New permits suggest Poly work imminent

Amidst rumors of a Disney Vacation Club addition to Disney's Polynesian Resort, permit applications for the site have been filed with the South Florida Water Management District.  

With the Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa set to open in less than 90 days, attention has turned to Disney's next timeshare project.  Most rumors have pointed toward a DVC addition at the Polynesian.  Based upon the recently-filed permit applications, it appears Disney has some plans for development at that site.  

Among the documents filed with the SFWMD are a report detailing the construction suitability of land around the Seven Seas Lagoon.  Given the nature of this man-made body of water and high Florida water table, care must be taken before embarking on large-scale construction projects in many areas of the Walt Disney World Resort.  

Engineering firm PSI was contracted to test three areas near the Polynesian Resort to determine construction suitability.  Areas tested include:

  • In the Lagoon around the lookout point to the Magic Kingdom
  • On land along the south edge of the Lagoon (back of the beach) and within the knoll that forms the point
  • In the predominantly parking areas in the southeast of the Polynesian Resort

Polynesian Test Sites

Polynesian construction test sites

While necessary construction methods will vary from one site to the next, the report concludes that "the subsoil conditions are considered favorable for development from a geotechnical engineering perspective."

The accompanying permit application lists the following purpose for the proposed project:

The work to be conducted on this site includes new parking, vehicular circulation, pedestrian pathways, utilities, and fire access. It also includes the installation of pilings along the neighboring lagoon that will support future structures, redesigned landscaping, and new amenity areas to serve the building expansions for this resort hotel. The proposed improvements are all located within the grounds of Disney's Polynesian Resort on 1600 W Seven Seas Drive in Bay Lake, FL.

In recent months, multiple rumors have pointed toward a multi-tiered Disney Vacation Club addition including conversion of existing Polynesian guest rooms, construction of new stand-alone buildings and a series of waterside cabanas.  More recent reports from website suggest that the project has been scaled back to just the converted rooms and cabanas.