The history of Disney is peppered with ups and downs much like any other company that’s nearly a century old would be. A lot of the times those downs can be traced back to poor decisions the company made. However sometimes it’s completely out of their hands. The energy crisis of 1973 was one of those times.

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The oil crisis of 1973 was a stressful time, not just for Disney but for the country. It was a reminder that we lived in a global community and how quickly an event on the other side of the world could impact day to day life. It was a lesson in coping with circumstances outside of our control, and it was one that had a lasting impact on Walt Disney World history.


Fort Lauderdale News
“The Question is Survival” (Dec 23 1973)

Tampa Bay Times
“With Tourist Parade Slowing, Disney Diversifies Operations” (Jan 13 1974)

Orlando Sentinel
“Disney Lays Off 2,000 As Attendance Declines” (Jan 10 1974)
“Hotel-Motel Owners Told Fate Depends on Gas Plan” (Jan 10 1974)
“Disney Bounces Back From Gas Crisis Slump” (Apr 11 1974)

Panama City News-Herald
“Disney World Happy; Motel Owners Anxious” (Oct 04 1973)

Tampa Tribune
“Disney World Tightens Belt” (Feb 09 1974)

Miami News
“Disney World breaks through slump, rehiring 500” (Feb 15 1974)
“Oil Cutback Could Backfire” (Oct 18 1973)

Realityland by David Koenig
“Power Plays” (p126-132)

San Francisco Examiner
Toothless Embargo on Oil (Oct 22 1973)

The Los Angeles Times
The Urgent Need for New Energy (Oct 24 1973)

The Yom Kippur War (P. Allen, 1982).

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