Walt Disney World Resort announced two new projects as part of an expansion plan for the resort in Central Florida: a new 900-acre luxury resort anchored by the prestigious Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and a 450-acre retail, dining and lodging district on the western edge of the Disney resort. “These projects are first-of-a-kind for Walt Disney World and we are thrilled to be able to bring Four Seasons to our resort,” said Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney World Resort. “Families around the globe know they can trust Disney to deliver magical experiences and Four Seasons to offer exceptional service and amenities. Combined, this is a huge win for devotees of both brands and for Central Florida,” said Crofton.
LUXURY DESTINATION RESORT - NORTHEAST RESORT AREA
Along the northeast border of Walt Disney World Resort, Disney plans to convert its Eagle Pines and Osprey Ridge golf courses into a luxury resort and golf community. The development will include a luxury hotel, 18-hole championship golf course, single- and multi-family vacation homes and fractional ownership vacation homes.
Disney entered into a letter of intent with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts to bring these two complementary and respected brands together to anchor a new world-class family resort destination.
Four Seasons is dedicated to perfecting the travel experience through continuous innovation and the highest standards of hospitality. Currently with 74 hotels in 31 countries, and more than 25 properties under development, Four Seasons continues to lead the hospitality industry with innovative enhancements, making business travel easier and leisure travel more rewarding. The deeply instilled Four Seasons culture is personified in its employees—people who share a single focus and are inspired to offer great service. Four Seasons currently operates two properties in Florida, Four Seasons Hotel Miami and the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach.
“The Resort will have all the ingredients needed to create memorable vacations: gracious and caring staff; beautiful surroundings that are thoughtfully designed; and services and amenities that make every experience one to cherish,” said Kathleen Taylor, president and chief operating officer, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “It’s an honor to collaborate with Walt Disney World Resort on this project. Walt Disney’s reputation for service excellence and exceptional family entertainment amenities is an ideal complement to the values of Four Seasons. Central Florida will be a valuable addition to our family of resorts, particularly since this is a destination our guests already enjoy.”
Once terms of the project are finalized, site work could begin later this year, with a hotel opening forecasted for 2010.
VALUE-ORIENTED DESTINATION - MIXED-USE TOURISM DISTRICT
On the western edge of the resort, Disney is planning a mixed-use tourist commercial district just outside Disney’s gateway entrance. The master-planned development is comparable in size to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
The project combines third-party branded lodging, retail and dining in a pedestrian-friendly environment and will be another example of Disney’s commitment to unique placemaking. Located outside Disney’s gateway around the interchange where Western Way meets the Western Beltway, early development plans include 4,000 - 5,000 low- to mid-rise, value-priced lodging units and 300,000 - 500,000 square feet of commercial space. Designed around a retail village, the development will become a convenient shopping and service center for Cast Members, nearby residents and Central Florida visitors.
The project is currently in the design stage. Site work and branding is anticipated to begin later this year. The project will be built in phases over the next 8 - 10 years.
Walt Disney World Resort is a contiguous 40-square-mile, world-class entertainment and recreation center featuring four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney-MGM Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom); two water adventure parks (Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon); 32 resort hotels (22 owned and operated by Walt Disney World, including five Disney Vacation Club resort properties); two full-service spas; Disney’s Wedding Pavilion; Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex; and Downtown Disney, an entertainment-shopping-dining complex encompassing the Marketplace, Pleasure Island and West Side. Walt Disney World Resort is also included in vacation packages of Disney Cruise Line. Located at Lake Buena Vista, Fla., 20 miles southwest of Orlando, Walt Disney World Resort opened Oct. 1, 1971. Open daily, year-round.