There has been a lot of outcry for the Bonita Waterfalls at the Disneyland Hotel to be saved from the wrecking ball, but this past week saw the the faucet turned off and the walls placed around this beloved corner of the Disneyland Hotel grounds. For those of you who don’t know, back in May, Disneyland announced that the center area of the Disneyland Hotel would receive a large re-construction. This would include new restaurants, a new pool to be themed to the original monorail station, and demolition of the waterfalls on the south side of the courtyard to make way for a new wedding lawn. The Bonita Falls, so named for the original name of the hotel tower they stand next to, were built in 1979 before Disney owned the hotel. Disney’s official word on the waterfalls is that they are not energy efficient and needed to be removed in order to fit with the new design.
Heather Hust Rivera of Disney’s Disney Park Blog said in a comment response to the announcement:
“As we reconfigured the pool area, we had to make a few changes and needed to remove the koi pond and waterfalls. We lost some grass area as a result of our fun additions, and we realized that guests still needed this grass area for events. This decision is also more environmentally-friendly because the koi pond and waterfall area required a lot of water and electricity.” (link)
There is definitely no saving the waterfalls, although some have tried. A small band of waterfall fans have written letters to Disney trying to stop the demolition but without success. Walt Disney himself said, “Disneyland will never be finished as long as there is imagination left in the world“. The Bonita Falls are not the first beloved attraction or landscape to go the way of yesterland, and it definitely will not be the last! I personally loved this area. I remember visiting this area as a child, and as a parent I have frequently taken my children to skipper their own Jungle Cruises, explore the waterfalls and feed the Koi. It was relaxing, fun for kids and free to the public that knew about them. With that said, I spent some time out at the Hotel’s waterfalls over the past few weeks and shot some high definition video of the area and the waterfalls. I got so much footage that it was hard to figure out what made it and what got the cut, so in the end I ended up with two videos. The first video is a montage of sorts and shows off the entire area, day and night and tries to give a sense of just how relaxing the area was. The second video really shows off the light show that guests were treated to at night.
These gems of the Hotel will be missed, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t move on. I hope that you enjoy these two videos, as I have enjoyed making them!