
    Re: Disneyland Hotel original owner

    How exciting for you! I love that kind of interview research and urban archeology that you do. Can't wait to hear and see more.

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    • #3
      Re: Disneyland Hotel original owner

      I look forward to seeing the photos that she send on to you!
      The Mur
      ______________________________________________
      Two different worlds.....we live in two different worlds

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      • #4
        Re: Disneyland Hotel original owner

        That is really great. I look forward to the pictures.

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        • #5
          Re: Disneyland Hotel original owner

          Wow! What a happy Christmas phone call!

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          • #6
            Re: Disneyland Hotel original owner

            very awesome man!

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            • #7
              Re: Disneyland Hotel original owner

              That's great news Donald!

              Having read your book, I can't wait to see the pics that you're going to post.

              For all you MiceChatters out there, if you want to read the ultimate book on the Disneyland Hotel, then you have to buy OldHotelGuy's book, "Disneyland Hotel".


              It takes an amazing look back at the DH from it's inception, to the many changes it's gone thru over the years with some great historical background on the Hotel's owners. :bow:

              Great read!
              [\shameless plug]
              Charlie :wave:
              MiceChat User #1037

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              • #8
                Re: Disneyland Hotel original owner

                You know with Disneyland being almost 52 years old, it won't be much longer before we've lost everyone associated with it's beginnings. I wish there was some way to thank all those people who worked so hard to bring a little joy into the world. Thanks for keeping us informed about one more of those folks!
                sigpic

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                • #9
                  Re: Disneyland Hotel original owner

                  Originally posted by 5hr drive View Post
                  You know with Disneyland being almost 52 years old, it won't be much longer before we've lost everyone associated with it's beginnings. I wish there was some way to thank all those people who worked so hard to bring a little joy into the world. Thanks for keeping us informed about one more of those folks!
                  I proposed to Disney to put some sort of tribute a large picture or plaque up memorializing Jack and Bonita Wrather as well as Helen Alvarez Smith for their part in helping Walt Disney realize his dream. Walt had approached many others to build a hotel and all of them turned him down. All except one......Jack Wrather. That took incredible courage and a great deal of capital to undertake but Jack was a true friend to Walt and believed in his dream. I think a wondow on Main Street would also not be a bad idea. Thoughts???


                  www.magicalhotel.com
                  sigpicwww.magicalhotel.com

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                  • #10
                    Re: Disneyland Hotel original owner

                    Originally posted by oldhotelguy View Post
                    I proposed to Disney to put some sort of tribute a large picture or plaque up memorializing Jack and Bonita Wrather as well as Helen Alvarez Smith for their part in helping Walt Disney realize his dream. Walt had approached many others to build a hotel and all of them turned him down. All except one......Jack Wrather. That took incredible courage and a great deal of capital to undertake but Jack was a true friend to Walt and believed in his dream. I think a wondow on Main Street would also not be a bad idea. Thoughts???


                    www.magicalhotel.com
                    That seems appropriate. Maybe the window of the Hotel Marceline on Center Street, if it's not already taken.
                    sigpic

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                    • #11
                      Re: Disneyland Hotel original owner

                      Originally posted by 5hr drive View Post
                      That seems appropriate. Maybe the window of the Hotel Marceline on Center Street, if it's not already taken.

                      Man, that is an awesome idea!!! How appropriate.




                      www.magicalhotel.com
                      sigpicwww.magicalhotel.com

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                      • #12
                        Re: Disneyland Hotel original owner

                        Originally posted by oldhotelguy View Post
                        I proposed to Disney to put some sort of tribute a large picture or plaque up memorializing Jack and Bonita Wrather as well as Helen Alvarez Smith for their part in helping Walt Disney realize his dream. Walt had approached many others to build a hotel and all of them turned him down. All except one......Jack Wrather. That took incredible courage and a great deal of capital to undertake but Jack was a true friend to Walt and believed in his dream. I think a wondow on Main Street would also not be a bad idea. Thoughts???

                        www.magicalhotel.com
                        At the very least it would be an appropriate gesture. Can't wait to see the photos from her collection, thanks.
                        "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

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                        • #13
                          Re: Disneyland Hotel original owner

                          Awesome. Can't wait to see the pics

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                          • #14
                            Re: Disneyland Hotel original owner

                            oldhotelguy, I look forward to the pictures here and on your site. I love your book!!!! Now that you have a new source, and because, although the Wrather time was the golden era, there is still quite a lot to tell about that magical hotel, might you be writing a sequel? Are you working on any other projects?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Disneyland Hotel original owner

                              What a wonderful present to get that phone call for you, and a great opp for us to get more first hand memories and pictures cant wait. Any luck with a proposed history section at the hotel or a window? Sounds like a wonderful idea.

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