Is Disney about to build a DVC Resort at the Grand Floridian?

Other / Prospective Resort

UPDATED:  3/19/11 9:00am

On March 7, 2011, Disney filed an application with the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) for the construction and other improvements on land adjacent to Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.

The project is simply named “Project 2011-1” and includes the construction of a multistory building that would be located on the shores of the Seven Seas Lagoon between the Grand Floridian feature pool and the Wedding Pavilion.

According to the detailed plans filed with the SFWMD, the proposed building, in the shape of an upside down “T”, will have a circular driveway leading to the building, as well as a covered walkway from the building to the Grand Floridian.  The existing Grand Floridian tennis courts, which are located just north of the existing Health Club, will be demolished.

Below is a drawing of the construction area:

{multithumb thumb_width=600 thumb_height=400 thumb_proportions=bestfit}

Project 2011-1 Layout


The plans do not state the exact purpose of the building, but its highly unlikely that Disney would use such prime estate to build a warehouse for theme park merchandise.  In its permit application, Disney states the following as its reason for the request:

“Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S., Inc. is seeking Construction Permit Approval for 14.80 acres of proposed improvements in Section 11, Township 24 South, Range 27 East, in Orange County, Florida. The project area is 13.10 acres and is located adjacent to and south of south of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort feature swimming pool and bar facilities on the west shore of Seven Seas Lagoon. Improvements proposed with this application include a new building, an access roadway, parking areas, hardscape, landscape and irrigation, utilities and surface water management system. The project will also include 1.70 acres of 100-year floodplain compensation areas for floodplain impacts caused by construction of the proposed building, for a total project area of 14.80 acres.”

The following arial photo was submitted by Disney to show part of the area that will be impacted.  The Grand Floridian is on the top side of the photograph, the Wedding Pavilion is in the center, and the Disney's Polynesian Resort is on the lower right side.

Project 2011-1 Arial Photo


The plans submitted by Disney to SFWMD address new construction and modifications to or destruction of existing structures.  They deal with water usage, drainage, impact to the environment, habitat loss, and many other issues.  The plans even address the possible impact on the water table if a pool is constructed on the site.

The South Florida Water Management District oversees all projects which impact water resources in the southern half of the state.  Permit applications filed with the SFWMD have been among the first tangible evidence of past Disney Vacation Club developments including the Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort and the Treehouse Villas at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa. contacted Walt Disney World Media Relations Manager Bryan Malenius regarding this filing.  Malenius stated that Disney typically has "numerous projects in various stages of development across our resort," but refused to comment further on this specific filing.

Thanks to "TSMIII" for the tip!