These cards are not printed by Disney, but not that far afield from our
central subject as they may seem to be at first, one you realize that these Hotels
are on Disney property. These hotels are on property leased from the Walt Disney Company,
much the way many of the stores and restaurants
at Downtown Disney are on property leased from Disney.
The original four hotels
these cards are standard size except where noted otherwise
Looking back through my old WDW paper items the earliest reference I find to
the Hotels along Hotel Plaza Boulevard (Winter/Spring 1974 i
nformation guide p.30 ) lists four hotels
under the heading Motor Inn Plaza,
Dutch Inn -- Howard Johnson's -- Royal Inn -- Travelodge
several of these have changed hands
over the years and three more have been added in other parts
of the WDW village complex, also two more on site hotels were
added that are not run by Disney outside the Hotel Plaza
Boulevard area those would be the Swan and Dolphin Hotels.
TraveLodge at Lake Buena Vista
I suspect that this card is the earliest view I have of any of the hotels in the WDW hotel village in fact the address listed on the back of the card refers to it's street address as Motor Inn Plaza, also the fact that it is an art card (which suggests this view may pre-date actual construction), and lastly the fact that the WDW logo appears no place on this card. All the other standard size cards I have from these hotels have the logo either on the front or the back and usually with the words "in the host community of" just before the Walt Disney World logo. According to Disney A to Z ( first edition) it was known as Viscount (which was Travelodges more upscale arm) from 1984 to 1989. The Travel Lodge has since became the Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort Hotel. This is the only card I know of for this hotel.
Dutch Inn / Americana's Dutch Inn / Grosvenor
I have more standard size views of this hotel than any other in the Walt Disney World. One of these is an art card as well. The third card pictured in this series is a rather late card for being only standard size it is postmarked in 1984 and at that time it's name was Americana's Dutch Resort Hotel. Another interesting thing about that view is that in the background behind the hotel you can see the Empress Lilly at the (at that time) far end of the Walt Disney World Shopping Village. The hotel is currently known as the Grosvenor.
I suspect the above veiw was the earlier of two images made from the same photo, and the view below the later made from that same image.
As I mentioned before, in 1991 many of these hotels had postcard strips produced the ones for this Howard Johnsons are shown Below.
These hotels were the only four in this plaza until about the time of the opening of Epcot Center in 1982. Those later hotels will be covered in side articles of later chapters.