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Not even a global pandemic can kill the ever-expanding Disney Vacation Club REFLECTIONS UPDATE

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Someone else had posted about the new permits being filed, but I couldn't find the post to add this to it.



The lodging industry is taking a beating thanks to the global pandemic, but one of the few positive segments may point to the future of Disney hotels. Economy extended-stay hotels with kitchenettes and other residential-style amenities saw only a 14% drop in March compared to the nearly 49% drop across the industry as a whole. This may explain why Disney is moving forward with their Reflections resort at Walt Disney World, despite the souring global economic outlook.

Many expected Disney to behave as they did after 9/11, when they postponed a large hotel project that was already well underway. The belief was with so much uncertainty regarding coronavirus and the corresponding economic recession, Disney would pause or even cancel projects around the resorts. This seems true for some projects within the parks, but for hotels, the company hasn’t acknowledged any such move.

On the shores of Bay Lake, there have been no indications that the Reflections Disney Lakeside Lodge timeshare resort is being canceled – multiple permits relating to the project have been filed in recent days. Disney Vacation Club rooms often share the same residential-style amenities that are popular at extended-stay hotels, though the construction and residential clientele typical in extended-stay hotels are far from the upper-middle-class families who frequent DVC resorts. The multi-room suites that DVC resorts offer are also more in line with the demands of the always coveted millennial consumers, who now, with both aging parents and kids of their own, are looking for vacation options the entire family can enjoy together. This demand for multigenerational family vacations is likely to grow even more in the post-coronavirus world. One recent study found time with family and friends is the second most missed activity right now, just behind going out to eat.


Reflections can provide Disney with a new resort to market as the economy rebounds, while also not straining WDW resources thanks to its central location on Bay Lake. The calming ecological focus of the resort will also likely resonate with many folks who are stuck inside in quarantine right now. A modern lobby is bathed in natural light, thanks to floor to ceiling windows overlooking the lake, and "conversation booths" inside wicker orbs are scattered around. The lobby also has various table games and a health-conscious counter-service café. As witnessed in the lobby, the resort draws inspiration from nature while also presenting a more modern alternative to the Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness campground that bookend it.


A lakefront restaurant with a muted Princess and the Frog theme will offer panoramic views of the lake, similar to Narcoossee's at the Grand Floridian but with more natural tones and larger windows. The restaurant, like the rest of the resort, will take cues from other recent Disney World projects, such as the Gran Destino Tower at Coronado Springs, where Disney characters are introduced in more subtle, adult-friendly ways.


The River Country water park that was previously located on the site where the hotel now sits will live on via multiple nods in the pool area.

Out of the 900 suites at the resort, only a handful will offer only one bed, with most offering two or more beds spread across multi-room suites. Similar to other Disney resorts, the artwork and decor in the rooms will draw inspiration from Disney films, with characters such as Bambi and Pocahontas adorning the walls. Natural wood and stone give the bathrooms a spa-like ambience. Some rooms will be multi-story.

Waterfront A-frame bungalows are expected along the lakeshore at Reflections. Rumor has it Disney is also looking to add waterfront and over-the-water cottages to other resorts, including Reflections, the Contemporary, and possibly another yet-to-be-announced resort near the TTC.

Disney isn’t finished once Reflections opens. A spree of recent land purchases seems to point to a reworking of the Magnolia golf course, which could indicate the company is once again moving forward with a long-shelved multi-tower expansion of the Polynesian resort. Two more sites in the Magic Kingdom’s vicinity are also being looked at for an ultra-boutique luxury resort, potentially with direct access into the park, and there are still plans for a third tower to eventually join the two current ones at the Contemporary.

Reflections is expected to open in 2022. Other resort projects are still in the early stages, with any potential opening many years away.

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Construction Continues on Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge Throughout Extended Closure at Walt Disney World

April 13, 2020

When we saw permits filed earlier this month for work on a Table Service Restaurant, bus stop, transportation dock, and more at the site of Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge, it was still assumed that construction had been halted throughout Walt Disney World Resort––and it has, for the most part––but according to a new report from the Orlando Business Journal, one local construction firm continues chipping away at the upcoming nature-themed Disney Vacation Resort property in progress.

Balfour Beatty Construction LLC continues work on the 900-room resort taking over the space of the former River Country throughout the closure. In a statement to the Orlando Business Journal, it outlined the safety measures it was taking in light of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis:

“Balfour Beatty is taking all necessary measures to ensure workers, clients, partner and the public are safe. As a essential business, we have a responsibility to keep our projects operating while we modify the way we deliver work to allow for the new and necessary health and safety measures that are now required as a result of this pandemic. The practicalities of how to implement social distancing in the field are complex and our workforce is committed to meeting these needs, knowing that each decision has an impact on not only the team’s ability to deliver and our production flow, but the health and wellbeing of everyone.”

Work has continued despite smaller crews and stringent new regulations from the CDC. According to analyst David Heger, it’s in Disney’s best interest to keep work going for certain projects, especially if they’ve already been funded. And surely, a shiny new resort will beckon to both casual guests and DVC members alike in the aftermath of the extended closures. Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge is expected to open in 2022.

Aerial look Mar 25 at site of Reflections: A Disney Lakeside Lodge. At center beyond the crane is Pioneer Hall. At right, the new Tri-Circle-D Ranch horse stables.

View image on Twitter


For an aerial look at construction on the lakeside lodge resort, click here. And for a look over at the construction site from the shores of Bay Lake, check out this video post here. If you’re curious as to other ongoing construction throughout the closures, check out this post on the up-and-coming remodeled McDonald’s by Disney’s All-Star Resorts.

Featured Image: @bioreconstruct on Twitter



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Another construction project that's still moving forward...

Construction on Flamingo Crossings Hotels and Disney College Program Housing Continues Through COVID-19 Pandemic


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On 4/17/2020 at 2:53 PM, Travisma said:

Looks like they're concentrating on builds that will make them $$.

There's plenty of smaller projects they could be doing while staying in compliance with county ordinances like getting that castle painted and fixing the Haunted Mansion!

DISNEY is probably no different than the State of FL, projects continue especially since they can do them without having to  worry about guests in the parks. The Governor ordered increased constuction on I-4 since the traffic flow is reduced.

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  • 4 weeks later...
15 hours ago, AuburnJen said:

Has anyone seen anything lately on the construction?  I know they won’t let Gretchen in to peek, lol.

The nerve!  😎

I think unless someone on the construction team leaks something (which doesn't seem to happen), or someone manages to sneak a drone up and over, we may not see anything more until either Disney announces it or the resorts open.  Even the big blog sites aren't managing to get any pics of anything at this point other than driving around the property.

Too bad we didn't know that guy that camped out on Discovery Island.  We could have hired him to hop in that boat he allegedly confiscated and snagged some pics for us. LOL

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1 hour ago, Theed31u said:

I heard rumors that Reflections was canceled and they were pulling out construction stuff and planting grass over the area.  Anyone heading down there that could check it out?

The equipment is gone and an overgrown field remains along with some debris.  The fences remain.  Looks like a minimum of a five year delay if not cancellation.


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6 hours ago, Theed31u said:

I heard rumors that Reflections was canceled and they were pulling out construction stuff and planting grass over the area.  Anyone heading down there that could check it out?

If you want to see weeds growing, here’s a thread for you: 


3 hours ago, fladogfan aka Gretchen said:

Weren't one or two hotels near ESPN delayed for years after 911? 

Yes- half of Pop Century never got built. When they revived the project, it became the Art of Animation Resort. 


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