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  • [Question] How do you feel about fully integrated hotels?

    The Paris Disneyland Hotel. The Grand Californian Hotel and Spa. The Hotel MiraCosta. These are the most recent examples of Disney building hotels that are fully intended to overlook the parks and are themed to their respective areas. I wager that this signals a departure from the prior status quo, where Disney accepted that building a hotel close by might mean just accepting that you can view it in the park (the original Contemporary Hotel and Paradise Pier Hotel come to mind).

    You might know where I am going with this. With the materials put out with DisneylandForward, Disney has suggested truly surrounding their Anaheim hotels with theme park environments and attractions. My question is not "what do you think of the plans," but rather considers the deeper possibility that Disney could build fully themed, non-IP hotels in certain areas of their parks. This is partially inspired by the Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser Hotel, which will be a fully immersive hotel experience that takes you to Galaxy's Edge in a shuttlebus designed to look and feel like a spaceship from the inside.

    For this thought experiment, assume that there are procedures in place for keeping people from roaming the parks at overnight, and emergency services needs will be properly met if needed. Admission to the parks is automatically included for every day of your stay, and park guests would need to show a valid room key to swipe into the elevators beyond the lobby. If it helps, assume Disney is offering you the opportunity to stay at one of these hotels free of charge to test the concept.

    How would you feel about it? The hotels don't need to be large or garish, but theoretically fit perfectly within whichever land they are built. Would you spend a night in the parks, if it were under these circumstances?

  • #2
    I think it would be a bad idea to implement widely. Maybe the hotels wouldn't need to be large, but in practice...they would be. The bigger the establishment, the more rooms to sell, the more money to rake in. And in almost any area of Disneyland, that's going to throw off the scale of other nearby structures and ruin the forced-perspective sightlines.

    A better idea would be to build the hotels a short distance from the parks and have themed shuttle services. With a dedicated access road not used by normal traffic, they could go so far as to have horse-drawn carriages and other exotic conveyances.
    Like this post? Read more like it at The Disneyland Dilettante!

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    • #3
      I'm torn. It can be appealing for something like the Grand California, which pairs well with DCA. However, I worry that the resort would retheme the Disneyland Hotel and Paradise Pier Hotel to whatever the final lands are. Or to an extreme, knock a hotel down for a new one. The possible bright spot, is that if Disneyland expanded West, the Disneyland Hotel would be directly next door again.

      While the Star Wars Starcruiser is a nice Imagineering idea, it's also a bit ridiculous in concept. A required amount of days at the hotel (3 days, no more or less). No actual daylight from any real windows; You're basically staying in a windowless big box store. You have to take a "transport" to leave; no simple walking out of the hotel by foot. And the exorbitant room cost makes it a bit much. Can't I just have a normal hotel?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Karalora View Post
        I think it would be a bad idea to implement widely. Maybe the hotels wouldn't need to be large, but in practice...they would be. The bigger the establishment, the more rooms to sell, the more money to rake in. And in almost any area of Disneyland, that's going to throw off the scale of other nearby structures and ruin the forced-perspective sightlines.

        A better idea would be to build the hotels a short distance from the parks and have themed shuttle services. With a dedicated access road not used by normal traffic, they could go so far as to have horse-drawn carriages and other exotic conveyances.
        This is in part an issue I would agree with. The parks rely HEAVILY on forced perspective to create that sense of awe when you view the Matterhorn or walk down Main Street. Even newer parks and structures utilize the age old trick. A hotel can’t really do that, it can have elements; but a five story hotel is always going to be five proper stories. GCH does a pretty incredible job of blurring the line, but it’s only really doing that for part of a wing, it’s not fully surrounded by the park, and even parts of the hotel do stand out.

        The idea of the Star Wars hotel in its original concept was that it was attached to the park, again part of the hotel. You couldn’t tell from inside so much, but leaves a lot of room to fix perspective etc etc. Fully immersing and surrounding means a lot more.

        I welcome any kind of expansion, especially one where we aren’t really losing anything, I think that can be great. But these announcements make me wary. Integrating shopping districts and hotels along with the parks......that is a step further down the precipice of Disney is just a mall with attractions. In fact it’s downright starting to feel like they are doubling down on this with some of these announcements.

        I really don’t mind seeing the Contemporary in the distance or part of DLH or GCH from the parks. Having an entire structure smack in the middle of attractions though, losing the ten minute stroll through DTD is not worth the possibility of having an edifice easily seen from all parts of the park. Hotels are Biiiiig.

        For some perspective.

        The Matterhorn is 24 meters
        The Castle is 37 meters
        Expedition Everest and Guardians are 61 meters and 56 meters respectively.

        The proposed new DVC tower for DLH would have been roughly 120 meters tall

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        • #5
          I'm not excited about the ides of Hotels inside the park. GCH works because it's not very tall and the architecture blends well with the Condor Flats/Grizzly Peak area. Having big glass towers will not blend into anything minus a New York ,Chicago or Vegas setting and that is not something I need in SoCal.

          I am fine with them using the offsite location for a mixed use shopping, hotel and entertainment district that will not upset the atmosphere of the Main Resort which would feel cheapened if there was a tower smack in the middle of a new land.

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          • #6
            As Disneyland Hotel goes......Disney needs to build a New Hotel......
            For those tower's are mighty old.....IMO
            Soaring like an EAGLE !

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            • #7
              Not for nothing, but IIRC, Disney didn't build the Paradise Pier Hotel, they acquired it when they were getting ready to become the Disneyland Resort. I suspect that if they had built it themselves, then maybe they would have done something to it to tie to Pixar Pier by now.

              As to the idea of the hotel being part of the park, I'm not entirely sold on it. For one, I like that non hotel guests can go eat at Goofy's Kitchen and Trader Sam's. But, I also recognize that if they were to ever actually develop the Toy Story Lot into a 3rd gate, they might have to do something like this on the residential side to act as a sound barrier to make the theme park noises less noticeable for the people in that housing (and it appears to be affordable housing too which means some of their own CMs might live there). Or with something like the Star Wars hotel in WDW. But that whole land locked cruise experience is so stupid and way too expensive for the average family visiting the parks. My preference would be that Disney do more "Value Resorts" in general as that is the "affordable" option for many guests. I know land is hard for them to acquire in Anaheim, but I do think that they should try to get some and build at least 1 true value resort that is highly themed, maybe something like Art of Animation only have each section be one of Disney's big IPs so like one area would be Avengers, one would be Star Wars, one for Princesses, and one for Pixar (although I also support the idea of making the Pier hotel be a Pixar hotel on its own, have the rooms be themed to different movies and a Pixar Character Dining restaurant, I also really hope someday we can get a Marvel Character Dining restaurant and I miss Ariel's Grotto).
              Trips coming up:

              May 22-26th
              July 13th-18th
              November 19th-25th

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              • #8
                I don't think I would mind if the area surrounding a hotel was an extension of DTD but keep the hotels out of the park. As mentioned before, a large hotel will destroy the forced perspective. Take a look at an aerial view of the Grand Californian, look at how much larger DCA could have been if the hotel had been built across the street.

                On another note, if you are staying in one of these surrounded hotels and you wish to take a nap to clear a migraine, forget it. Sound, lighting and attractions will make resting in your hotel room nearly impossible..
                Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

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                • #9
                  In terms of a thought experiment, I don't have a problem with hotels connected to the parks. Maybe they can come up with some spectacular design that hides its true function when you're inside the park. Maybe they can put a hotel into a mountain range that forms the berm. Who knows? Maybe we can dream big first before we poo poo an idea.

                  Getting into details, logistics, and business-side needs could scuttle any imaginative idea, but at a conceptual level I don't have a problem with hotels being connected to the parks.

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                  • #10
                    If the hotel is heavily themed to the area that it is attached too I'm all for it. There is something magical about a theme park view room, that being said they would have to bulldoze both paradise pier and the DL hotel and completely rebuild in order to blend them into any theme.
                    BGood! It's not just my motto its my name!

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                    • #11
                      It will be an interesting exercise if it comes to pass. I could handle it if somehow it was themed really well. That would be a pretty stark turn from Disney’s recent “theme” in hotels though, where they have now opted to go for a far more subtle touch of magic approach in their remodeling and new construction rather than the more elaborate theme we saw just over a decade ago in Animal Kingdom and Art of Animation resorts. As I previously mentioned GCH does a reasonably good job of blending in to its respective areas, but it is not many stories and instead carries a large foot print. This is something Disney would have to be willing to do with any totally encased hotels they built. Otherwise the scale of hotel to anything else is way off. It’s a monumental task to disguise a 10 story building as something other than a ten story building. It would be a balancing act between how much square footage they could dedicate to a lower wider floor plan versus using that square footage for the parks attractions.

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                      • #12
                        If it could be integrated like the Grand is, fine. It's somewhat shielded by trees/shrubbery, isn't too tall, and is kind of tucked off to the side-ish. But it looks like the DLH Paris is just smack-dab 'right there' as you to go in through the main gate. That 'look' I do not like. I wouldn't like any integrated hotel that stood out or had 100s of windows/balconies looking down on the inside of the park.

                        I guess it would depend on how they do it. If it doesn't ruin sightlines and isn't out of scale of its surroundings I wouldn't have a problem with it.
                        "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.​"

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                        • #13
                          As a kid if I were able to stay in a hotel where we were actually IN Disneyland...my head would have exploded. Even the Disneyland Hotel back then was a thrill when you could actually see the Matterhorn out the window. I'm all for it as long as long as it is VERY well conceived. If they have the talent for it...go for it.

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                          • #14
                            Disturbing thread title, Alec, but I was glad to read you weren't going George Wallace/MTG on us!

                            I would love it if a larger Hotel Cheyenne started inside of a Frontierland and if hotel were two or three stories and more Victorian/Western (fancier) inside & just outside of the park. Not only could the hotel resorts have rooms with views of the park (Don't let park guests see in the rooms!), but theme park lands could have views of the similarly themed resorts via restaurant windows.

                            A Disney resort train could be more scenic & a longer, faster ride if it ran through beautifully themed resort hotels instead of just circling the park, and this would promote the hotels like the Monorail that passes through the Contemporary.
                            Last edited by jcruise86; 04-06-2021, 10:15 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Co Foo View Post
                              In terms of a thought experiment, I don't have a problem with hotels connected to the parks. Maybe they can come up with some spectacular design that hides its true function when you're inside the park. Maybe they can put a hotel into a mountain range that forms the berm. Who knows? Maybe we can dream big first before we poo poo an idea.

                              Getting into details, logistics, and business-side needs could scuttle any imaginative idea, but at a conceptual level I don't have a problem with hotels being connected to the parks.
                              This was my thought, too. Let the imagineers do their thing and integrate the hotel as a part of the landscape. It could be awesome!

                              Comment

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