Disney Requests 5-Year Extension for ‘Reflections’ DVC Hotel Permit Following COVID-19 “Delay”

    A request has been filed by Walt Disney Imagineering for a 5-year extension on permits related to the development of a new Disney Vacation Club resort at Disney’s Fort Wilderness & Campgrounds. Largely considered to be canceled, it looks like Disney wants to keep their options open for the previously announced Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge.

    The extension request is for Project 89 (phase 2), which would be the construction of Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge and the surrounding impacts to wetlands such as parking lots and backstage support buildings. The permit image below shows the main building in red, cabin-style buildings in blue, and the existing Pioneer Hall building in green.

    In the request, Walt Disney Imagineering said that the construction is not yet complete and that it was delayed due to COVID-19:

    We would like to request an extension of this permit as construction is not yet complete. This project was shut down during COVID-19 conditions and therefore delayed the completion of this project.
    Walt Disney Imagineering

    Back in March 2018, we posted an article that said that Disney World was exploring the development of the land where the long-shuttered River Country water park used to be located. The exploratory project was called Project 89 and our early coverage of the permits included impact studies for land viability.

    More than 6 months later, Walt Disney World officially announced that they were, in fact, going to build on the former River Country land and that an all-new nature-inspired resort would be built. This announcement came in October 2018 and Disney announced that the resort would open in 2022.

    The deluxe resort, which would be themed to complement its natural surroundings, would include more than 900 hotel rooms and proposed Disney Vacation Club villas spread across a variety of unique accommodation types.

    “This resort experience will be a celebration of Walt Disney’s lifelong love and respect for nature, with some fun and even surprising accommodation types that families will find irresistible,” said Terri Schultz, senior vice president and general manager of Disney Vacation Club. “It will give our members and guests yet another opportunity to stay in close proximity to all the newest attractions and experiences in our theme parks, and with the flexibility, value and world-class service families expect from Disney.”

    Following the clearing of the former River Country site, the Reflections project appeared to be a COVID-era cut, along with a host of other projects around Walt Disney World. Fast forward to March 2022. The Reflections site is still sitting abandoned and Disney World announced that they’re going to build a new Disney Vacation Club tower at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. The resort is currently under development and is slated to open later this year.

    While the recent permit extension isn’t absolute proof that Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge is going to be built, Walt Disney Imagineering clearly wants to keep the project alive, and Disney has shown that they have an appetite for Disney Vacation Club properties.

    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!

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