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!
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.' "