Brian Martsolf (bigbrian_nc) wrote,
Brian Martsolf

It's A Jolly Holiday Inn LBV (Lake Buena Vista)

Recently several of the podcasts I listen to have mentioned the pending opening of the "First Holiday Inn" on Walt Disney World property, this announcement gave me that feeling that I think was best described by Yogi Berra when He said "It's deja vu all over again". You see there was a big announcement several years ago when Holiday Inn purchased with the transfer Courtyard by Marriot to Holiday inn took place effective Dec. 31, 2003, I don't think that it ever opened as a Holiday Inn though because it was very shortly thereafter that renovations began, and it is not hard to imagine that, later on that year, after three hurricanes affected central Florida in just a few months (Charley, Frances, and Ivan) the renovations became much more extensive, additionally at that time I would imagine that many construction companies probably had to re-prioritize their jobs, and that a business that was already closed may have taken a back burner to other jobs, for instance if Holiday Inn has any of their own "in house" construction crews, they would probably have been prioritized to fix up other OPEN Holiday Inns that had suffered damage. Still I'd love to hear some of the stories behind this.
This hotel will be one of a very small number of hotels that are actually ON Disney property but that are not ran by Disney four of those hotels opened in the early 1970's (Dutch Inn -- Howard Johnson's -- Royal Inn -- Travelodge)  on what is today known as "Hotel Plaza Boulevard" (though at the time they opened it was known as Motor Inn Plaza ), a few more opened around the time Epcot Center opened (Buena Vista Palace, Pickett Suites Hotel, and the Hilton), and then in 1990 on the new resort property developed between Epcots' then newly opened "International Gateway" and the Disney-MGM Studios the Swan and Dolphin Hotels opened The Swan was originally operated by Westin, the Dolphin by Sheraton, one additional lessee is a group that operates resorts for use by the folks in the United States Armed services, they converted the former "Disney's Golf Resort/ Disney Inn" into a resort called "Shades of Green".  These hotels have MUCH better bus service than "off-site" hotels, though still perhaps a bit below the level of service Disney offers to it's own resorts.

Here is a brief history of this particular property from my site:

Howard Johnsons Resort Hotel / Courtyard by Mariott / Holiday Inn

The view I have of this hotel is a bit unusual in that the view picked is one I think is an unflattering view of the hotel showing I-4 behind it,

 a better view might have been a view with the Walt Disney World Shopping Village in the background. I think this view is contemporary with the view of Americana's Dutch resort that has the Empress Lilly in the view, the reason I think this is that the number on the back of this card seems to be in the same series.

As I mentioned before, in 1991 many of these hotels had postcard strips produced the ones for this Howard Johnsons are shown Below. (NOTE: There are more photos on the site than the two below, but they are other scenes of WDW not the hotel, so I'll leave them out).

In 1995 this hotel became the Courtyard by Marriot. They issued the continental sized post card pictured below.

On Dec. 30, 2003 it became a Holiday Inn. ( information from Disney A to Z .pdf update available free from the Disney web site)

I don't think it ever opened as a Holiday Inn before the hurricanes damaged it and it began its LOOOOONG refurbishment.

Additionally here is a view that has not yet made it onto my site it's part of a series that came out in the early to mid 1990's that are actual WDW postcards complete with the WDW logo and Disney copyright on the back:

Tags: holiday inn, hotel plaza boulevard, lake buena vista, lbv, walt disney world, wdw

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