However, it appears that we were gravely mistaken. Disney shocked its fans a few days ago with the announcement of an on-resort nature reserve. No, that isn't some sort of technical theme park jargon. The attractions here will actually be the trees and animals. Despite this, subtle theme park traits can be found.
The mini-resort, known as the "Nature Villages" will be split into four themed areas areas, and will encompass accomodation as well as nature trails and such. The new area will be operated by Pierre et Vacances, who are market leaders in short breaks, owning and operating the Center Parcs and Gran Dorado properties. Full details of the development can be found here.
However, a key question still lingers in my mind. If Disney really are describing this as their nature park, then have we really been mislead over the theme of the true "third" park all these years?
"First of all it needs to be pointed out that the new project which seems to have received a green light in the meantime is not(!) the often talked about third park, even so numerous websites and even several papers are branding it as the "third park" ..."
"Nature Villages" is going to be a resort area. It will be a place where guests can stay in one of four 'lands:' Le Ranch; Le Sport; L'Eau; and La Terre. Featured will be "... complete holidays for a weekend-trip on private property with a wide range of options as sport activities, swimming, relaxing, massages, … for the whole family."
DLP is still planning a new "park."
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Disney California Adventure
Universal Studios Florida
Universal's Islands of Adventure
Universal Studios Hollywood