Bambi Motel

In Perry, Florida… long before Disney World, somehow escaping sight of Disney’s lawyers. Hunters not welcome. Here’s a more recent photo.

(Thanks, Devlin Thompson via Bad Postcards)


  • Pedro Nakama

    With the money you save by staying at the Bambi Motel instead of a Disney Hotel you can have a maximum IRA contribution for the next 20 years.

  • http://www.classicparamountcartoons.blogspot.com ParamountCartoons

    All the luxurious sight of living with the forest creatures like Snow White……… for 89% percent off the price of going to Disney World (both places inflation adjusted)

    However if I ran this hotel in the 50′s and 60′s….
    The Grave of Bambi’s Mom photos…..$10
    50-60′s Mint New IB Tech home TV viewing prints of Bambi (New Buena Vista Reissue)……$7- for color TV compatiable viewing $6-B&W set viewing
    Worn-Out Leftover Deteroiating Splicy Scratchy Ultra-Grainy 1942 Original Nitrate Print (with RKO titles/1942 credits) 50 cents color TV viewing 25 cents B&W TV set viewing

    Meet Thumper- $8

    Meet Bambi- $20

    AIR CONDITIONED

    POOL

    With Loads Of Vacancy.

  • top cat james

    Their motto-”If you can’t stay somewhere nice, don’t stay anywhere at all.”

    • uncle wayne

      i did a spit-take….you kill me!!

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Interesting they ran this as long as they did under that name.

  • Michael F.

    Of course, this motel was run by nature’s greatest enemy.

  • http://www.patnlewis.com Pat Lewis

    Presumably, Disney only bought the film rights to Felix Salten’s novel, right? I can’t see the artwork on the sign well enough to tell if that’s a copyright infringement (the deer in the “recent photo” clearly isn’t).

  • J

    Remember that Bambi was a book before Disney animated it.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bambi,_A_Life_in_the_Woods

  • David Breneman

    Does Disney own the name Bambi? I’d think the only thing they could complain about is the picture of “their” Bambi on the sign.

  • http://www.vimeo.com/banich Banicho

    Fantastic signage! I love spotting these on road trips.

  • http://highlyrecommended.blogspot.com Satorical

    Have you BEEN to Perry? No Disney lawyer would want to go there for due diligence, I can assure you. Perry’s where you go when your ideas aren’t cosmopolitan enough for my hometown of Jacksonville, FL (aka Southern Georgia).

  • xevo

    I notice the “recommended by Duncan Hines” sign mounted on the right-hand signpost. That was when he was better known for travelers’ restaurant guides than cake mix.

    • Funkybat

      I’d bet that maybe one out of 1000 people today are even aware that;

      A: Duncan Hines was a real person, and

      B: that he was a restaurant/lodging reviewer, a la Zagat, rather than a baker.

      When I was a kid, I thought Duncan Hines was an unusually-named woman, who created cake recipes, and was a rival of Betty Crocker.

  • Funkybat

    It may be amazing to consider in today’s ultra-connected, corporate world, but once upon a time, a lot of these kinds of small-time kitschy places existed. If they were off the beaten path, no one who cared about copyright infringement would likely come across it and make a fuss. Even if they did, they sometimes just looked the other way, or allowed them to continue for a modest annual licensing fee. The most well-known “home-grown” businesses like this are probably the Flintstones-themed “Bedrock” tourist spots out west, but there were many other one-off or even small chain businesses like the “Bambi Motel.”

    While the motel could have used the name (although perhaps the author’s estate could have made a claim) the Bambi character in the sign is clearly taken from the Disney cartoon. Disney could have come down onthem for that but apparently never did. I found pictures of the sign in later years with a very faded, but unaltered Disney Bambi still on the sign. A quick web search shows at least two other Bambi Motels, with non-infringing deer, did exist. Seems like an odd choice for a motel brand, but I guess the movie was very popular at the time the motels opened.

    Any other “unofficial” cartoon/TV/movie-themed businesses anyone can recall? Other than the Bedrocks, I can’t think of specifics at the moment.

  • http://www.cartoonresearch.com Jerry Beck

    Brew reader John Karel sent us this photo from Philadelphia:

    bambi

  • http://ArgleBargle C. Martin Croker

    Oh Holy Cow!
    My Grandparents lived in Perry Florida. I’ve been to the Bambi Hotel… I swam in it’s waters! There were also signs all around Perry With The Bambi butt-shot and the distance in miles to the Hotel. When folks would come down on their way further south (Disney, Miami)they’d often stay there and we’d go visit ‘em. (This was a REALLY small town… Once the theater across from the courthouse burned down in the 1970s the closest movie house was in Tallahasee – some 60 miles away!)

  • W Ten

    There is a 40′s-50′s post card for sale onm eBay and the sign looks completely different.

    Of course, I’m still trying to come to terms with Bambi being a boys name.