Donald W. Ballard lives in Northern California with his wife and children. He first became interested in the Disneyland® Hotel in the late 1970’s. He never considered a trip to Disneyland® complete without a stay at the Disneyland® Hotel. The Hotel was an adventure and experience in itself to him aside from the joys of Disneyland®.
By 1998, he decided to start documenting the Disneyland® Hotel’s history. He began compiling many vintage paper items, photographs, magazines and souvenirs from the Hotel’s rich history. What first started as a short article for a Southern California travel magazine eventually became this book.
Along the way, Don learned a tremendous amount about the Hotel’s original owner Jack Wrather and recognized many parallels Wrather had to Walt Disney. Both were innovators and risk takers. Both had the guest’s experience and enjoyment first and foremost in everything they planned. Both were told Disneyland® and the Disneyland® Hotel would fail yet both persisted in their plans. What tremendous courage each man had!
Don was fortunate to have stayed many times at the Disneyland® Hotel in its pre-1999 format and experienced many of Jack Wrather’s amenities. He loved the Monorail Café and the Olympic Pool as well as the old Garden Villas and Suites. He was also fortunate to stay in the North Garden Villas the last night they were open to the public in May of 1999. Though sad to see the historical section of the Disneyland® Hotel removed, he understood the need for change. He and his family love the new Neverland Pool and Downtown Disney. He hopes that with this book, he can rekindle your fond memories of happy times spent at the original Disneyland® Hotel.