New WDW Resort Announced!


#1

Disney today announced that they will construct their first new resort hotel in more than 7 years - The Art of Animation Resort. This resort will be located across the bay from Pop Century, where the never-completed and long-vacant Legendary Years section of the Pop Century resort is currently sitting unused.

The resort will feature 1,120 new Family Suites and 864 regular rooms in wings of the resort themed to famous Disney and Pixar animated features - The Lion King, Cars, Finding Nemo, and the Little Mermaid.

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Unveiled Disney Parks Blog

New Disney hotel: Disney to build 2,000-room hotel dubbed Disney’s Art of Animation Resort | TheDailyDisney.com from OrlandoSentinel.com


#2

Well now that is big news!!!


#3

Nice! I remember rumors about this a few years ago.


#4

This is GREAT news. First, I am so happy to see that something will be done with the unfinished side of Pop Century. We loved our stay there in November, but hated the view of the depressing, half finished buildings.

Secondly, I am thrilled that they are building more family suites. I think people will be really pleased with this resort!


#5

And that half finished abandoned construction site will remain.
This new hotel will be on the south side of Osceola Parkway.

So, this doesn’t make sense to me. Why leave a half finished eyesore and instead build an entirely different new hotel on an entirely different plot of land?


#6

So excited that they are finally doing something with “Pop Century: The Deserted Years.”

I’m also excited for selfish reasons…because we often take weekend trips and this will make it easier for us to get last-minute reservations at a value resort. :slight_smile:


#7

This is what is going in across the lake from POP!

Disney to build 2,000-room hotel dubbed Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
FEATURED, HOTELS AND RESORTS, JASON GARCIA, NEWS — BY JASON GARCIA ON MAY 11, 2010 AT 11:00 PM

Walt Disney World is about to begin building its first new hotel in seven years, a 2,000-room resort that will open in 2012.

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will feature 1,120 suites with room for as many as six people each and another 864 traditional hotel rooms, with a design theme based on four of the company’s most popular animated movies.

Disney Imagineer Joni Van Buren sculpts a model of King Triton from the 1989 animated film The Little Mermaid. In its final form, the sculpture will be 35 feet tall and tower over guests at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, a new Disney World hotel that will open in 2012.

The complex will be priced as a “value” hotel, at the low end of Disney World’s scale, similar to Disney’s Pop Century and All-Star resorts, where standard rates begin at $82 a night.

The announcement is one of the strongest signals yet from Disney that it thinks a sustained recovery is under way from the long travel slump brought on by the global recession. Disney executives, who have been weighing construction of a family-suites hotel for several years, finally approved the project in January.

But in deciding to add another lower-priced hotel, Disney also appears to be betting that travelers will continue the frugal spending habits many adopted during the downturn. Disney has been relying on discounts to sustain attendance during the past year, and executives acknowledged Tuesday that consumers are still searching for deals even as Disney attempts to return to pre-recession prices.

“Quite honestly, we’re in a bit of waiting for each other to blink,” Walt Disney Co. Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo told analysts during a conference call to discuss the company’s second-quarter earnings.

The Art of Animation Resort will be built on a 65-acre plot across a lake from Disney’s Pop Century Resort. The location will allow Disney to use a pair of long-neglected, unfinished buildings that Disney originally constructed as a second phase of Pop Century but which it abandoned amid the 2001 recession. Pop Century’s first phase was completed in 2003.

Plans for the new resort show 10 wings of rooms and a separate building housing the check-in lobby and restaurants. The hotel wings will be separated into four distinct groups, each with a theme from a different animated movie: The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Finding Nemo and Cars.

Each section will have separate courtyards anchored by icons from the movies — such as a 35-foot-tall King Triton presiding over the Mermaid section — and the entire resort will use bright-color palettes evocative of the lush scenery of animated movies. Hotel designers say they have been soliciting input from artists at Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios on everything from building elevations to which scenes to depict at the swimming pools.

“The hope is you walk into this courtyard and you’re kind of like seeing it as a character in the movie,” said Frank Paris, a senior project manager with Walt Disney Imagineering, the company’s in-house attraction-design unit.

Because the majority of its rooms will be six-person suites, the Art of Animation Resort will have roughly the same capacity as Pop Century, which has 2,800 conventional rooms.

With the project, Disney is placing an aggressive bet on what it says is a growing market for affordable suites aimed at families traveling with several children or extended families. Disney World has been testing the concept with about 215 suites at its All-Star Music hotel that were converted out of about 430 ordinary rooms about three years ago.

Jim Durham, vice president for resort projects at Disney Imagineering, said demand for such accommodations has risen in recent years as families have taken to traveling in larger groups. The trend became particularly pronounced following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, he said.

“Ever since 9-11, we just see a lot more family unity,” Durham said.

In Orlando, the family-suites market is led by the 777-room Nickelodeon Suites Resort, which has proven immensely popular since it opened in 2005 just to the east of Disney World. The resort pairs family suites with Nickelodeon cartoon characters such as SpongeBob SquarePants.

By adding more than 1,000 new suites to its lineup, Disney hopes to pull more of those travelers onto its property. The conventional hotel rooms to be built as part of the Art of Animation Resort will also allow Disney to restore the room capacity it lost as part of the suites conversion at All-Star Music.

Disney executives said the popularity of those All-Star Music suites convinced them that there is a substantial market for family suites.
“We’re feeling very positive about the demand that is interested in both the value product and the family-suite product,” said Mark Rucker, vice president for lodging for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “The research for us is showing that the Central Florida marketplace is going to more than capably handle some inventory in this category.”

Disney declined to say how much it will spend to build the hotel. It expects to break ground this summer and open it in phases throughout 2012.

link


#8

Thats awesome,:wub: I can’t wait!!


#9

I see some people haven’t got their eyes fully open this morning.
It clearly says in the article:
“The new hotel is going up across from Pop Century, on a 65-acre lot on the other side of Osceola Parkway.”

This means that “The Abandoned Years” will remain abandoned. If something is being built on the other side of Osceola Parkway, this means the new hotel is being built on Wide World of Sports’ side of the street and not the Pop Century’s northeast corner of Victory Way and Osceola Parkway.


#10

[QUOTE=Soundgod;1032323]I see some people haven’t got their eyes fully open this morning.
It clearly says in the article:
“The new hotel is going up across from Pop Century, on a 65-acre lot on the other side of Osceola Parkway.”

This means that “The Abandoned Years” will remain abandoned. If something is being built on the other side of Osceola Parkway, this means the new hotel is being built on Wide World of Sports’ side of the street and not the Pop Century’s northeast corner of Victory Way and Osceola Parkway.[/QUOTE]

I stayed at POP about 5 months ago and there seemed to be activity in the building at the “The Abandoned Years”. There were a number of new construction office trailers in the parking lot as well as light construction vehicles.

There are parking lot pads, plumbing, electrical, etc already laid out for the full resort so I would suspect that are going to use the current foot print. That would correspond with the maps that OS published today.


#11

When I saw this announcement this morning there was something that sounded quite familiar. In going back through my archives I found this article from Jim Hill at his site Jim Hill Media where he talks about the new resort.

What I find particularly interesting is that this article was written way back in November of 2008. Which shows how long this kind of announcement is in the works. And how things can and do always change, because everything he forecasted in the article is not coming to pass.

Even more interesting than that, however, are the comments he makes near the end of the article in reference to Disney’s outlook on the economy. What do you think? Is he right? Is this a “canary in the coal mine” indicator for rosier times ahead?

Jim Hill : Monday Mouse Watch: Will Pop Century be rebranded as Disney’s Animation Inn and Suites?


#12

Did any of you guys read the blog this morning? Thomas Smith, Social Media Director at WDW, stated “the new resort will be built where Pop Century’s “Legendary Years” had been planned.” So I wonder which is correct? It would make more sense to build it on the Legendary Years site.


#13

The majority of news down here is that it will be at across from the POP on the site of the Legendary Years.

WESH rushed to be first out of the gate and didn’t get this right.


#14

What good news.


#15

Here’s another article:
New Disney hotel: Disney to build 2,000-room hotel dubbed Disney’s Art of Animation Resort | TheDailyDisney.com from OrlandoSentinel.com

It states:
The Art of Animation Resort will be built on a 65-acre plot across a lake from Disney’s Pop Century Resort. The location will allow Disney to use a pair of long-neglected, unfinished buildings that Disney originally constructed as a second phase of Pop Century but which it abandoned amid the 2001 recession. Pop Century’s first phase was completed in 2003.

I’m super excited about this!!


#16

Glad to see they’ve realized the need for accomodations for families with more than 2 children trying to travel on a budget. A family of 5, or even 6, is so much more common now than that of past generations. My parents and all their friends had 2 kids. Most of my friends and I have 3 or more.


#17

I’m excited about this too. The idea of more family suites interests me, and the seeing those neglected buildings come to life sounds great to me.


#18

Yeah! They told me about that while I was working in Disney! :]

I don’t want POP to change though. I love POP.


#19

Disney’s the Art of Animation

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Unveiled Disney Parks Blog


#20

Oh, I like the sound of that!