Disneyland unveiled its latest announcement yesterday, and the internet is not happy.
As both Walt Disney World and Disneyland have been making concerted efforts to include more Intellectual Properties (IPs) and recognizable characters throughout their parks in recent years, including Disneyland’s change of Pacific Wharf to San Fransokyo from Big Hero 6 (2014), their latest announcement is a step in the opposite direction.
Their newest and fourth on-property hotel, The Villas at Disneyland, debuts this September, with news about the hotel being released yesterday. According to a Disney blog post, the hotel will “blend timeless Walt Disney Animation Studios classics with contemporary designs, delicately curating a celebration of Disney history in the place where it all started—the Disneyland Resort.” Unfortunately, first looks of the hotel are lackluster, with the exterior lacking any distinctly Disney effects. The rooms look like any standard hotel room, just with Disney decorations. Many people took to Twitter to express their disappointment.
One Twitter user, @JakeRadford95, responded directly to the Tweet from the official Disney Parks account, stating, “Using ‘the magic of Disney storytelling’ while showing a picture of what could reasonably be a Hilton is kinda silly to me. Looks like a really nice place to stay! But call a spade a spade.”
Using “the magic of Disney storytelling” while showing a picture of what could reasonably be a Hilton is kinda silly to me.
Looks like a really nice place to stay! But call a spade a spade.
— Jake Radford (@JakeRadford95) February 22, 2023
User @Nukunuku29 says something similar, “Looks like a Marriott. I’ll just stay at a Marriott for half the price. When I stay at Disney, I want theming.”
The other three hotels on Disneyland property are obviously Disney, with themed elements throughout the lobbies and rooms as well as around the outside of the buildings. The Villas at Disneyland looks like any other boutique hotel on the outside, the concept art showing red and brown paint details and several palm trees scattered around the nondescript pool. While the rooms do have Disney pictures, murals, and other minimalist elements, the room themselves are nothing special compared to the rooms at the other resorts.
User @EricD9898 responds with a similar complaint, “So it’s a Marriott. I miss when Disney cared about theming. Now just hang a picture of an IP and call it a day.”
The rest of the comments under the Disney Parks Tweet are pretty similar, with people asking where the theming went, joking about how high the nightly rate will be, and expressing overall disappointment. With more and more of the in-Park rides, settings, and attractions being replaced by Disney IP theming, it’s curious that Disneyland would make their newest hotel so basic. It is one of now four hotels on property, and with it looking like any other Disney Good Neighbor Hotel, it seems like Disney dropped the ball on their latest hotel.
What do you think about The Villas at Disneyland? Are you hoping to stay there for your next trip, or will you stay elsewhere? Let us know!