Featured Attractions

Friday, July 27, 2018

Freaky Fridays: The Moving Entrance

When DISNEYLAND first opened, the city of Anaheim had offered to rename Katella Avenue, which was located at the southernmost boundary of Disney’s Anaheim property, after DISNEYLAND. Walt Disney declined, as the street had been named after two sisters whose family had originally owned most of the land that became DISNEYLAND. Mr. Disney felt that the two Anaheim pioneers should remain a part of history. Besides- at that time, DISNEYLAND’s Main Parking Entrance was on Harbor Blvd. Renaming the street would not only be a slap in the face of Anaheim history, it would confuse tourists. As DISNEYLAND expanded, it finally did open an auxiliary entrance on Katella Ave. In 1960, the Entrance sat between the then new Heidi Motel and the Alpine Inn. In the picture below, you can see the entrance at the bottom of the picture between the two square shaped buildings.

In the above matchbook, the location of the motel is shown in relation to the South Gate. In the late 1960’s, DISNEYLAND purchased the Heidi Motel and shifted the Katella entrance to the west of it. The original driveway into the parking lot became a restaurant. The south entrance stood for the next 30 years, beckoning overflow crowds into the Magic Kingdom.

Both the toll plaza and the Heidi Motel were demolished in 1997 to make way for Disney California Adventure.