RUMOR: Contractors in Place for River Country DVC

A new rumor claims construction on the former River Country site will add about 300 Disney Vacation Club villas and 400 hotel rooms to Walt Disney World property.  

Stolport Stockpile

River Country Construction Staging Area (purple)

Website has publised new details on Disney's "Project 89", a new resort adjacent to Disney's Ft. Wilderness Resort & Campgrounds.  Citing its own industry sources, GrowthSpotter claims that the property will reportedly feature 1340 "bays", of which 940 are reserved for Disney Vacation Club villas.  A "bay" is a slot in the superstructure about the size and dimensions of a hotel room.  

The typical Two Bedroom DVC villa runs about 900-1000 sq ft and consists of three bays: one for the master bedroom, one for the kitchen and living space and the third for the Studio room or guest bedroom.  Many Two Bedroom villas are configured as "lockoffs," meaning that the master bedroom + living space can be reserved as a One Bedroom villa while the second bedroom stands independently as a Deluxe Studio villa.  The two rooms can also be booked together as a "lockoff Two Bedroom villa." 

Three Bedroom Grand Villas can occupy six bays--often spread over two floors--running in the neighborhood of 2000 sq ft. 

The remaining 400 bays would presumably be earmarked for hotel rooms.  

GrowthSpotter claims that architecture firm WATG has been tapped to design the property.  Its previous work includes Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa as well as Disney hotels in Hong Kong, Paris and Tokyo.  Balfour Beatty will serve as construction manager, the same role it currently plays in development of the 15-story tower at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort.

"Project 89" has gained steam in recent months due to a variety of permit filings with the South Florida Water Management District.  

GrowthSpotter states that work on "Project 89" would follow the Star Wars-themed hotel to be constructed just south of Disney's Hollywood Studios.  For additional details, visit

Ft Wilderness 2011

In 2010, Disney appeared to be on the cusp of developing this same plot of land.  The project stalled, but designs were seemingly leaked several years later.  It is not known if this revived River Country / Ft. Wilderness building will retain any elements of what was once "Project 2011-2." The abandoned plans were designed by firm GSB, Inc.  

Disney is currently building Disney's Riviera Resort, another 300-room timeshare development.  Located adjacent to Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort, Riviera will be the fifteenth DVC property.  It is scheduled to open sometime in the fall of 2019.  


DVCNews Reader Comments:
Re: RUMOR: Contractors in Place for River Country DVC -- denlo
2018 Jun 01 10:10:29 AM
I was wondering if they would ever doing anything with that site. In March 2018 we took a photo from a small pontoon boat of the old water park. We were unable to get close to shore because of somethings were left behind and have submerged under water. We got a warning where we took this photo with a a telephoto lens.


There will be lots of clean up on the property before construction can begin. And if River Country is not scheduled to start until after the Star Wars Hotel is constructed I expect it will 2021 before any building appears. I sure hope Disney doesn't call this resort Ft. Wilderness it is just too confusing have two places, Ft. Wilderness and Wilderness Lodge, with the word Wilderness in their names now. Why not call this new resort after the original waterpark of River Country?
Re: RUMOR: Contractors in Place for River Country DVC -- KNWVIKING 2.0
2018 Jun 01 01:57:17 PM
Couple/few years ago Millie and I were over near Pioneer Hall and started wandering back towards RC area. Well, we never jumped a gate or crossed a "Do Not Enter" but we managed to get ourselves into the RC area. We walked the boardwalk through the swamp until the boards seemed a little too rotted and even entered a couple old buildings storing some pretty odd looking stuff.

I have mixed feelings about a resort going there, I think it's going to ruin the feel of FW and most likely will be the beginning of the end for the camp ground.
Re: RUMOR: Contractors in Place for River Country DVC -- dan58diz
2018 Jun 19 07:17:57 AM
I guess this is sort of related to the topic but it came to mind reading about plans for ANOTHER DVC resort... We keep seeing success of DVC purchases and the increase of more resorts going up...and more resorts means more people on site. The parks are so crowded whenever we go, no more "best" weeks that we can find. We have flown down 3 times so far this year and have two more trips planned in 2018. Though we have platinum plus annual passes, we are finding we spend more and more time at the resort than at the parks. Sadly. And if they keep adding resorts - Magic Kingdom isn't getting any bigger. And when we were there last week (we never go in June normally, but have relatives nearby that wanted a visit) we went to get in the FP lines at various attractions and ended up is slo-pass lines. The 7Dwarfs ride's FP line was around the corner and backed up to past the entrance to Be Our Guest. And Haunted Mansion? FP line was backed around the corner of the gift shop. And at DHS, it is now a half day visit at best. Areas blocked off, attractions closed...and when Toy Story Land opens, prepare for the onslaught of everyone in a small area... I guess since we started going more often back around 1998, it spoiled us for current day. At some point though if the trend continues, we will just drive over to Lake Winnipesaukee and rent canoes and spend weeks at the lake. No flight costs, no annual passes, no $200 dinner bills, no annual dues, etc. With the current resale market we can recoup more than 100K for our points. Thinking off the cuff, we could buy a house on the lake for that matter. I guess if enough people get frustrated and leave, the crowd level might just go down a tad...Disney won't notice the lack of our money coming their way since they make slightly more than a bazillion (technical term) dollars every day. But at least our hard earned money won't be in their coffers any more. And since we are retiring next year, our pennies will count more than ever to us.
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