BREAKING: Design Firm and Construction Manager Selected For New Resort on River Country Site

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Several sources are reporting that Disney has selected a design firm and construction management company for the rumored resort being planned for the abandoned River Country site on the shore of Bay Lake next to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort.

The design firm Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo (now known as WATG) has reportedly been selected as the lead designer for the resort, and Balfour Beatty will be the construction manager for the project.

WATG is probably most well known in the US for the Venetian hotel in Las Vegas, and has also designed the Grand Floridian Resort at WDW. Balfour Beatty is locally known for the recently-completed Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and Loews Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Orlando, and is currently constructing the new tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.

The resort is rumored to cost $350 million to build, not including the major site prep work that needs to happen in order to turn River Country from a waterpark into a hotel. The site prep work will utilize the 30-acre “Project 89” site for stockpiling earthwork that we told you about last month.

It is expected that this resort will have around 300 DVC rooms (2-bedroom equivalent units, which can be separated into 1-bedroom units and studios), plus another 400 standard hotel rooms. The hotel will not open for several years, well after the Riviera Resort, the Coronado Springs tower, and the Star Wars Hotel have opened.


About the author

Jason Diffendal

Jason has been a lifelong fan of the Disney parks since his first visit at age 2. His biennial pilgrimages during his childhood accelerated into semi-annual visits by the year 2000, when he also Joined the Disney Vacation Club. Luckily, Jason’s bride-to-be was also a Disney fan, which allowed his infatuation with the Disney parks to continue, and ultimately culminated in their wedding at Disney's Wedding Pavilion in September 2003. Early in 2007, Jason began his involvement with the planning for what became Celebration 25, the unofficial fan gathering to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Epcot®. Soon thereafter, Jason met Tom Corless at a pin trading meet in New Jersey, and became part of the WDW News Today podcast starting with Episode 17. Jason has been involved with the WDWNT Network ever since, and can't seem to escape no matter how hard he tries.
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