Wilderness Lodge to Add Luxury Cabins, Restaurants and More

Edited: May 30, 2015, 5:21 AM

The VERY POPULAR Walt Disney World Wilderness lodge will be following the Polynesian model adding luxury cabins a la the Poly bungalows. In addition, the resort will be adding more retail and restaurants as well as recreational amenities.

The expansion has been in the works for some time. Disney has reportedly filed plans to begin the work, with local general contractor DPK leading the charge.

Replies (12)

Edited: May 30, 2015, 12:55 PM

The Wilderness Lodge adds to the long list of construction projects that are either recently completed, currently active or soon to break ground on the Walt Disney property. When you consider the addition of multiple attractions ('Avatar,' 'Frozen' and 'Star Wars') the cost associated with all of these construction contracts must surely reach the billion dollar mark.

Disney Springs retail expansion and food and beverage expansion (both the current work underway and the more than a dozen additions announced last week).

Disney Springs parking garages (with smart park features advising drivers where they can find available spaces).

Disney Springs - Civil construction (new bridges, the I-4 off ramp and additional roads, etc.).

Disney Springs - Pedestrian promenade (bridge).

Polynesian Resort - Renovation of public spaces and guest rooms.

Polynesian Resort - Renovation of children's recreation center.

Polynesian Resort - Luxury bungalows.

Polynesian Resort - New pool area.

Polynesian Resort - Trader Sam's lounge

Grand Floridian Resort & Spa - Guestroom renovations.

Disney Boardwalk Hotel - Guestroom renovations.

Disney Caribbean Beach Resort - Guestroom renovations.

Disney Caribbean Beach Resort - Pirate Suite guestroom renovations.

Disney Yacht Club - Guestroom renovations.

Disney Beach Club - Resort renovation.

Disney Beach Club - Beach Club Villas.

Disney Coronado Springs - Guestroom renovations.

Disney Animal Kingdom - Night Time Entertainment.

Disney Animal Kingdom - African village expansion.

Disney Animal Kingdom - Avatar E-Ticket attraction.

Disney Animal Kingdom - Avatar water attraction.

Disney Animal Kingdom - Themed area development (floating mountains, etc.)

Disney Animal Kingdom - Avatar food and beverage.

Disney Animal Kingdom - Pizzafari food and beverage.

Disney Animal Kingdom - Avatar retail.

EPCOT - Soarin' expansion.

EPCOT - Frozen attraction.

EPCOT - Frozen character greeting.

Back of House - Laundry facility (along with other back-of-house construction).

Magic Kingdom - Hub hardscape Renovation.

Magic Kingdom - Ongoing paint and facade finishes Main Street USA.

Magic Kingdom - Jungle Cruise restaurant.

Disney Hollywood Studios - Black Box.

Disney Hollywood Studios - American Idol Theater renovation for 'Frozen' stage show.

Disney Hollywood Studios - Toy Story Midway Mania expansion.

Disney Hollywood Studios - Pending Star Wars themed attractions, entertainment, retail and food and beverage.

May 30, 2015, 8:45 AM

So food, Hotels, Shopping and some attractions...

Seems Like Disney want us to spend more and Universal want to entertain us more.
Just my opinion....

I might e-mail you some questions about engineering ideas... Trying to get my daughter to go to college for engineering....

Thanks..

Edited: May 30, 2015, 9:53 AM

@ Brian

"Some attractions?"

Hmmm ...

I count four attractions and the expansion of three existing attractions. And that doesn't even include any of the yet-to-be-announced 'Start Wars' attractions.

And let's be honest, Diagon Alley is largely retail and food and just one attraction.

And of course the point of my previous post was not about the specific nature of the construction work but rather to illustrate the Disney company's willingness to invest a billion bucks to maintain and expand its Orlando property.

Edited: May 30, 2015, 12:14 PM

Nice list, TH. DHS just completed a minor revamp of the Good Movie Ride as well.

Your point about Diagon Alley is an interesting one, although you forgot that along with the shopping, dining, and the one ride included with your admission into the park, Universal also built Orlando's most expensive upcharge attraction in the Hogwart's Train.

Back to the point, yes, Disney has lots of construction underway, but then again they have a HUGE resort to manage so I would expect lots of work. As for new ride experiences, Avatar and Frozen are confirmed, but the Star Wars stuff is rumored to be more than just a new ride, but part and parcel of a re-imagining of the whole park. I just wish some Rebels would sneak in and steal the plans so we could know what's happening ahead of time!

June 1, 2015, 7:54 AM

I think where the frustration lies with their attraction development is not that there aren't any or many projects going on now, it's that for years they hardly did anything. DHS and Epcot should have started redevelopment years ago. A lot is happening now but there were too many stagnant years

June 1, 2015, 10:20 AM

Brian brings up a good point - the problem is perception. Disney is doing a lot of things, but what gets the attention is FastPass+ and flex-admission prices, both ideas designed to bring in more income. Meanwhile, Universal is getting attention for it's incredible new rides, which it must create in order to possible complete with even one of Disney's parks down the road. Perception is everything.

June 1, 2015, 1:05 PM

I'm not sure what Mr. Rhodes', Mr. McKaig's or (for that matter) what Mr. Emery's posts have to do with the topic advanced by the thread. As someone who has worked in commercial construction management for almost 20 years I am astounded by the volume of construction activity and the dollar value of Disney's investment in its Florida property.

Not sure what this has to do with Universal, the scheduling of Epcot "redevelopment" (whatever that means) or the "problem" of "perception."

June 2, 2015, 4:29 AM

"When you consider the addition of multiple attractions ('Avatar,' 'Frozen' and 'Star Wars') the cost associated with all of these construction contracts must surely reach the billion dollar mark."

Where are these attractions? When were they announced, 5 years ago? Disney may be spending tons of money, but I don't see it. If I don't see it as a consumer, I don't care. I think that's the point.

June 2, 2015, 5:08 AM

Mr. McKaig asks (regarding the WDW attractions in development): "Where are these attractions?"

I Respond: The 'Frozen' attraction is in the demolition phase. A general contractor has been selected and drawings are complete. Thus far the company has likely invested north of a million dollars.

The attraction, retail and restaurant construction has commenced on 'Avatar' -- again (to date) this work is likely measured in the millions of dollars.

Scott Trowbridge (former Universal Creative exec who jumped ship to WDI) is holed up in a California studio working on the attraction concepts for 'Star Wars.' Again, Disney is investing millions.

Mr. McKaig writes: "If I don't see it as a consumer, I don't care. I think that's the point."

I Respond: Well that may be YOUR point but that wasn't the point of the thread. Regardless of how this development effects individual consumers has nothing to do with the topic I have offered up. While rate of return is certainly worthy of consideration, the list I provided above was simply meant to acknowledge the sizable investment Disney has made at Walt Disney World -- the sum total of which is likely over a billion dollars.

Any objective assessment would regard that level of commitment to be very, very impressive.

June 15, 2015, 7:37 AM

Add to the list 'Pirates of the Caribbean' rehab.

June 15, 2015, 2:35 PM

So luxury cabins at the Wilderness Lodge? Doesn't Fort Wilderness have "luxury" cabins already? What is the expansion for? What are the details? I need more information!

June 15, 2015, 4:30 PM

I'm not sure about Fort Wilderness. But I would not be surprised to see Disney ramp up their game and turn FW into a five star RV resort. No other theme park resort can compete in the RV market in Orlando.

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