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  1. #1

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    1970s hotels/motels close to WDW?

    OK, I need all of you old-timers who grew up with WDW in the 1970s like I did, to help me remember... way back....

    Outside of the WDW property, what was/were the CLOSEST non-Disney hotel(s)? I am NOT including Lake Buena Vista/Disney Village/Downtown Disney hotel partners, mind you (like the Dutch Inn, etc.)

    I THINK I remember staying at an old Ramada, to the WEST side, that was literally down the street from the on-ramp to WDW property. The building may even still be there!

    Things have changed with the growth around I-4 I know, and I want to take this stroll down memory lane. Without more specifics, I can't get Google to cooperate... it only gives me "Current Hotels near WDW" pricing info, not the historical info I want.

    Any 1970s memory buffs here who can help me out?! Be as specific as you can... I'm going to try to locate some stuff on Google Maps.

    Thanks everybody!!!

  2. #2

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    Re: 1970s hotels/motels close to WDW?

    The Ramada you speak of was there in 1988........not sure if it was the closest or not but it was pretty darn close. Don't know if it is still there now(been staying on property ever since )
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  3. #3

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    Re: 1970s hotels/motels close to WDW?

    I think I found it! Here, in Google Earth. My memory of 35 years ago(!) says that this is the building, whether or not it was a Ramada back then, I don't know. As near as I can tell, it was the closest you could be to WDW without staying "on property", back in the day.

    NOTE: This is NOT the Ramada Maingate hotel half a block away(?!) This current property looks old, maybe even abandoned at this time, according to Google maps. This is located off of Reedy Creek Blvd, here's the coordinates: 28.334119,-81.584152. Look how it's AT THE EDGE of Southwest Disney Property on Google Maps, right next to the All Star Resorts!! (you can click on the Google Maps link below, even though it says "Page not Found")

    Any central Floridians know what's here now??

    28.334119,-81.584152 - Google Maps


    Last edited by chris2fett; 10-23-2010 at 07:30 PM.

  4. #4

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    Re: 1970s hotels/motels close to WDW?

    It's amazing and sad to see how much things have changed since the 70's when disney was still new and fresh. In 1978 I remember staying at a huge Days Inn/Days Lodge complex that was literally the first businesses on 192 east of I-4. Across the street was the Hyatt Hotel World. The Days Lodge proprty is now a Quality suites and the Days Inn is a Days Inn America according to Google maps. The Hyatt Hotel World is now the Ramada Orlando Celebration. As far as hotel rates go I beleive we paid about $11 a night at the Days Inn complex back in 1978.

  5. #5

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    Re: 1970s hotels/motels close to WDW?

    We always stayed at the Days Inn - and if memory serves me, it was about a mile from the "driveway" for Disney. I'm amazed at how everything around there has changed. That highway was a four lane road with a divider. There were a bunch of motels, a few restaurants, a couple of strip malls and a bunch of fruit/Tshirt/cheesy FL souvenir places along the road. The last time I was down there, I was trying to see if I could place anything I remember from my childhood - it's unbelievable how it's evolved. I also remember Disney Village - that whole area has evolved as well - as much as I like Downtown Disney, I kind of miss Disney Village. But all things must eventually change I suppose.

  6. #6

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    Re: 1970s hotels/motels close to WDW?

    This is an interesting thread. I'd love to see a list of all hotels/motels of a "vintage" nature that are still standing, whether by the original name or not. In reading "Realityland", I found that the first chain hotel to show up was called the Hilton Inn on what is now I-Drive. Anybody know if that is still there and what it now operates as?
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  7. #7

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    Re: 1970s hotels/motels close to WDW?

    I remember when SR 535 (the road that runs from 192 straight to Lake Buena Vista) was just a long 2 lane road with absolutely nothing on it. There are still pieces of it left abandoned along side the current 4 to 6 lane version. It used to seem to take forever to get from 192 to LBV as you could see the LBV hotel plaza (and the I-4 overpass) in the distance. When the Contemporary was full, we'd try to stay in a Villa (where Saratoga now sits). I also remember that Ramada to the west of World Drive. Besides that, I don't remember much else being out that way. I don't even know why we drove west that one time....we must have been lost.
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