I thought I’d share the actual sheet that my mother wrote on the day that we traveled from Clearwater Beach to Walt Disney World, with yet another underlined “orange” (see yesterday’s post).
According to the logistical notes that Mother kept in the back of this notebook, we paid $36 a night to stay at the Polynesian Village. A night at the Polynesian Village Resort, now, would cost at least $700. According to the Inflation Calculator, one dollar in 1973 is equivalent to $6.83 in 2023. So, Disney is outpacing inflation which should get us a room at a somewhat more reasonable $246 a night.
When we stayed in 1973, there were three lodging options on Disney property — the Polynesian Village, the Contemporary Resort, and the Fort Wilderness Campground. Now, there are 28 options. If you’re careful about timing, you can stay in a Disney hotel for less than $200 a night, but it will be in one of the Value Resorts.
In 1973, Disney still used a ticket per attraction system. The best deal was a 12-coupon book — $6.75 Adult, $6.25 Junior (12-17), and $5.75 Child (3-11). In 2023 dollars, the $6.75 adult admission would be $46. Disney outpaced inflation for park admission, too. These days, you pay one admission and can ride everything. But a one-day admission to the Magic Kingdom is $109 and goes up from there on days when the park is busier.
With the coupon book, you got use of resort transportation, admission to the Magic Kingdom and all free entertainment, plus 12 attractions. The Information Guide shows which attractions took “A” coupons all the way up to “E” coupons.
On our first day we used two E coupons (Jungle Cruise and Country Bear Jamboree) and one D coupon (Enchanted Tiki Birds sponsored by Florida Citrus Growers).
My main memory from this day is eating at the Contemporary Resort. I remember the giant room — so big that the monorail ran right through it. I have no memory of the food, but I loved watching monorails pass by.
Five months later, on November 17, 1973, in a conference room below where we ate supper in the Contemporary Resort, President Richard Nixon said the famous words “I’m not a crook” to an assembly of 400 Associated Press managing editors.