Following a request for an extension of a permit related to the development of the Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge Disney Vacation Club property, the State has granted Disney World a 5-year extension. The new expiration date for the Stolport Stockpile project is May 31, 2028, but more on that in a bit.
Back in June, we reported that Walt Disney Imagineering was requesting an extension for a project related to the planned construction of a Disney Vacation Club property on the shores of Bay Lake within the Fort Wilderness Campgrounds. The project, which was rumored in March 2018 and confirmed in October 2018, would be for the construction of more than 900 hotel rooms and proposed Disney Vacation Club villas spread across a variety of unique accommodation types.
To support the massive construction, Disney World filed a permit for a Stolport Stockpile project that would allow for easy staging of construction elements. Here’s a look at the May 2018 permit that shows where the land was located – at the “corner” of World Drive and Vista Blvd. The area along World Drive and a connection to Vista Blvd have been developed a bit more since then, but the Stolport Stockpile area remains intact.
A February 2019 permit outlined how Disney planned to connect the stockpile site to the Reflections DVC site via a series of roadways. The access roads were built to connect the stockpile and future Reflections DVC site, but the COVID shutdowns caused the project to be put on pause. Essentially, Disney had demolished the former River Country site and built up the land for the construction of the Reflections DVC, but they never got around to building it. The project was considered to be canceled.
In April 2023, Disney Vacation Club announced that they would be refreshing more than 350 cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. It’s important to note that the cabin refresh and the Reflections DVC are two separate projects. As of publish time, the Reflections DVC is still paused while the cabin refresh is an active project. That said, Walt Disney Imagineering’s recent request for an extension of the Stolport Stockpile could indicate that the Reflections DVC isn’t completely abandoned. In the letter, Imagineering addressed the Stolport Stockpile permit, saying that “the project was shut down during COVID-19 conditions and therefore delayed the completion of this project.”
Before we declare that Reflections is back (!!!), we have to caveat what the permit extension request actually is. First, the extension is for the Stolport Stockpile area – not the Reflections DVC construction. The stockpile permit was set to expire May 30, 2023 and needed an extension if the site was going to be utilized going forward. The Reflections DVC permit doesn’t expire until November 2024, so there is still time for Disney to make up its mind, although an extension would eventually be needed should they plan on moving forward. Finally, the stockpile area could be utilized for a variety of things. Most likely, Disney will use the area for staging and development of the refreshed cabins that have already been announced.
That said, we don’t think that the Reflections project is 100% canceled anymore. Disney has shown an eagerness to expand its DVC footprint aggressively, and the development of some sort of sprawling multi-story resort at Disney’s Fort Wilderness is something that we think executives would love to implement should the business environment be favorable.
As always, keep checking back with us here at BlogMickey.com as we continue to bring you the latest news, photos, and info from around the Disney Parks!