Not often noticed though standing in plain sight is the little-known private apartment at Disneyland that Walt Disney often called home. Built before the Disneyland theme park first opened in 1955, Walt stayed in the apartment the night before opening day and many times after that.
Why Did Walt Disney Want an Apartment at Disneyland?
The apartment was built during the construction of Disneyland so that Walt Disney could stay near to the project and make sure everything was going smoothly. During the early years of Disneyland, he often stayed overnight to keep close to the park’s operations and planned improvements. It became a second home at times, his family staying there too. Walt enjoyed sleeping overnight at Disneyland, then stepping out of his apartment onto Main Street to greet visitors and oversee the park.
Where is the Apartment Located?
Walt Disney’s apartment is located on the second floor of the Town Square Firehouse on Disneyland’s Main Street. This street, located near the entrance of the park, is a stylized version of small-town American streets of the early 20th century. The bottom floor of the firehouse building is a non-operating fire station decorated with authentic antique fire equipment. The apartment includes a private terrace that overlooks part of the Jungle Cruise ride.
How Was the Apartment Decorated?
Walt Disney loved the Victorian era and decided to decorate his Disneyland apartment with plush furniture and decorations from that period of time. Decorated in shades of cranberry red, including carpeting and drapes, the apartment became a stylish vision of another time. Antiques, glassware and vintage curios add to the charm. The apartment was small, only 500 square feet, but cozy and comfortable. There was even a fire pole that family and visiting VIP guests could slide down.
Can the apartment be visited today?
Though not regularly open to the public, Disney’s private apartment can still be viewed from the outside while walking by the fire station on Main Street. Simply glance up to the second floor where a lamp is left burning in the window as a memorial to Walt Disney’s spirit.