Today is Disney Hotels Day at Dad’s Guide. On Mondays, Dad likes to think happy thoughts and the Disney Hotels make Dad happy. The week is Magic and Memories Week. Dad will be talking about Disney Memories and the Princess will talk about Disney Magic. Today is Disney Hotels day so here are some of Dad’s Disney Hotel memories.
Through the years, Disney Hotels haven’t changed a lot. When Disney builds a hotel, they build it to stand the test of time. Just look at the originals. The Polynesian and the Contemporary have changed some, but the main structures are pretty much the same as they were in 1971.
One of the things that jumps out at me when I think of memories of Disney Hotels are the changes that the Polynesian Resort has gone through since it’s inception. It starts with the name. When the Polynesian first opened it was called the Polynesian Village. Somewhere along the line, one of the genuises at Disney decided that all the hotels should be called “Resorts” and the name changed. Kinda a shame, because Polynesian Village has more of a true island feel than Polynesian Resort.
Then there is the names of the “Longhouses”. On our first trip, we stayed in the Pago Pago which is now called Rapa Nui. I never did quite understand why the name change was made, but then I’m just a silly man who doesn’t know anything about marketing. I guess using names of “countries” made more sense. Me, I liked Pago Pago. It’s fun to say. Rapa Nui just doesn’t have the same affect.
Let’s move on to one of the other “resorts” but stay on the name theme.
Dixie Landings and the Port Orleans Resort (now the Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter) – the Dixie Landings opened in 1992. Around 2001, Disney decided that the term “Dixie” might be a conjure up memories of the old South and decided they needed to be a bit more “politically correct” so Disney came up with a plan to replace the term Dixie and some of the more “offensive” names that were part of Dixie Landings.
A consolidation effort changed Dixie Landings to Port Orleans Riverside and all the administrative functions of Port Orleans were transfered over to the Riverside. The original Port Orleans Resort was renamed to Port Orleans French Quarter. Lost in the transiton were Bonfamille’s Cafe’s (now a Disney test kitchen) and the Colonel’s Cotton Mill now the Riverside Cotton Mill.
There have been lots of other changes at hotels through the years (the Contemporary Towers, Pop Century: The Legendary Years, the “stories” of each of the resorts). You probably know of some. So instead of Dad telling all of the stories, why not send in a comment below, or add a comment to the Facebook section and tell us about the changes you’ve seen through the years at your favorite Disney hotel. We’d love to hear what you think.
Tomorrow we’ll talk about EPCOT.