Polynesian Resort Vaction Club Plans All But Confirmed

As Disney Vacation Club launches its latest venture, the Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa and begins transitioning Disney’s ‘best kept secret’ to ‘vacations you never outgrow,’ a recent permit application to the South Florida Water Management District appears to outline some pretty large plans for one of Walt Disney World’s original resorts, the Polynesian. In short, permit application ’130729-2′ seeks to include ‘new parking, vehicular circulation, pedestrian pathways, utilities, and fire access. It also includes the installation of pilings along the neighboring lagoon that will support future structures, redesigned landscaping, and new amenity areas to serve the building expansions for this resort hotel,’ with the final portion of the request pretty much saying it all.

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Disney Resorts Pulling Refrigerators from Hotels; Replacements Months Away

Disney Parks and Resorts today advised it has begun pulling the complimentary mini-fridges from all of its hotels at Walt Disney World, Disneyland and Aulani Resorts due to a possible manufacturer’s defect. The only locations unaffected by this move are DVC rooms, the cabins at Fort Wilderness and family suites at Disney’s Art of Animation and All-Star Music resorts. The replacement of said refrigerators is expected to take upwards of four months or more by rough estimation.

In response to the maneuver, Walt Disney World will make available a limited number of refrigerators that may be requested in advance, but cannot be guaranteed.

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WDW Update: Tiki Room Extended Closure, All Star Sports Food Court Closure Lengthened and More

As a follow up to tweets and Facebook statuses we posted last night regarding some recent changes to the Walt Disney World Resort refurbishment schedule, we would like to formally share these changes here on the site. So without further ado:

  • Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room at Magic Kingdom is currently expected to close on July 31 and is expected to re-open on August 29, 2013.
  • Peter Pan’s Flight at Magic Kingdom is currently expected to close on September 30 and is expected to re-open on November 14, 2013.

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VIDEO: Art of Animation Resort Cars Wing Preview with Walt Disney Imagineering

Set to open on Monday, June 18 as phase two of the new Disney Art of Animation Resort at the Walt Disney World Resort, this video offers a sneak peek at the new Cars wing, which re-creates Radiator Springs in its courtyard, complete with many of the characters at a 1:1 scale.

Featured in the video are Rick Allen, General Manager of the resort, and Senior Project Manager, Gary Hoffman who talks about choosing and bringing the franchise to life for guests at Walt Disney World.

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‘Art of Animation’ Sections to Open Sooner Than Anticipated; Photo of Lobby Released

Disney's 'Art of Animation' Resort LobbyThe wings dedicated to the popular films featured at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will now be opening than sooner than expected after the resort hotel’s grand opening May 31

“We are excited that the Cars, The Lion King, and The Little Mermaid wings at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will all open earlier than we originally planned, bringing more permanent resort jobs to Central Florida sooner,” said Kevin Myers, vice president of resort operations for Walt Disney World Resort. “Demand for family suites exists in the marketplace today and the new opening dates reflect how optimistic we are about tourism in Central Florida.”

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Downtown Disney Hotels to Award Walt Disney Vacations to Teachers Nominated by Students

he Downtown Disney® Resort Area Hotels has partnered with Walt Disney World® to once again honor outstanding K-12 teachers with its 2012 A+ For Teachers at Downtown Disney essay contest.

The fourth annual contest, which kicks off today and runs through April 13, 2012, asks students in grades 1 through 12 to nominate their favorite teacher by writing a brief essay of no more than 300 words and submitting it via www.downtowndisneyhotels.com. The essay should explain how the teacher has made a difference in the student’s life and will be judged on its relevance to theme, creativity, originality, and the merit of the teacher’s accomplishments as outlined in the essay.

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Disneyland Hotel Celebrates Renovation Completion

Disneyland Hotel Cast MembersEarlier today, several hundred Disneyland Resort cast members gathered in the courtyard of the reimagined Disneyland Hotel to mark the completion of the historic hotel’s multiyear renovation. Final touches to the porte-cochere and tower lobbies were added this month, following more than two years of work by Disney Imagineers and cast members to reinvigorate the hotel into a family destination that pays tribute to the early days of Disneyland. Disneyland Hotel and PoolGuests are now able to enjoy completely redesigned guest rooms, a new courtyard, restaurant, bar, pool and water play area, as well as themed suites and a dramatic new look to the exterior of the hotel. Changes have restored and highlighted the hotel’s original midcentury style with sleek, modern amenities. For the first time in 25 years, the Disneyland Hotel earned a coveted 2012 AAA Four Diamond award.

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Four Seasons Resort at Walt Disney World’s Golden Oak Breaks Ground

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Larry Silverstein, president and CEO of Silverstein Properties, Mickey Mouse, Meg Crofton, president, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations, U.S. and France, and Kathleen Taylor, president and CEO of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. (PRNewsFoto/Walt Disney World Resort)Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts kicked off construction of its luxury resort at Walt Disney World Resort today, in a groundbreaking ceremony with joint venture partners Silverstein Properties and Dune Real Estate Partners. The 444-room resort, being built in the enclave of Golden Oak at Walt Disney World Resort, will create about 2,000 construction jobs, and hundreds of resort positions when open.

“Travelers around the world know and trust Four Seasons, and Walt Disney World is the world’s premiere family vacation destination,” said Meg Crofton, president Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations US & France. “Together, our two companies offer a brand-new reason to visit and experience Central Florida.”

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WDW Refurb Update: House of Innoventions Closed til Mid-2012; Studio Backlot Tour

House of Innoventions at Epcot’s Innoventions East is now closed, presumably due to the recent announcement that Green Builder Media will be transitioning it into what will be known as the ‘VISION House.’ No specific date has been provided for the re-opening other than an expected time frame of May, 2012.

The Studio Backlot Tour at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is now slated to close on February 13, 2012 and re-open on March 11.

There is also a minor quiet pool refurb scheduled at the Beach Club Villas on December 14 and 15.

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WDW Refurb Update: Kali River Rapids to Close in January

The official Walt Disney World website is now reporting a temporary closure for Kali River Rapids at Disney’s Animal Kingdom beginning January 23, 2012 and re-opening on February 10.

In addition, we have learned of additional counter service and dining location closures which include the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor in the Magic Kingdom (closed January 9 through February 17) and an extension of Tutto Italia Ristorante in the Italy Pavilion at Epcot. The restaurant is now scheduled to close a day earlier and re-open a month later.

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