A new Four Seasons hotel will open at Walt Disney World in 2014, forming the centerpiece of the resort's planned Golden Oaks community.
Construction work on the $360 million, 444-room hotel will begin in December 2011. It will be located close to the Osprey Ridge Golf Course, and will feature 3 pools, a "lazy river" and a spa with 18 treatment rooms, plus extensive sports facilities including tennis courts and a climbing wall. Its signature restaurant will be located on the rooftop, offering views over the Magic Kingdom theme park.
Doubts had been raised about the future of the hotel project, with the Four Seasons location having originally been due to open in 2008. It was subsequently delayed due to the impact of the global economic downturn, as well as being re-architected to ensure that its design matches that of the Golden Oaks residential subdivision that will surround it.
The Four Seasons hotel will offer a different option for visitors to Walt Disney World, with business travellers expected to make up a significant proportion of guests. Its construction will be financed by a consortium of investors, with Four Seasons itself holding a 30% stake.
Walt Disney World has pushed ahead with plans to additional capacity to the resort for families on smaller budgets. It is aiming to fend off competition from nearby "value" resorts such as the Nickelodeon Suites Resort in Orlando by opening Disney's Art of Animation Resort in summer 2012. Featuring 1,120 family suites and 864 smaller rooms, the new development will re-use unfinished buildings that were originally earmarked for a second phase of construction of Disney's Pop Century Resort.