As you’ll recall, I had the opportunity to do an Agent Education Program at Disneyland a few months ago. As part of the program we got to do a “Heritage Experience.” In Disney-speak, that means “You’re going to see something really cool and exclusive.” What we got to see is the Disneyland Dream Suite. Let me tell you all about this amazing hidden treasure!
First, a little history. So, back in the 1950’s when Walt Disney was building and maintaining his “baby” aka Disneyland, he kept a little apartment above the fire station on Main Street USA. At that time, the apartment was fine because it was mostly just Walt and his wife and two daughters staying there. In the 1960’s, Walt felt like he needed a bigger space for his family and his daughters’ eventual grandchildren, and just a larger space for entertaining so he commissioned the apartment to be built right above New Orleans Square, which was already under construction.
The Royal Suite, as it was named at the time, never saw completion as Walt passed away in 1966 and several of his ongoing projects were abandoned. The family felt too devastated by Walt’s loss to continue the construction, so even though the apartment was nearly finished, it sat vacant for nearly 20 years.
In 2007, Disney hosted their “Year of A Million Dreams” event and for that, the Dream Suite was renovated into an actual hotel room. Winners were picked at random to spend the night in the Dream Suite for free. As with the room in Cinderella’s Castle in Walt Disney World, the Dream Suite cannot be booked. A stay there has to be awarded.
Now the best part! Let’s take a look inside!
The apartment is two bedrooms, two baths, a living room and a little hallway. We entered via the hallway. This is right as you come up the elevator by the entrance to Pirates of the Caribbean.
The entrance door. I loved the stained glass.
There’s a little courtyard located between the rooms. It was incredibly quiet in here despite the hustle and bustle of the park located below. In fact, you couldn’t hear ANY park noise inside the suite itself! It’s all soundproofed!
I absolutely adored the fabric on these lounge chairs!
As I mentioned, there are two bedrooms with en suite bathrooms. Each room in the house, including the living room are themed like a different park “land.” The first bedroom is Adventureland themed.
Now, it’s a beautiful room, but here’s where things get magical. Each room has a “Goodnight Kiss” switch. When that switch is flipped, something magical happens. The lights dim, and music plays…it’s wonderful! In this particular room, a Peter Pan inspired light show happens. They wouldn’t allow us to take video of the magic and my photos didn’t come out well. But it was so breathtaking!
Of course, there’s magic in the bathroom as well. When the switch is flipped here, the tub surround lights up with twinkling lights and Hidden Mickey appears spontaneously!
The second bedroom is Frontierland themed. It includes two beds instead of one so this is meant more for a children’s bedroom, I think. There is also a “Goodnight Kiss” switch in here which dims the lights and sends a little train on a trip around the perimeter of the room. You can see the tracks located on the shelf above the beds. Each little vignette has some little touch of Disney inspiration and magic.
This piece of artwork is a map of Disneyland park…with a bit of magic! It looks like any ordinary map, however, when the “Goodnight Kiss” switch is flipped…
…it lights up with twinkling lights and flowing water!
And the theme continues on to the bathroom.
To the living room! Check out this fireplace. It’s not a real fireplace, but a screen with a fire video on it. Occasionally, the sparks from the crackling fire look like fireworks! Another interesting thing is the little birdcage on the mantel. That is a replica of a toy Walt purchased at a flea market. The bird inside was mechanical and when you pressed a button it would chirp. That bird was the idea that later became Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room!
Just like all the other rooms, there’s a special switch in this room too. Here’s what it does to the grandfather clock!
Possibly one of the most interesting things about this suite is the view. It’s located right across from the Rivers of America where Fantasmic is shown nightly. From the balcony of the suite, you get a dead center perfect view of the show. The other thing is that you can look down upon all the park goers and get a bird’s eye view of what’s happening, but almost no one looks up. That would have been perfect for Walt to have watched the happy folks in his park without being the center of attention.
This insignia was inlaid into the wood of the balcony. Just beautiful!
And that’s a very short overview of the Dream Suite at Disneyland Park! This is truly a Walt Disney fanatic’s delight! So much history and so much Disney magic all in one 2200 sq ft apartment! If you would like to see it for yourself, you can purchase a VIP tour during your stay at Disneyland. I highly recommend it!