Happier News from The Orlando Sentinel: Four Seasons is a go!


#1

Four Seasons at Disney World: Four Seasons finalizes deal for $360 million hotel at Disney World - OrlandoSentinel.com

[B]Four Seasons finalizes deal for $360 million hotel at Disney World[/B]

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts said Tuesday it has secured financing for a $360 million luxury resort at Walt Disney World and will begin construction of the long-planned project in December.

The 444-room hotel, which will include a rooftop restaurant with views of the Magic Kingdom and a “lazy river” water feature, among other amenities, is expected to open in mid- or late 2014. The project will also include as many as 40 Four Seasons time-share units and up to 90 Four Seasons private residences.

Four Seasons will hold a 30 percent stake in the project, with the remaining equity split between Silverstein Properties, a New York real-estate developer, and Dune Real Estate Partners, a New York private-equity fund. Grupo Financiero Inbursa, a Mexico City-based bank, will provide $190 million in debt financing.

“This is something that we’ve been very excited about for a long time, so this is exciting for us to get to this milestone,” said Scott Woroch, Four Seasons’ executive vice president of worldwide development. “And we’re very enthusiastic about being on the cusp of getting shovels into the ground.”


#2

Will this be off site?


#3

No, this is inside WDW right next to Osprey Ridge on property Four Seasons bought from Disney in 2008.
If you’ll recall, this was originally announced in 2008, just before the bottom fell out.


#4

Why does Disney have these “outside” resorts building there? If Disney has trouble filling their own rooms, why have competition so close?


#5

I was thinking the exact same thing. First the hotels at Downtown, then Bonnet Creek, then the fancy-schmancy mansion community and now Four Seasons? (not to mention the Swan & Dolphin).


#6

And supposedly, there will be a rooftop bar with Magic kingdom views. Yikes- too close for comfort, but I bet that it will be better for the competition at the deluxe resorts… Wonder how pricing here compares to the deluxe resorts…


#7

The Four Seasons will almost certainly have higher prices than even the GF and service will be at the next level. They are also planning on a mix of 50/50 business to resort guests (concentrating on conventions).

The DTD area resorts have been there since the early 70’s from a time that Disney itself only had three hotels. Swan and Dolphin are special cases and they fit the area they’re in.

Bonnett Creek? Disney has no control whatsoever over Bonnett Creek because they have never owned that property. The only reason that Bonnett Creek is only accessible from inside WDW is that the state refuses to build a special exit ramp from I-75 and Florida law states that owners and visitors of “island” properties (land that is fully inside someone else’s property) must be afforded unfettered access to their property by the owner of the surrounding property at all times, in this case The Walt Disney Company has to allow full access to Hilton Corporation to their Bonnett Creek property from inside WDW. (I went through this in our condo community).

The mansions that Disney is building? Well, Walt always did envision people actually living in WDW and at a couple million dollars each, they aren’t building very many of them.

Why worry when there’s still room to build 2 more major parks, several hotels, and several other types of facilities, not to mention an unused water park just begging for resurrection?

The rooftop with views of the MK from a building at the Osprey Ridge golf course, and you’re worried about what? It’s not like the Contemporary, which can be seen from almost everywhere in the MK already, hasn’t been there since day one. The Four Seasons will be much further away, further than even WL.


#8

This has been big discussion here in Orlando.

  1. It has been on hold since 2008.
  2. 4 Season will be taking over Osprey Ridge and their resort will encompass much of it.
  3. Disney has great high end resorts on property but 4 Seasons will be a big step above those and proved services Disney can’t or don’t want to get into.
  4. This will be next door to the high end home development and might share some services with the “owners” next door.
  5. There is on the drawing board another DTD which will be at the west end of Disney property past Animal Kingdom. This will also be high high end shopping and high end resorts (none of which will be Disney but might care some Disney specific merchandise).

The high end market seems to be something Disney feels it is missing out on. I know driving over at the west end of property they had started digging (2008) but it is all stopped now.

Disney also has the new California themed DVC between POP and World of Sports.

Some chatter about a new park or major expansion of HS (Adding parking garage and then building addition park over back parking lot – to add in Cars World etc). Those are way out there rumors that surface every once in awhile.

Disney is dumping money into the cruise line business right now once they are done with that I expect a refocus on parks (remember Disney China and DVC Hawaii are building out right now – Hawaii is partially opened).

Lots going on.


#9

Well, lots going on elsewhere, but I want more at WDW. Not selfish or anything.

I think I completely agree with your list. However, if FS starts providing some new or better service… I think that it will have to trickle down to the Disney hotels. Hopefully service will improve for everyone… Not that I complain about Disney service at all. But if they see someone else doing something a little bit better on their own property… they will have to step it up a notch.


#10

[QUOTE=Soundgod;1090709]The Four Seasons will almost certainly have higher prices than even the GF and service will be at the next level. They are also planning on a mix of 50/50 business to resort guests (concentrating on conventions).

The DTD area resorts have been there since the early 70’s from a time that Disney itself only had three hotels. Swan and Dolphin are special cases and they fit the area they’re in.

Bonnett Creek? Disney has no control whatsoever over Bonnett Creek because they have never owned that property. The only reason that Bonnett Creek is only accessible from inside WDW is that the state refuses to build a special exit ramp from I-75 and Florida law states that owners and visitors of “island” properties (land that is fully inside someone else’s property) must be afforded unfettered access to their property by the owner of the surrounding property at all times, in this case The Walt Disney Company has to allow full access to Hilton Corporation to their Bonnett Creek property from inside WDW. (I went through this in our condo community).

The mansions that Disney is building? Well, Walt always did envision people actually living in WDW and at a couple million dollars each, they aren’t building very many of them.

Why worry when there’s still room to build 2 more major parks, several hotels, and several other types of facilities, not to mention an unused water park just begging for resurrection?

The rooftop with views of the MK from a building at the Osprey Ridge golf course, and you’re worried about what? It’s not like the Contemporary, which can be seen from almost everywhere in the MK already, hasn’t been there since day one. The Four Seasons will be much further away, further than even WL.[/QUOTE]

Who said I was worrying?


#11

I am not worried about space, I worry about them diluting their brand… a la Disneyland…

Which was why Walt built WDW on so much land to begin with. So he could control the peanut gang outside the park gates.


#12

It seemed to me that you kids were a bit concerned about some of the newer developments on Disney land.

Yes, Walt did acquire all the land so that he could have a buffer from the outside world.
But that outside world was the world across the street from Disneyland with all the cheesy low rent motels and all the neon signs. What Walt desired was to control the entire environment and create the performance stage he wanted, which meant putting his parks well inside the property with plenty of trees to block out the real world.

But that doesn’t mean he didn’t want hotels and shopping districts and entertainment districts and housing districts inside his world. He just wanted it to all blend together and not look like Harbor Blvd and Katella Ave.
Disney still has nearly full control on the peanut gang.

Tigger is right. Back in 2008 when this was orignially announced, they also announced there would be a new DTD on the west end of the property near AK. This of course was all back burnered when the recession hit.
And Disney is doubling the size of the cruise line fleet right now with two new ships that are even more magnificent than the original two. (One has to wonder when they’ll add casinos).
Disney very much desires to get the highest end vacationers on property and spending their “whale” money and between Hilton’s Waldorf at Bonnett Creek and this Four Seasons, they’ll be going a long way towards luring them to stay on property.

And don’t forget Walt’s own vision for his Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow:
Walt Disney’s plan for EPCOT - YouTube

Here’s a picture of a “certain” neighborhood from the '60’s.
Notice the Denny’s sign that is clearly visible from a “certain” “above ground rapid transit system”. Now you know why Walt wanted a barrier.


#13

[QUOTE=tigger;1090718]This has been big discussion here in Orlando.

  1. It has been on hold since 2008.
  2. 4 Season will be taking over Osprey Ridge and their resort will encompass much of it.
  3. Disney has great high end resorts on property but 4 Seasons will be a big step above those and proved services Disney can’t or don’t want to get into.
  4. This will be next door to the high end home development and might share some services with the “owners” next door.
  5. There is on the drawing board another DTD which will be at the west end of Disney property past Animal Kingdom. This will also be high high end shopping and high end resorts (none of which will be Disney but might care some Disney specific merchandise).

The high end market seems to be something Disney feels it is missing out on. I know driving over at the west end of property they had started digging (2008) but it is all stopped now.

Disney also has the new California themed DVC between POP and World of Sports.

Some chatter about a new park or major expansion of HS (Adding parking garage and then building addition park over back parking lot – to add in Cars World etc). Those are way out there rumors that surface every once in awhile.

Disney is dumping money into the cruise line business right now once they are done with that I expect a refocus on parks (remember Disney China and DVC Hawaii are building out right now – Hawaii is partially opened).

Lots going on.[/QUOTE]

What DVC are they talking about?


#14

Yes Virginia, that long straightaway is where the Grand Californian and the original Soarin’ were built. And that parking lot?
Today it is known as Disney’s California Adventure.

jo-jo, that new DVC resort is just beginning to come off the drawing board. In fact, don’t expect a ground breaking until they’ve got World of Animation up and running.


#15

Remember that Walt wanted 1/3 of the WDW property set aside and not to be developed. I think they are running up on that or maybe they have thrown that out.

Really I am disappointed with how the property has strayed from a lot of the ideas Walt had for it. I know that EPCOT as a city couldn’t have really been built out but when you look at the ideas there plus other ideas in the larger plan…it could have been cool.

(really when I look at how central FL has built out since Walt came I see so many lessons lost…now they are spending 100’s of millions to correct them.)


#16

They are getting ready to build out a new DVC that will be have a California theme. I (or Doug) will post a link…


#17

I agree… I am not worried… I just want them to think before they make a mistake that they regret in 20 years…

There is an oasis at WDW from the rest of the world. I would like to see it stay that way… They can add all the shopping that they want on the edge of the property like they have planned… just don’t want to see it up against an amusement park… or anywhere near it.


#18

I really don’t think they will.
Consider that the MK area has 4 hotels and Epcot/DHS have 5 that are all pretty well hidden from view in the parks and at AK, they certainly need as much room as they can for the animal habitat. I don’t think anyone wants hotels right on top of WDW parks. Heck, even the Beach Club DVC which is right across the street from England is pretty well hidden by trees.
Remember, Osprey Ridge is much closer to POR than it is to WL, let alone the MK.

Too bad I don’t have a few million to spare. I’d love to buy one of those houses!


#19

I could not even half it with you… It would be fun. If I win the lottery, i’ll let you know…


#20

Another convention resort might actually be a good idea. My introduction to WDW was via the Dolphin and the yearly meeting that the company I worked for held there. After that it was for a yearly software developers convention. Worked out well for my family and I at the time.

Now that I am going on my own nickel I sometimes find it disconcerting to walk in from the pool and have all the convention goers in the lobby. Particularly when they are bombed, loud, and crude.

The businessmen type conventions with a lot of alcohol consumption would probably move to the Four Seasons and free up a the Y&BC a little. At least that would be my hope!

-Harry