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Walt Disney World Resort Non-Park Discussion Thread

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Hey everybody!


This thread is simple! Rather than having a million little threads about everything that goes on at Walt Disney World's Non-Park Properties, this thread is designed to consolidate it all into one user-friendly thread. Feel free to use it to post updates, trip reports, questions, comments, and of course, general discussion. For pictures and videos of the resort as well as past updates, see TPR's Park Index.


Official Resort Website


Below are some links to past updates from the resort, you may be interested in. Enjoy!






March 29th, 2006 - WDW sells 100 acres

November 6th, 2006 - Man seriously injured after falling off tram and being run over



June 27th, 2008 - Pleasure Island clubs closing on September 28th, 2008

November 14th, 2008 - Aerophile to add new tethered balloon ride for Downtown Disney



March 12th, 2009 - Downtown Disney Photo update posted!

April 11th, 2009 - New Pleasure Island photos posted!

June 10th, 2009 - Characters in Flight photo report now online!

July 16th, 2009 - Two WDW buses collide injuring 12 people

December 9th, 2009 - Pleasure Island revamp to be completed in 2012



February 3rd, 2010 - Pollo Campero replaces McDonald's in Walt Disney World!

February 22nd, 2010 - Club interior photos posted!

March 2nd, 2010 - D-Street store in Downtown Disney West Side announced!

March 10th, 2010 - Monorail Trains get Tron makeover

March 25th 2010 - D-Street passholder preview announced

March 29th, 2010 - New Downtown Disney photo update

April 1st, 2010 - Child hit and killed by WDW bus

May 12th, 2010 - Disney's Art of Animation Resort announced!

June 23rd, 2010 - Disney to sell luxury homes in Golden Oak development

August 3rd, 2010 - WDW raises ticket prices

September 16th, 2010 - Disney's Art of Animation Resort details released!

November 18th, 2010 - Hyperion Wharf announced to replace Pleasure Island!



May 16th, 2011 - AMC Dine-In Theatres coming to Downtown Disney!

June 21st, 2011 - Disney's Art of Animation Resort topping off ceremony

July 12th, 2011 - Splitville announced, stores switching locations

September 14th, 2011 - Four Seasons Orlando to be built at Walt Disney World!

October 10th, 2011 - Disney's Art of Animation Resort Phase 1 to open on May 31st, 2012!

November 30th, 2011 - Ft. Wilderness Campfire Sing-A-Long coverage!

December 5th, 2011 - Art of Animation construction update photos posted!

December 5th, 2011 - Imagineers install Nemo icons at Art of Animation

December 7th, 2011 - Four Seasons Breaks Ground at Walt Disney World Resort

December 8th, 2011 - Grand Floridian Disney Vacation Club expansion announced!



January 4th, 2012 - Ramone is prepped & detailed for debut at the Art of Animation Resort

January 12th, 2012 - Meet the Imagineers working on Disney's Art of Animation Resort!

January 30th, 2012 - Art of Animation food court menu, plus HoB changes

February 9th, 2012 - A look at the Art of Animation Ink & Paint Shop

February 22nd, 2012 - Art of Animation Resort marquee installed

April 1st, 2012 - Art of Animation Resort opening dates revealed!

April 9th, 2012 - More Art of Animation Resort food court menu items unveiled

April 19th, 2012 - Re-imagined Basin store reopens at Downtown Disney

April 27th, 2012 - More Splitsville Downtown Disney details released

April 27th, 2012 - Pixar animator tours Finding Nemo wing of Disney's Art of Animation Resort

April 30th, 2012 - Video tour of the Nemo wing at Art of Animation

May 1st, 2012 - New concept art of Splitsville DTD released

May 8th, 2012 - Car Masters Weekend returns to Downtown Disney

May 15th, 2012 - Shark Tank 'ShowNo' available at Disney Water Parks

May 21st, 2012 - 'Cars' wing of Disney's Art of Animation Resort previewed

May 23rd, 2012 - Car Masters Weekend adds high-performance go karting

June 4th, 2012 - B Hotels to rebrand Royal Plaza Downtown Disney hotel

June 7th, 2012 - Dolby Atmos to be installed at AMC Downtown Disney 24

June 12th, 2012 - Huge photo tour of Disney's Art of Animation Resort

June 12th, 2012 - Victoria & Albert's earns 13th AAA Five-Diamond Award

June 28th, 2012 - Typhoon Lagoon offers Summer food & entertainment options; Disney water parks offer Summer Extra Magic Hours

June 28th, 2012 - P90X Creator Tony Horton Fitness Weekend announced

August 7th, 2012 - D-Tech Me to offer custom princess figurines

August 14th, 2012 - Phineas and Ferb & YOU: A Brand New Reality coming to Downtown Disney

August 14th, 2012 - 20th Anniversary Disney Marathon medal revealed

August 14th, 2012 - A look at the Lion King wing at Disney's Art of Animation Resort

August 20th, 2012 - Swampy from Where's My Water coming to the Disney water parks

August 21st, 2012 - New resort photos including Grand Floridian construction update

August 28th, 2012 - 'The Great Irish Hooley' event coming to Downtown Disney

August 28th, 2012 - Behind the scenes look at D-Tech Me Princess Experience

August 29th, 2012 - A more detailed look at Disney's Golden Oak homes

September 11th, 2012 - AMC Downtown Disney 24 to offer "Sensory Friendly" movies

September 23rd, 2012 - Frankenweenie Weekend coming to Downtown Disney!

September 23rd, 2012 - Disney's Art of Animation Resort The Little Mermaid wing now open!

October 8th, 2012 - Latest look at Splitsville construction progress

October 24th, 2012 - A closer look at Splitville's signature food items

November 14th, 2012 - Splitsville to open on December 6th, 2012!

December 16th, 2012 - Walt Disney World dropped from the PGA Tour in 2013



January 20th, 2013 - All spas on property now owned & operated by Disney

March 14th, 2013 - Downtown Disney to be transformed into Disney Springs

May 26th, 2013 - DVC Villas at the Grand Floridian now being sold!

June 17th, 2013 - Golden Oak Marceline residential neighborhood details

June 28th, 2013 - Tom Staggs details MagicBands and MyMagic+

August 5th, 2013 - AT&T named wireless provider of Walt Disney World

Ocober 16th, 2013 - DisneyQuest Halloween Party event announced!

Ocober 21st, 2013 - Food Trucks set to roll out at Downtown Disney!

Ocober 25th, 2013 - The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort open!



January 2nd, 2014 - Downtown Disney Royal Plaza Hotel to become B Resort

May 7th, 2014 - Major restaurants could be coming to Disney Springs?

May 7th, 2014 - Cherry Tree Lane merchandise preview

May 7th, 2014 - Polynesian Resort gets original name & Trader Sam's

May 31st, 2014 - Starbucks at Downtown Disney & Disney Springs Update!

July 23rd, 2014 - Downtown Disney I-4 access & road changes announced!

September 4th, 2014 - Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue 40th Anniversary Report!

October 21st, 2014 - New restaurant 'Trattoria al Forna' menu revealed!

October 26th, 2014 - The Boathouse restaurant confirmed for Disney Springs!

October 26th, 2014 - The Boathouse & Morimoto Asia restaurants announced!

November 14th, 2014 - Disney buys 3,000 acre Mira Lago land parcel near WDW!

December 9th, 2014 - Disney Springs' 'Exposition Park' for Food Trucks opens!

December 19th, 2014 - STK Orlando to open in The Landing at Disney Springs!



February 5th, 2015 - Tom Staggs named Walt Disney Company COO

February 11th, 2015 - Walt Disney World Speedway Closure Confirmed!

February 26th, 2015 - Planet Hollywood re-design at Disney Springs confirmed!

March 13th, 2015 - Paradiso 37 & Planet Hollywood expansion details!

April 12th, 2015 - Fatal Accident at the Exotic Driving Experience

May 25th, 2015 - Thirteen new shops & restaurants announced for Disney Springs!



May 15th, 2016 - Disney Springs Town Center Opening Day!

May 15th, 2016 - Photos from Frontera Cocina, Coca-Cola Store & more!

July 20th, 2016 - Report from the new STK at Disney Springs!

August 2nd, 2016 - 'Miss Fortune Falls' coming to Typhoon Lagoon in 2017

October 20th, 2016 - New STK Fall Seasonal Menu Items! YUM!!!

October 31st, 2016 - Morimoto Asia Weekend Dim Sum Brunch Review

November 7th, 2016 - New holiday experience teased for Disney Springs

November 21st, 2016 - MagicBand 2 design & features announced!



February 15th, 2017 - Gondola transportation expansion coming to WDW?

March 12th, 2017 - Miss Adventure Falls at Typhoon Lagoon now open!

April 26th, 2017 - Portobello replacement concept art released!

November 2nd, 2017 - Three new Patina Group restaurants coming to Disney Springs

November 3rd, 2017 - Raglan Road review, photos & video posted!



January 17th, 2018 - TPR Samples Food Items from Disney Adventures!

March 15th, 2018 - Raglan Road Mighty St. Patrick's Festival preview!

June 22nd, 2018 - H20 Glow Nights at Typhoon Lagoon Report!

October 10th, 2018 - City Works Eatery & Pour House coming to Disney Springs

December 8th, 2018 - Kingdom Hearts III pop-up coming to Disney Springs!

December 21st, 2018 - New NBA Experience details released!



January 14th, 2019 - New Jaleo restaurant details & renderings released!

January 25th, 2019 - Pepe by José Andrés Coming to Disney Springs!

January 25th, 2019 - Disney's Riviera Resort now accepting guest reservations!

February 7th, 2019 - Carnevale at Maria & Enzo's Ristorante details!

February 27th, 2019 - Raglan Road Mighty St. Patrick's Festival 2019 info!

February 27th, 2019 - "Rosé All Day" event at Morimoto Asia!

March 15th, 2019 - Raglan Road Mighty St. Patrick's Festival report!

March 22nd, 2019 - Jaleo Preview Report Posted!

April 26th, 2019 - Walt Disney World's GIANT new solar farm!

May 9th, 2019 - Maria & Enzo's Pasta Palooza Media Dinner report!!

May 16th, 2019 - Havana Nights at The Edison details announced!

July 4th, 2019 - Largest pizza slice at Disney Springs at Pizza Ponte

July 14th, 2019 - Largest pizza slice at Disney Springs at Pizza Ponte

July 17th, 2019 - Late Nights at Enzo's Hideaway & The Edison preview

August 13th, 2019 - NBA Experience Media Day Report!

September 16th, 2019 - MorimotoFest event details released!

December 10th, 2019 - New Cirque Show Name and Tickets!



February 4th, 2020 - Jaleo's Truffle Festival & special dinner details!

October 15th, 2020 - Raglan Road 15th Anniversary details!

December 24th, 2020 - Disney's Blizzard Beach water park reopens on March 7th, 2021



March 13th, 2022 - Raglan Road Mighty St. Patrick's Festival media preview!



March 17th, 2023 - Raglan Road Mighty St. Patrick's Festival event preview!

April 20th, 2023 - The Cabins at Fort Wilderness to become the 17th DVC Resort!


Original Post:



I saw this article in the Orlando Sentinel today and thought this was the end of an era. This wasn't what Walt had in mind when he bought the land back in the 60's. It is only a matter of a time before WDW looks more like Disneyland.


Disney sells some of its world

The theme-park giant and huge landowner has sold off 100 acres recently and has a 30-acre parcel on the market.



Scott Powers | Sentinel Staff Writer

Posted March 28, 2006


Walt Disney World is selling off chunks of excess land on the fringes of its empire, allowing developers to pursue their own real-estate magic.


Disney recently sold 53 acres on Sherberth Road south of Disney's Animal Kingdom to a developer who wants to build hundreds of vacation town homes and condominium units, and another 47 acres on Reams Road, north of the Magic Kingdom, to a home builder.


Another 30 acres is for sale on U.S. Highway 192. And more may be put on the market as soon as the company re-evaluates its vast land holdings in Central Florida, particularly parcels on the far edges.


Disney spokeswoman Andrea Finger said the company is evaluating its Central Florida land holdings to see what fits into its long-term plans and what doesn't.


Disney owns 27,000 acres in southwest Orange and northwest Osceola counties, most of it purchased in the 1960s when Walt Disney stealthily assembled his holdings before the public learned of his plans to build Disney World. Much of the acreage makes up the area of and around Disney's theme parks, water parks, golf courses, shopping and hotel and time-share resorts between U.S. 192, State Road 429, Reams Road and Interstate 4.


The new deals may illustrate a shift in thinking for Disney.


Finger, spokeswoman for Walt Disney Imagineering, Disney's park planning division, said the 47-acre deal Disney made in December and the 53-acre deal in February are the first for the company in a while, other than land in the Little Lake Bryan and Celebration planned communities.


"With such significant land holdings in Central Florida, our strategy is to manage and develop land resources in ways that promote and enhance and complement our core businesses," Finger said.


Disney is not talking about the 30-acre tract, except to say it is in contract. Yet Disney asked its government agency, the Reedy Creek Improvement District, to de-annex the property, which is on U.S. 192, west of the Animal Kingdom Lodge.


The latest land deals are different from those at Celebration or Little Lake Bryan. Disney fully planned those two communities. The company transferred property in both areas to subsidiaries, which developed the communities and sold off the properties as they were developed. Those sales began in 1994 and still are continuing, Finger said.


The land in the latest deals would be governed by Orange or Osceola county planning and zoning codes, but would otherwise be outside Disney's master plans.


Susan Lawrence, president of Real Estate Strategies in Orlando, said Disney is finding a great time to sell. Prices are at an all-time high. Demand is high, and supply is tight, especially around Disney, she said.


"Like stock, when the prices are extraordinarily high, you're going to sell, especially if there's no long-term strategic use for it," Lawrence said. "That still leaves them with -- what? -- 26,000-plus acres?"


Such sales have been rare for Disney in recent years.


The most recent before December was in 2000, when Disney sold the 40-acre Crossroads at Lake Buena Vista, off State Road 535, for $15.8 million.


Other theme parks in town also have unloaded excess property in the past decade. In 2003, Universal Orlando sold 1,800 acres along Sand Lake Road after deciding it no longer wanted to build a third theme park there.


Since Anheuser-Busch bought SeaWorld in 1989, the company has sold off several hundred acres around Central Florida that were not contiguous to the park.


Last week Disney asked the Reedy Creek Board of Supervisors to begin steps to drop the 30-acre parcel from the agency's jurisdiction. Reedy Creek, a government agency set up by the Florida Legislature, provides utility, fire, emergency medical and other public services to Disney's property.


Normally, when Disney sells land that is governed by Reedy Creek the company asks the agency to de-annex the land so that any new landowners would not share the district's services and would not have any votes in Reedy Creek affairs.


Reedy Creek Executive Director C. Ray Maxwell said his agency is prepared to receive more de-annexation requests from Disney.


"They have gone around and looked at the entire property, the perimeter of the property, and said, OK, does this really fit into future development plans or not?" Maxwell said. "And if it doesn't, is there a market for it?"


Maitland-based Centex Homes bought the 47-acre Reams Road property for $4.8 million. Division President Pat Knight said Centex likes the property, but the company has not yet decided what to do with it.


Sherberth Development Partners, an investment group out of New York and Chicago, paid $15.4 million for the 53 acres. Orlando-based Resorts Development Group will develop the property. President Steve Parker said plans call for vacation homes, including short-term rental homes.


Parker said his company got an unexpected chance to buy the Disney property.


Resorts Development already was planning a 40-acre development next door when it learned that Disney would sell the 53-acre parcel. Knowing how rarely Disney has sold its Central Florida holdings, his investors immediately stepped up to buy it, he said.


"We like to think it was real-estate genius, but it was really dumb luck," he said. "They said, 'We just decided today to start selling some of it.' We said, 'OK, we'll buy it.' "




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100 Acres isn't that much, and its way aways from the actual developed areas of WDW. Its not like you're going to be riding the skyride and look over and see Bob Smith mowing his grass. (of course, part of that is because there is no skyride). If you want them to hide the "warehouse" portion of Expedition Everest, they gotta find money somewhere!

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Argh. Many of these parcels around WDW were purchased after Walt was already dead.... So please stop the hypothetical Walt argument. These decisions that Walt may or may not have made would be based on how he acted over 40 years ago in a much different business climate.


Plus - These parcels of land were separated from the main WDW property block by other property that WDW did not own and pretty much useless.

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^Well, technically Walt is already turning in his grave about WDW. EPCOT was supposed to be a city, WDW was supposed to have its own larger airport (it has a 2,000ft STOL runway that is no longer in use), there was supposed to be an industrial park...


I bet he's pissed they ended up building all those hotels, theme parks, water parks, the seven seas lagoon, golf courses, entertainment areas, mini golf, etc., etc. instead.

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I don't mind it, just because there is so much land that Disney owns down there. I'm sure they will stick to Walt's original idea to keep so much of it undeveloped, but Disney purchased so much of it, that they may as well sell some of it off. There will still be an un-godly amount that will be left un-touched. I don't think it will interfere on anything that Disney tries to do, so it's all good with me. May as well try to recoup some of the investment, plus I'm sure it's worth a hell-of-a-lot more now than it was then.

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What I think is kind of funny is that 100 acers is nothing to WDW, but that's bigger than Disneyland itself! If DLR had an extra 100 acers to throw around, imagine what they could do with it!


Oh, well.....another reason why WDW is what is it!



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If you look at the land that the Disney Co ownes in Florida, including what is connected to WDW property, there are parcels (sp) that could, and probably should be sold. There are many "fingers" on the edges of the Disney property that are useless to the Company. They most likely know their borders, and know what they are planning for the future, and those little parcells of land are useless to them.


I was actually surprised at the money that was paid for the land. I would have thought that land around WDW would be at least $1.0 MIL an acre.


I paid more than that here in the Tampa Burbs

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If DLR had an extra 100 acers to throw around ...


They will in June


Anyway, if you want to look at a company that made a fortune selling land around Orlando, just take a look at Lockheed Martin. They owned most the land from Disney to Downtown Orlando and sold it in small parcels. Each one for more money than the last.


International Drive and Universal Studios are almost completely built on former Lockheed land. If I remember correctly, Universal is built on what used to essentially be a "dump".

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^Well, technically Walt is already turning in his grave about WDW. EPCOT was supposed to be a city

When I worked for Disney, they put me through orientation (had to drive the "deadly" Reams road for a week!) And one of the first things they talk about is that EPCOT is the entire composition of the property. The EPCOT Theme Park is actually at the approximate "center" of that property. (Which is why it is called EPCOT Center.)


About the only thing it doesn't have is a public airport. But it does have schools, a fire department, police, housing, shopping, transportation services, movie theatres, and practically everything else a city needs.

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Translation: You know what is really funny? Walt Disney never went to Walt Disney World which is located in Orlando, Florida. He only visited the one in California. Too bad its boring now. So is Walt Disney's grave located in California? Or is it somewhere else?

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  • 7 months later...

"Anyone who has parked in one of Walt Disney World's expansive theme park parking lots has heard the tram attendant's spiel reminding riders that – if something should fall off the tram – they should not go after it, but wait until the next stop and inform the driver or the attendant. Every once in a while, there's somebody that disregards this, proving to the rest of us the importance of heeding those words.


Last Monday morning at around 9:30 a.m., a 49-year-old man jumpted off of a moving tram at the Magic Kingdom parking lot in an attempt to retrieve a camera that had fallen from the tram. The tram, which was approaching the left turn under the roadway in its final approach to the Transportation & Ticket Center, was traveling at a good rate of speed.


When Reedy Creek Emergency Services personnel arrived on the scene, the man was conscious and coherent, but bleeding from the head. He was transported to the Orlando Regional Medical Center by helicopter as a precautionary measure.


The man had been visiting the resort with his wife, daughter and grandchildren."

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