Featured Attractions

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Golfing at the Magic Kingdom

Anaheim's Vacationland was growing by leaps and bounds. While it wasn't a surprise to Walt Disney, the world was indeed flocking to DISNEYLAND, just like he thought it would. This created numerous opportunities for those who had put their faith in DISNEYLAND's success to take advantage of the investments they had made in the area around Mr. Disney's Magic Kingdom. 

No one outside of Mr. Disney himself had made a bigger bet on DISNEYLAND's success than Jack Wrather, who developed the DISNEYLAND Hotel. DISNEYLAND's guests were clamoring for things to do, food to eat and more sights to see, and Mr. Wrather's enviable situation put him in the middle of it all. He needed to give his guests some new activities, but also make sure that he could easily remove them in the future to grow the hotel. He decided to build two golf courses- a traditional 18 hole par three golf course and a miniature golf course for the kids.

In the picture above, the miniature golf course was located by the number 1, with the regular golf course designated by the number 2. The DISNEYLAND Hotel still had plenty of open spaces at the time and the golf course was seen as a great amenity to offer guests until the hotel needed to grow into the extra space.

Where else could someone take a cruise through the jungle, visit frontier-era America then enjoy a nice round of golf in the same day?

The miniature golf course was even more magical. After all, it was across the street from the happiest place on earth! Featuring Mickey Mouse and miniature versions of the magical sights found across the street, this miniature golf course was enjoyed by both the young and young at heart.

Eventually, the hotel was bursting at the seams. On busy summer nights, they were turning guests away. The hotel needed to expand, so both golf courses became just a memory. The regular golf course was taken over by the hotel itself; guests enjoying a dip in the hotel pool, a meal at Goofy's Kitchen or staying in the Fantasy or Frontier Towers are walking over what used to be the main golf course. The miniature golf course location is now the tram loading area for guests who parked in the Mickey and Friends parking structure.