Back in 1973, shortly after the opening of Disney World in Orlando, four high rise hotels opened on Disney property. These weren’t highly themed Disney hotels like the Polynesian or Contemporary. Instead, these were regular hotels run by well-known chains at the time such as TraveLodge and Howard Johnson’s.
The Howard Johnson’s was eventually bought by Marriott and run as a Courtyard property until 2003. In a case of the worst/best timing of buying a hotel, it was sold and turned into a Holiday Inn in December of that year, only to be massively damaged by Hurricane Charley in August of 2004. It didn’t reopen until 2010 after a $35 million dollar renovation. It just went through another renovation in 2018.
The Holiday Inn is now one of the Disney Springs Resort Area Hotels. While they are not run by Disney, they are still on Disney property. The benefits afforded to these hotels is the reason we booked a night here on the opening weekend of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge at Disney Hollywood Studios.