The long-rumored Disney Vacation Club addition to Disney's Grand Floridian hotel was officially confirmed by the Walt Disney company in a brief press release today. (Read the release in its entirety below.) Buzz about the potential project picked up earlier this year when a member at MouseOwners.com came across a filing by Disney with with the South Florida Water Management District, for a new construction project at the Grand Floridian.
MousePlanet's Mark Goldhaber wrote about the proposed development in March, saying,
The new resort will have 200 keyed entries (a "keyed entry" is any room that can be locked off and entered separately, though it will probably counted as fewer "two-bedroom equivalents"which counts connected studio and one-bedroom units as a single "two-bedroom equivalent"), but we have received word that there will also be additional existing rooms at the Grand Floridian that will be converted to DVC units, as well. This will result in a roll-out similar to that of the Animal Kingdom Villas, where the converted fourth- and fifth-floor rooms in the original Lodge building (now called "Jambo House") were later joined by the new rooms in the Kidani Village addition.
The existing parking lot by the to-be-demolished tennis courts will be removed, and replaced by two new parking lotsa 192-space lot for the guests of the new building and a 124-space gated lot specifically for the Wedding Pavilion. The gated lot will connect directly to the circular driveway for the Wedding Pavilion, while the resort lot will connect to the circular drive for the new building and fill the space between the existing Spa & Health Club (which will not be affected), the Wedding Pavilion lot and the main entry driveway. The entry to the new lots will cover much of the current tennis courts, though it appears from the site plan that enough room will remain for a half-court basketball court adjacent to the Spa & Health Club. Don't expect these new parking lots to ease parking restrictions at the Grand Floridian, though. Magic Kingdom resort parking is apparently enough of a problem that all Magic Kingdom resorts might be restricting their parking more in the future.
According to the announcement, the new property is slated to open in late 2013, and will be the 12th DVC property. In addition to the 8 existing Walt Disney World DVC resorts, Disney Vacation Club recently opened Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii, and operates the The Villas at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at the Disneyland Resort, Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort in South Carolina, and Disney's Vero Beach Resort in Florida.
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _____________________________
Received from Disney Vacation Club:
Disney Vacation Club Announces New Development Project at Disneys Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
CELEBRATION, Fla. (December 8, 2011) A new resort development announced today will expand Disneys Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, distinguished as the flagship hotel at the Walt Disney World Resort, and continue the growth of Disney Vacation Club, Disneys innovative vacation-ownership program.
Disney Vacation Club plans to build an estimated 147 villas as part of a previously announced expansion of Disneys Grand Floridian Resort, one of the premier resort hotels at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Estimated to open in late 2013, this new resort experience is slated to be the 12th Disney Vacation Club property and will be located near the spa and wedding pavilion at Disneys Grand Floridian Resort. In addition to villa accommodations, plans for the expansion include a childrens water-play area and other amenities.
We continually look for ways to expand Disney Vacation Club by creating resort experiences that our members will love, said Claire Bilby, senior vice president and general manager of Disney Vacation Club. With the continued popularity of Bay Lake Tower at Disneys Contemporary Resort, we are thrilled to offer our members and guests a new resort option along the monorail system with easy access to the Magic Kingdom Park, as well as a variety of shopping, dining and recreation experiences.
Disney Vacation Club is owned by Disney Vacation Development Inc., part of the magic of The Walt Disney Company. To learn more, visit www.disneyvacationclub.com.