BREAKING: Walt Disney World Planning New Development, Possible Hotel for the River Country Water Park Site

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According to a new permit filing, Walt Disney World is going to embark on some geotechnical borings at the site of the former River Country water park. This process is typically used to see if a piece of land is suitable for a new construction project.

While it isn’t known what the project is in preparation for, our guess would be a new Magic Kingdom area resort hotel. With the upcoming expansions at many of the theme parks, a number of new hotels are expected to be added, including one at the entrance to Epcot and a non-Disney resort by the Swan and Dolphin hotels.

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About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]


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  • Now where are the bored millennials trying to make it big on YouTube going to break into? Won’t someone think of the children?

  • Maybe they’re finally building Buffalo Junction between Fort Wilderness and Wilderness Lodge. It would be amazing to see more versions of Hoop Dee Doo, and Mickey’s Backyard BBQ, considering they’re often sold out.

  • I agree with Fire Flame. I recall a permit being filed for a DVC project a number of years ago. Am I wrong?

  • Spoke to a manager at Fort Wilderness and he said it was going to be a DVC for Fort Wilderness and also a small water park area as an nod to old River Country. He also said it was not a return for River Country or a new water park. Just a small Area that will be sectioned off and have some slides. Given the size of the permit it looks like that could be what it is. Who knows though that manager could have just been filling my ear full. LOL LOL LOL

    • DVC for FW? Like DVC Campsites? Or more like the Boulder Ridge Cabins? Personally, I’ve always thought they should do more to link WL and FW. A Water Park between them would be smart.
      On a related note: Given the way crowds seem to affect any new ride or land in WDW, isn’t anyone else concerned about the park ride to quest ratios, with all these new hotels and the like.
      I have a theory that the Gondolas don’t get directly to HS from Epcot so they can eat up so guest-to-park time.

  • Good–there’s a severe shortage of hotel space at Disney World. The parks are practically empty 24/7 because nobody can ever find a room.

    • I love this, thanks for the laugh. Room discounts getting scarce as more rooms added, price increases.

      • It’s almost as if we lived in a capitalist society, and that Disney is a for-profit company trying to increase their revenue while decreasing their bottom line! What a strange concept.

  • If it is another hotel (which it sounds like it is), where are all these people going to go? I know that they are building new lands in the parks, but those are already existing areas being renovated. Disney is not really expanding the space in the parks.

    I hope Disney has plans ready for a 5th gate (or actually expand the existing parks), because they were feeling a little tight when I was there recently.

    • Tron (2021), New Fantasyland (Opened), Toy Story (2018), Star Wars (2019), Guardians (2021) are all built/or being built in non guest/backstage/expanded areas, so they are increasing the sizes of the parks. Star Wars land alone is adding almost 15 acres to the size of Studios.

  • I’ve heard a rumor it’s going to be the site of the Venetian Hotel that was originally supposed to be built.

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