If you’re a Disney Vacation Club fan, you might recall the buzz surrounding the proposed Disney’s Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge Disney Vacation Club (DVC) property. Well, I’ve got some exciting news for you! The State has just granted Disney World a 5-year extension for this project, and while it might not be a confirmation of the project’s revival, it’s definitely a glimmer of hope for DVC fans.
Let’s rewind a bit to get the full picture. Back in June, I reported that Walt Disney Imagineering had requested an extension for a project related to the planned construction of a Disney Vacation Club property on the shores of Bay Lake, nestled within the Fort Wilderness Campgrounds. This ambitious project was rumored in March 2018 and officially confirmed in October 2018. It was set to bring more than 900 hotel rooms and Disney Vacation Club villas in various unique accommodation styles to life.
To support this colossal construction, Disney World filed a permit for what they called the “Stolport Stockpile” project. This permit would essentially enable them to efficiently stage construction elements for the grand development. The project site was situated at the “corner” of World Drive and Vista Blvd.
Fast forward to February 2019, when Disney outlined plans to connect the stockpile site to the Reflections DVC site using a network of roadways. Everything seemed to be on track, but then the COVID-19 pandemic struck, leading to project delays and disruptions. While Disney had already demolished the former River Country site and prepared the land for Disney’s Reflections construction, they were forced to put the project on hold, and it was even considered canceled at one point.
But wait, there’s more! In April 2023, Disney Vacation Club announced a separate project that involves refreshing over 350 cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. It’s important to clarify that this cabin refresh project is distinct from the Reflections DVC.
Now, here’s the intriguing part: Walt Disney Imagineering recently requested an extension for the Stolport Stockpile permit. In their letter, they explained that the project had been halted during the COVID-19 pandemic, causing delays in its completion.
Before I jump to conclusions and start celebrating the return of Reflections (!!!), I need to set the record straight. The extension request applies to the Stolport Stockpile area, not the Reflections DVC construction itself. The stockpile permit was originally set to expire on May 30, 2023, and it needed an extension if Disney planned to utilize the site for future projects. The Reflections DVC permit, on the other hand, doesn’t expire until November 2024, giving Disney some time to make a decision. However, an extension would eventually be necessary if they intend to move forward with the Reflections project.
So, what could this mean? The stockpile area could serve a variety of purposes, and the most likely scenario is that Disney will use it for staging and development of the already-announced refreshed cabins.
But here’s the exciting part: the fact that Disney is seeking an extension for the stockpile permit suggests that the Reflections DVC project might not be entirely abandoned. Disney has a track record of expanding its DVC offerings aggressively, and a sprawling multi-story resort at Disney’s Fort Wilderness is something that Disney executives might want to explore if the right business conditions align.
While I can’t say for sure whether Disney’s Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge will come to life as originally planned, I can certainly hold on to hope. Disney’s commitment to delivering magical experiences to its guests is unwavering, and who knows what the future might hold for this enchanting lakeside retreat? Stay tuned, DVC fans, the magic may still be on the horizon!