Back in 2018 Disney announced the brand new Reflections -- A Disney Lakeside Lodge, a new hotel near the Magic Kingdom which would be a new hotel built on the abandoned land where River Country used to be. This upcoming hotel would have a rustic, nature theme, with guest rooms featuring characters from iconic Disney animated films like Bambi, Brother Bear, The Fox and the Hound, and Pocahontas. A lakeside restaurant featuring the characters from The Princess and the Frog was also announced for this upcoming property.
Though construction on this hotel began shortly after it was announced, a number of setbacks and delays (including the COVID-19 Pandemic) halted progress. Disney quietly began demolishing what it had built and on March 15, 2022, Walt Disney World Resort made it official: plans to build the resort had been canceled.
Though this seemed to be the end of the story, recent permit activity has had some wondering if this project is still as dead as was originally thought. After all, Disney had just announced a $17 Billion investment being made at Walt Disney World. Could reviving this project be a part of their plans?
Construction permits related to the original Reflections hotel project have been extended for five years
Several days ago, one of the construction permits related to the Reflections hotel project was extended for a period of 5 years, which raised some eyebrows in fan communities. Could his permit activity mean that this canceled hotel project could potentially be coming back from the dead?
This permit specifically relates to an area that is frequently used for construction staging in the Magic Kingdom area, which means that something is definitely happening in this area. And while it might be tempting to think that perhaps this could relate to Disney's canceled hotel project from five years ago, there's actually something else happening in this area that could explain why this permit for a dead project has been renewed.
Disney's Fort Wilderness DVC Project will likely use some of the construction resources that Reflections would have used if it had moved forward
Days after the Reflections permit was extended, Walt Disney World filed another permit for work in the area. However, this permit was specifically for the construction of the new Disney Vacation Club cabins that are being built at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, and are set to open sometime next year.
Though these two projects might not initially seem related, it is likely that the original permit for the Reflections site is simply being re-used here so that Disney can use the same staging area for this new project, which is happening near where the original work site was.
At this time, no permits have been filed to resume work on the actual Reflections worksite. Unfortunately, though some fans may have gotten their hopes up earlier this week when the permit extension was filed, this means that the Reflections project is still going to stay dead, at least for now, as Disney focuses on continuing to build up their DVC inventory.