The Court of Angels Is Important To Disneyland

Those who follow the Disneyland rumor mill are no doubt aware of the reports that on September 28, 2013, the Court of Angels (Court des Anges) in New Orleans Square is slated to close as part of an expansion of Club 33. Per these rumors, the Court of Angels will become the new entrance to an expanded Club 33, and although it’s as of yet unclear whether the courtyard itself will be retained, informed speculation suggests that it is logistically impossible to keep the courtyard as-is and add the necessary accessible entrance to this location.

While I feel that it’s very unlikely that the Court of Angels will return in any recognizable form once Club 33 completes its expansion, I want to reiterate and stress that at this point, its closure is just rumor. I don’t want to be rumor-mongering over something that is potentially false rumor, but I feel that the overarching topic here is one that’s worth discussing regardless. If it returns, I will be beyond happy, and reminded that many of those who work for Disneyland also cherish the parks. If the Court of Angels disappears, it will really come as no surprise. Disney has shown that it views the area as expendable, transforming it into an ornament shop each of the last several Christmases, and using it for Pirates League last Halloween.

Some in the Disney community have suggested a campaign to “Save the Court of Angels,” with petitions and that sort of thing. That’s not the purpose of this article, and I don’t believe any such campaigns have a remote chance of success at this late stage. Unlike sentimental attractions even casual guests have cherished memories of, the Court of Angels is something that likely goes unnoticed by large swaths of the general public. Therein lies the problem. On paper, the Court of Angels is expendable because it serves no quantifiable function and average guests won’t even know what they’re missing.

There’s nothing particularly noteworthy about the Court of Angels for most guests. It doesn’t house an attraction. It has no strong ties to Walt Disney history. In fact, I’d hazard a guess that some of you reading–even those who have visited Disneyland before–have never even heard of the Court of Angels.

It's crazy that New Orleans Square wasn't always a part of Disneyland. Seeing photos of Disneyland pre-NOS in our Disneyland books is a bit...odd.

The Court of Angels is “just” a tucked away serene and quiet spot. It’s just the most beautiful corner of the most beautiful land in Disneyland. It just embodies everything most of us love about the Disney theme parks: gorgeous details and beauty for no particular reason, save for that incredibly important reason that those aforementioned qualities are exactly what set Disney theme parks apart from other parks. For many guests, these “Disney Details” and themed environments are what gives Disney theme parks their allure. We come back time and time again, and spend countless hours wandering places like World Showcase or Cars Land not because of anything on a park map, but because of the ambiance of simply being there.

The significance of these details isn’t lost on those working for Disney, either. I have countless Disney coffee table books featuring art and analysis from Walt Disney Imagineering that illustrate exactly how important those details are to the overall guest experience. The Disney Parks Blog even has a recurring piece called “All in the Details,” showing off the heavily-detailed quality of the parks. And they’re right to tout these details, as they are important. While the Disney parks might be just as popular with average guests so long as they didn’t get rid of the castle, Dumbo spinner, or Mickey Mouse meet & greet, many within the Company know that appealing to the lowest common denominator by making business decisions only on the basis of the ‘average guest’ is a slippery slope with long term consequences.

While I have little doubt that many individuals working for the parks understand the importance of these details, in the grand scheme of operations, actions speak louder than words. In terms of actions, in recent years it has become clear that some of these details are not as important as is stated. A corner with some pretty flowers or a water fixture but no defined function is actually dead space. As fans, we always hear that the “Accountaneers” are to blame for this–the folks who pore over spreadsheets and study reports on retail profitability per square foot.

Honestly, I don’t know if the supposedly “evil” Accountaneers are to blame, nor do I care. I think it’s fairly undeniable that various elements of the parks that could best be described as beauty for the sake of beauty have proportionately decreased over the years, while the proportionate square footage of dining and retail has increased over the years. Regardless of the cause for such a shift, to me, the decrease of one and increase in another says everything that needs to be said.

The point of this article thus is not to start a campaign to save the Court of Angels that is likely predestined for failure. Instead, it’s to remind one another, and maybe those who make the decisions or those who view the parks as figures on a spreadsheet, that things like the Court of Angels are incredibly important to the Disney theme park experience. It’s the little moments we treasure just as much as a ride on Space Mountain, and it’s the little details that become indelible parts of our memories from visits to the parks over the years. These little things might seem superfluous on paper, especially when the alternative is expanding a private club that can generate $35,000+ on each new member it’s able to accommodate, but they are what help define our days in the parks, and what keep us coming back.

Monetization and profitability are critical elements of the theme park business, but there also is a long term price to be paid for maximizing short term profits at the expense of the guest experience. There are only so many supposedly superfluous ‘fatty’ experiences that can be cut before you get to the bone. It might be too late for the Court of Angels, but here’s hoping other details and quiet corners aren’t similarly lost in the same manner. In the face of potential new retail and dining, the details shouldn’t always be viewed as “the fat.”

DSC_1147 as Smart Object-1 copy

As for the Court of Angels, now seems like a good time to look back and share those memories we all have formed there over the years. Our memories of it are pretty simple–it’s a place we visit to slow down during the day, usually to just sit on the steps and look around. At night, it has been one of our key points of mischief. Like vagrant loiterers, I can’t count the number of times I’ve felt the slow tap of a security guard’s foot as he waits for me to finish “just one more” 30 second exposure of the Court of Angels. My favorite memory of it, oddly, is not when it was serene at all, but on the first Disneyland 24-hour day at about 3 am when the place was littered with napping guests. It felt like the aftermath of a war, and was bizarre at the time. Now I laugh at the memory, thinking about just how dedicated many of those fans were to spending 24 hours in Disneyland.

We intend to see the Court of Angels once more before September 28, 2013 (as you can tell, I need some more shots that are of the details, and aren’t fisheye! ;)). Here’s hoping that’s not our last memory of the place!

Your Thoughts…

If you have formed memories from the Court of Angels, I encourage you to share them in the comments. Even if not, share whether these little “Disney Details” are important to you.

468 ad

72 Responses to “The Court of Angels Is Important To Disneyland”

  1. Sophia says:

    Oh my gosh, that place looks so beautiful and perfect! We were just in Disneyland in April (my first trip ever!), I hope it’s not gone before we can get back!!!

  2. KB says:

    Oh, im heartbroken. One of my favorite spots in the park. I always dreamt of getting married there as a little girl.

  3. Julia says:

    Can you share other spots similar to this one?

  4. Thank you for this piece. This is quite possibly my favorite spot in all of the Disney Parks. To me, it lies at the heart of the magic, and I will be so sad if it’s lost. It’s an intimate detail, one of those spots that truly makes a guest feel like they’re in New Orleans, even if they don’t know that’s what it’s doing. There’s grace and charm there, one of the spots where the veil between fantasy and reality becomes thin and you can easily get lost.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Great to hear what the Court of Angels means to you.

      …hope others share their experiences/feelings about it, too! (Wink wink, nudge nudge…)

  5. JHB says:

    Ahhhh! You two have a beautiful remembrance.

  6. Candace says:

    I’m saddened to read of the loss of yet one more piece of the “Magic” – those wonderful details that make the Disney experience unique.

    I’m not at all surprised – more details are gone every time I visit. I am saddened though, and so sorry I won’t see the Court of Angels in person again. Please take lots of pictures so it’s not forgotten.

  7. marnie plunkett says:

    Awww, its SO pretty! Im sad that I won’t ever get to see it!

  8. Patricia says:

    Tom, what a wonderfully presented blog. As you eloquently said, we don’t make multiple visits to the parks every year only to shop and dine and ride. It is the magic of the ambience and experience that keeps us coming back.

    Hopefully the powers that be don’t lose sight of what makes Disney theme parks unique. You speak for so many of us!

  9. AxJaxDiz says:

    I’ve only visited Disneyland once, and that was just for one day in 2008. The Court of Angels (I didn’t know its name back then) stands as one of my clearest memories of that visit. I’ve almost completely forgotten what Indy was like, and what Disneyland’s Space Mountain was like, and whether or not I enjoyed the Matterhorn. But I vividly remember walking into the Court of Angels and thinking “I don’t know what this place is, or why it’s here, but I love it and I don’t really want to leave.”

    These park elements are little treasures to many of us. They make the parks more than the sums of their parts, at least in our eyes. It’s incredibly shortsighted of Disney to discount their importance.

  10. Spencer says:

    Good post on what makes the ambiance of the Disney parks so special. I don’t have any stories about The Court of Angels – Only time I visited Disneyland the court was being used for something. Your post got me thinking about the “Disney Details” though. Which would you think is more important to the park – Small detailed escapes and ambiance like the Court of Angels, or extremely detailed rides like Radiator Springs Racers, or even Sinbad’s from Tokyo. Obviously having both are great, but if I had to play an accountant for a day and had to choose one because of money… it’d be a tough choice, but I think I’d have to spend the money on the ride, because that is what will draw people in. Not implying that is what Disney is doing in this case, but it is interesting to think about.

  11. Angie says:

    So sad that I won’t get to see it in person. We are planning our first Disneyland trip for April 2014. Your photo has always made me want to visit this spot. I also remember the girl who did Tiana’s voice come down the stairs singing a song from the Princess & the frog movie during one of the Christmas parade broadcasts. It is a shame that Disney is going in this direction. I hope it doesn’t start a trend throughout the parks.

  12. Kayla says:

    The Court des Anges is like the cherry on top of New Orleans Square. You walk back through these delightful streets and find yourself in a quiet tucked away corner. You really feel like you can slow down and soak in the ambiance. Those feelings are what last the longest in my memory. The times when I can forget where I am and just enjoy my surroundings are right up there with the first times I stepped foot on DL’s and WDW’s Main Street.

  13. Pam says:

    We have a couple of family Christmas pictures right there on the steps! One of our favorite spots to be still and breathe! Thank you for the article.

  14. Jen says:

    I have family pictures as a little girl on those stairs, and now pictures with my little ones and husband in the same place. It was always this dreamy spot that despite the crowds, you could find some secret minutes of peace. I’m sad to think we won’t be able to continue that tradition.

    • Brenda says:

      I am so saddened to hear of this. We, too, have taken our family pictures there each time we visit from Canada, to mark our family’s changes. It truly is my favourite spot in the park and has been since I was a little girl. Thank you for a wonderful blog that put into words much of what I feel for this very special place.

  15. Ashley says:

    Tom, thank you for your beautifully written article about the Court of Angels. I am so saddened to hear that it may be leaving us soon, and I echo your sentiments about the Disney details. I discovered Court of Angels in 2010 on my first trip to Disneyland. My immediate family had gathered from various places in the country (parents from PA, sister/brother-in-law from CO, me & my husband from MN) to meet up in Disneyland for a running event. We had been longtime WDW guests so Disneyland was a new and exciting experience for us. We had been walking through New Orleans and stumbled upon this serene and peaceful place. Despite not knowing what it was at the time, or its backstory, we were all taken by its charm and staged a photo-op on the stairs. I treasure that photo, as it brings back so many wonderful happy memories from our weekend and that day in particular.

    Fast forward exactly three years later and I now live a mere eleven miles from Disneyland. I’m quite fortunate in the sense that I can venture there when I wish, and often I do. I was there earlier today, and like every time I am there, I stopped in to absorb the peaceful scenery inside Court of Angels, and to relive the treasured memories that I created with my family on that same stairway three years prior.

  16. Katrina says:

    This is where my husband and I got engaged! I really hope they don’t close it, I’d be heartbroken.

  17. Susan says:

    Back in 1989 before they had Princess meet and greet, my 3 year old daughter visited with Snow White and had a picture with her on the steps. It was a very special moment away from the crowds. Snow White held her hand and they chatted away. Every time we are in Disneyland, I reflect on that very special moment. I sure hope they don’t take that magical spot away.

  18. Tommy says:

    I will be arriving to the park on Sept. 28th in the afternoon. I seriously hope I’m able to snap off a few last precious pictures before the beautiful Court of Angels is closed forever. :/

  19. Alice says:

    I love walking through New Orleans square and admiring its beauty. The Court of Angels is one of those quiet spots that you can just stop and enjoy the Disney magic. If this spot goes away, I feel like Disney definitely will lose some of its magic!

  20. Cheltenham says:

    I am an east coaster who did not get to Disneyland until I was an adult. I still remember the first time I wandered into the Court of Angels (although I did not know the name at the time.). I recalled seeing Walt on TV describing the New Orleans Square he was planning as having all kinds of twists and wandering streets, and “things.” I thought that this beautiful quiet spot must be the “thing” Walt was talking about.

  21. Brian Hubbard says:

    Great article, and wonderful photos, Tom. I must admit that in my only trip to Disneyland in 2001 I did not visit the Court of Angels, but I hope I get to when I return to the park the next time.

  22. Kelly M says:

    I am hoping to finally get to Disneyland in 2015 and this spot was way up on the list of ‘must-do’s’. I am hoping beyond hope that someone in the suits sees sense and retains this area.
    I know money makes the world go round, but its also the root of all evil.
    This (like fastpass+ …grrr) is Disney kow-towing to those that spend top dollar and seming to forget the people who grew their businesses with repeat visits over several generations of family.

    I will continue to hope that I will get to lay eyes on the Court someday.

  23. Tom says:

    For starters, your site and photography are amazing. Disney IS the details. It’s what sets them apart. Living in Central NJ there is no shortage of places within a couple hours drive to take my family to go on “rides”, but nothing amerces you in the theming the way just a small corner court yard at Disneyland, or a bridge over a little stream at the Polynesian can. It’s what makes us save the ever increasing amounts of money to keep going back. My wife and I each have gone to Walt Disney World several times growing up. We lived in AZ for 5 years and went to Disneyland 3 times. Last year we took our 6 year old daughter and 2 & 1/2 year old son for their first time to WDW. On our first night I took my daughter down to the beach and we watched the Electrical Water Pageant. I did that with my parents when I was 5. It was one of those amazing “Wonder Years”/ “Lion King” full circle type of moments. I will never forget it. I apologize for being so long winded here. To your point, I hope the powers that be realize that it’s those moments, that shared history, and those details that have most us thinking about our next trip just seconds after we’ve left. There aren’t many places can honestly say that.

  24. Tiffany says:

    This has always been my favorite spot in Disneyland. It is so beautiful and so romantic. It seriously breaks my heart that this will no longer be a part of our DL vacation. First the Art Gallery with the beautiful courtyard and now this!? Why can’t the standard DL guest have secret little magical spots too?

  25. Melissa says:

    There have been countless occasions when we have passed through New Orleans Square and stopped in the Court of Angels. It’s one of those special places to stop for that spontaneous picture that ends up becoming a family favorite. It feels real. It feels authentic. It is important to guests because it is one of those corners that draws your attention away from the crowds for a few moments. It’s one of those places where we stop and reflect on just how blessed we are to be traveling together as a family and to put our vacation into perspective. The quiet corners of Disney may not be huge contributors to Disney’s bottom line, but they do contribute to the overall guest experience by allowing guests to become that much more immersed in the authenticity of the themed land they’re in. It’s nice not to see a churro cart around every corner. It’s great to have a vantage point that is out of the way. It gives you time to stop and smell the magic.

  26. Dennis says:

    Coleen and I celebrated or 30th wedding anniversary at Disneyland Resort Thanksgiving weekend back in 2010. At that time we experienced the Court of Angels in all it’s Christmas finery…it was gorgeous.
    I first saw the court in 1967 and even as a teenager I thought this was a remarkable place. Through the years it grew to be one of my favorite spots in the park. It’s hard to explain the hold it has on me. Walking into this space is like going back home and seeing that your old bedroom is still there…like it was when you left it.
    This little piece of Disneyland Park is essential to the illusion that the imagineers are trying to project. Losing it would take away that much magic. It would be sad to see it go…

  27. George Potter says:

    I’ve been seeing little things that individually are of little to no “value” to most guests. Indeed when someone brings up napkins or small courts with no content fellow Disney fans can even be dismissive but it’s the loss of these little touches together that remove some of the magic. These are the things that I feel like were done for no reason but to make me smile. These things made me feel like a guest. As they go away and I’m left with rides, retail spaces and restaurants I feel more like a ticket holder…and I can feel like a ticket holder anywhere.

  28. Jon Gossett says:

    I have yet to make the trip to the west coast, but I can say from your numerous trip reports that the Court of Angels is very near the top of my list of reasons I want to visit Disneyland. Hearing how you discuss this area it reminds me of my favorite parts of the Magic Kingdom like the Side street on the east side of Main Street or the porch with the rocking chairs in Liberty Square or my favorite, the quiet area on the left side of the Morocco Pavilion.
    I hate to think that the Court of Angels will be missing from my first trip to Disneyland.

  29. Steve says:

    It would indeed be a sorry day if the Court of Angeles were to disappear. Up until a few years ago, our main Disney Park experience was WDW. We go every year a a DVC member. A number of years back we were fortunate enough to visit Disneyland a couple of times. It was after the second visit that it occurred to me that WDW was actually Disneyland-Lite due to the enormous attention to detail at Disneyland, especially in the Court of Angeles area. Hopefully the rumors are not correct and this wonderful area can be saved.

  30. Carrie says:

    Thanks for documenting Court of Angels in all these great photos!

    I am absolutely heartbroken by the impending demise of Court of Angels. Not only is it my favorite place in ANY Disney park (even Tokyo DisneySea!), my husband and I are among the hundreds or maybe thousands of couples who became engaged there and will never be able to go back.

    I know you say you’re hopeful that other details and quiet corners won’t be similarly lost, but this was pretty much the last one at Disneyland. First they took away the Disneyland Gallery and its peaceful courtyard and balcony. Then they replaced the quiet corner that was Carnation Plaza Gardens with Fantasy Faire. About the only out-of-the-way place left is the seating area for the Hungry Bear Restaurant. It really changes the character of the park, putting the focus on wringing every last dollar out of every single corner and making it impossible to escape the crowds.

  31. Michael says:

    Court of Angels has always been one of my favorite spots in the park. I can’t tell you how many memories i have there. I’m devastated.

  32. jaime says:

    Although disappointed I am reminded that this is a reflection of the things in life we take for granted, because we expect they will always be there. I cherish the black and white photos I have taken there in the court and now they will mean even more now. The beauty of it isn’t exactly the space, its beautiful, but maybe, just maybe it is simply the feeling we get when we step into the courtyard. Its a feeling for me of stopping time, of paying attention to the quietness that eludes us in so many places elsewhere in life. Sometimes its easy to lament what is taken from us instead of taking time to soak in the things that perhaps might be taken sooner than we expect.

  33. Elizabeth says:

    The last time I went to Disneyland was when I was 8, so I didn’t remember this place, but my parents lived in California for several years – they didn’t know it was called ‘Court of Angels’, but they recognized it from the pictures immediately. My mom said this is one of the things that made Disneyland special and magical, because they have these spaces that complete the feeling of being in Disneyland – they don’t serve any specific “purpose” but they add so much, immeasurable amounts, to the experience. I hope it stays so that I can have memories of it one day, but if it doesn’t I hope Disney realizes that getting rid of these kind of things won’t pay off in the end.

  34. H. B. Ghost says:

    It’s not rumor. Disney is expanding Club 33 at the expense of this charming public courtyard, quite possibly the most beautiful and serene spot in Disneyland park.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      At this point it has yet to be confirmed, and it’s only speculation as to whether the Court des Anges will be lost or retained, so yes, it is a rumor.

      Unless you have a link to an official announcement and the a copy of the plans for the expansion…

  35. Krista says:

    Thank you for your article and wonderful photos! My husband & I had our first photo taken on these steps when we were first dating in 2005…then returned on our wedding day for some portraits as husband & wife after our Fairy Tale Wedding at the DL Hotel Rose Garden in 2007. Sadly the waterfalls from the DL Hotel are now gone and it seems our favorite staircase may also be gone…we’ll have to make another trip before the 28th!!!

  36. Michael says:

    We were just at Disneyland the other weekend and a cast member (@ the ornament shop in from of the Court) confirmed the shop is closing and the Court will be closed off to be part of a Club 33 expansion. We love the court, its beautiful and peaceful as you described. Every holiday season we take Christmas pictures there. Many people miss this quiet little spot. Although I hope that somehow the information/ rumors are wrong, we heard it first hand. Can’t stop progress…and considering the buy in to be a Club 33 member, its not surprising an expansion is in the works. My $0.02 is that’s its cool having the hidden yet obvious entrance to Club 33, painted in “no-see-em” green.

  37. Mike says:

    Please don’t take this spot away. I’m an a.p. and this is a beautiful spot . I take pictures here such a tranquil little spot . It’s a staple

  38. Alex S. says:

    Really hope it stays open for guests. I go there every time I visit, I even proposed to my fiancee here.

  39. Lynne says:

    Knowing Walt himself wanted his new apartment to be in New Orleans Square, adjacent to Club 33, and touring that apartment when it was open to the public before it became the Dream Suite, was the foundation, the anchor to my Disneyland, centered right there. Walking those quiet streets before guests spilled out of the train station. I feel pretty depressed about these changes. I took the Walt’s Footsteps tour; Club 33 felt noisy and crowded.

  40. C S K says:

    What no one mentioned is that Club 33 is not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act/ADA. There are steps that members & guests are required to climb in order to use the elevator in the lobby of Club 33. Since it is not possible to use those steps when confined to a wheel chair or a scooter, Disneyland by law must make modifications to the lobby and entrance into Club 33, in addition to the expansion of Club 33.
    Mr. Disney himself said that the park will never be finished and will continually change. While it is understandable for us to be upset with some changes that are made at Disneyland, there is no stopping progress and I can assure you that trying to get TDA or WED to scrap their plans would be a useless waste of time, you’ll just end up frustrated and angry. The only thing we can do at this point is enjoy the Court of Angles while you can, nothing lasts forever.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      There’s the possibility that this compliance can be achieved via the shop that is also closing, so there is still the chance that the Court of Angels will not be lost.

      As for the rest of your comment, I often see this type of thing in response to complaints about change, and while I generally agree, it’s important to remember what the word “progress” connotes. “Change” and “progress” aren’t the same thing, and while I’d consider expanding Club 33 change, I would not consider it progress. Expanding Club 33 is a way to increase profits without improving the guest experience. It is not progress.

      Things change, and we must get used to them, but it doesn’t mean we need to lie down when changes are made that don’t seem like progress. The guest-management feedback loop is an important one, and I would encourage people to respectfully voice their opinions on any changes to Disney parks with which they disagree.

  41. Dennis says:

    Anyone can and everyone should leave a respectful comment about this closure at this official Disneyland site.

    It may not help but it surely won’t hurt…

  42. Kelly says:

    This is one of my FAV spots in my favorite land. We LOVE New Orleans Square and esp the court of angels. It is always so peaceful and a beautiful spot to take a break and esp a photo. I don’t even think I would mind so much it leaving IF it was for a shop or attraction that ALL could enjoy but Club 33 is SO ultra exclusive that it seems very sad to me to take something away to everyone for so few to enjoy. I will deeply miss this if it goes!

  43. Gary B. says:

    OMG Disney! Please do not touch Court of Angels! This is a special photo area for my family. It is the one place in the park where we can wheel our aging mom to get her away from the crowds throughout the day.

  44. shane says:

    Thank you for your article regarding the court of angels. Whenever I visit Disneyland I have to eat at Blue Bayou. While I wait to be seated I sit by the Club 33 entrance and covet an invitation to eat there. I watch people go in and hope that they will view my desperate face and have pity on me. It NEVER happens. After a satisfying meal at Blue Bayou, I LOVE to wonder around the court of angels. It is a beautiful quiet place. I have climbed the stairs to try and get a peak behind the scene. It is quiet and always decorated for the season. The pictures of the Christmas garland going up the stairs reminded of my first Christmas visit. The court is amazing at mardi gras.
    I don’t hold a grudge against anyone that is a member of Club 33. If you can afford it, more power to you. But this area should not be commercialized. It is frustrating enough that those of us that cannot afford an exclusive membership now have to concede more to those that can. These kind decisions really bother me due to the hypocrisy involved. Disneyland mangers and executives claim allegiance to Walt’s core beliefs, but those beliefs are not manifest in decisions like this.
    Remember, Disneyland executives and manager, Walt’s words, “Disneyland is [our] land…it is a source of joy and inspiration to ALL the world.” Not just those that can afford a membership.

  45. Mikki says:

    Court of Angels have been one of our favorite spots in Disneyland. My family save money all year to go to Disneyland once a year, and it is a very special trip that our children look forward to. We have been taking pictures at the Court of Angels every time we go to Disneyland. We were planning to do so to remember the trips and the family’s history for many years to come. It was my husband’s dream as a little boy. He did not have a father while he was growing up. It was his dream to have a family one day and to be a father he always wanted. As a little boy visiting the Court of Angels, he had the dream, and thought about taking family pictres with his future family. He was making the dreams come true. He is a loving father, and a wonderful husband. Visiting the Court of Angeles with his family meant a lot to him. I have nothing against the members. But it is very sad to see the Court of Angels go. It was a special place for us.

  46. S says:

    My boyfriend, now fiance, just proposed to me this past Saturday in this court. It is so sweet and tucked away and I loved it. A cast member saw us and came and took pictures for us then told us that we were “lucky” because in a month, the court is going away :( I was so sad because I was looking forward to coming back and visiting it with him.

  47. Matthew says:

    I do not agree with the sentiment that it’s too late for a petition. In fact, if I can’t find a petition today I will make one myself.

  48. Michael says:

    I’ve heard from many Annual Pass Holders that it was just closed down on September 29th.

    Tom, your article exactly mirrors my feelings about this closure. We took photos with the family here in my last trip (2011), but we haven’t been able to get to the park since. I am very sad too that my kids will not be able to take any more family photos here.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      It hasn’t closed yet. We were there for what was originally going to be the last night, but apparently it was pushed back. It’s definitely in the plans for the expanded Club 33, so it’s only a matter of time at this point.

      • Ty says:

        First off I enjoy your site and I think you are a talented photographer.

        Secondly, I was unaware that the Court of Angels was planned for closure until I saw this article and read it in mid-September. I was immediately saddened to hear this news as it is one of my favorite places in the park.

        Consequently, I wrote the Guest Relations Department expressing my sadness at its closure as well as my thoughts on this part of New Orleans Square. With my letter I also sent a print out of all the comments on this page regarding the courtyard.

        Today, the resort sent me a letter saying, “We apologize for any disappointment as a result of the rumors mentioned in your letter…However, at this time, we do not have plans to make an announcement regarding changes to New Orleans Square.”

        Just thought I would let you know, and thank you for your time and efforts.

      • Ty says:

        Just kidding…sorry to say it closed this morning.

        Here is a photo from (you have to scroll down to about the middle of the page).

  49. Professional Dreamer says:

    In a 1957 movie Band of Angels starring Clark Cable and Yvonne Decarlo, Clark has such a courtyard as Court of Angels in his New Orleans home, including entrance gate and stairway. It made me think that maybe Disney Legend Harper Goff had seen the movie or worked on it. Band of Angels to Court of Angels, what a similarity in name and architectural design.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Very interesting. I’ve never heard this (nor have I seen the film), but it would be a cool influence, if true (and it wouldn’t surprise me if it is true).

  50. Denise Shue says:

    Sad to say…it is now closed. Sad face!

  51. Pollyanna says:

    Almost as far back as I can remember, every single Disneyland trip included at least one group picture in the Court of Angels. My husband I would would grab a cup of coffee and a special treat and just go hang out there — away from the crowds and the hustle and bustle. Sometimes it felt like we were in our own little world. I’m really disgusted that the folks at Disney care more about money than the guest’s experience. Now we’ll have to find a new hideaway to sip our late afternoon coffee in. Sigh…

  52. This past summer, not even knowing what this courtyard was (and upon franticly searching for a bathroom) my family came upon this beautiful little spot and I was compelled to take a picture of my son on the stairs. I am sad to hear it is now closed!

  53. What’s Taking place i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I have discovered It absolutely useful and it has aided
    me out loads. I am hoping to give a contribution & assist other customers like its helped me.
    Great job.

  54. Michele says:

    Hi! I LOVE your photos of one of my (old) favorite spots in Disneyland. Can you tell me a little bit about how you took these? I’m always trying to learn more, especially Disneyland, photography! Thanks for sharing your wonderful pictures and thoughts on the Courtyard of Angels!

  55. Becky says:

    I assume i’ve been here before but i don’t know. From looking at it and the map, it looks like what you have to pass through to get to the bathrooms? I think I spent a long time standing here waiting to meet Jack and Sally? I have a few memories of walking down the path and not being sure if i was allowed to continue. It looked open but no one was there so I wasn’t sure. I wish i knew for sure and also had a chance to take some pictures now that it’s closed.


  1. New Orleans Square - July 24, 1966 - #7 - Disneyland Debut - I Am a Mommy Nerd - […] this wonderful article from Disney Tourist Blog about the ending of Court of […]
  2. Club 33 Reopens With Redesigned Court of Angels, Dining Room, and Jazz club | Disney Dose - […] The new entrance has relocated to the older gift shop that was adjacent to the Court of Angels. […]
  3. Latest Boxing Current News News | Boxing Videos - […] my opinion, this is a travesty. As Tom Bricker pointed out in his article on the topic, Disney theme …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>