Walt Disney Imagineering Files to Extend STOLport Permit Connected to Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge Permit

Shannen Ace

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Reflections Lodge Concept Art

Walt Disney Imagineering Files to Extend STOLport Permit Connected to Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge Permit

Walt Disney Imagineering has filed for an extension of a permit related to Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge, a project long thought canceled.

Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge 2018 Announcement

reflections disney lakeside lodge

After rumors swirled of a “Disney Discovery Lodge,” Bob Chapek announced Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge at Destination D in 2018. The nature-inspired Disney Vacation Club resort was to be built on the former site of Disney’s long-closed River Country water park, on the shore of Bay Lake near Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. It would have had more than 900 hotel rooms and Disney Vacation Club villas.

reflections disney lakeside lodge2

Terri Schultz, who was Senior Vice President and General Manager of Disney Vacation Club at the time, said in a statement: “This resort experience will be a celebration of Walt Disney’s lifelong love and respect for nature, with some fun and even surprising accommodation types that families will find irresistible. It will give our members and guests yet another opportunity to stay in close proximity to all the newest attractions and experiences in our theme parks, and with the flexibility, value and world-class service families expect from Disney.”

STOLport Site Permit

stolport aerial stockpile sm

In May 2018, Disney filed a permit for the “STOLport Site,” near the old Walt Disney World Airport — also known as the Lake Buena Vista STOLport (Short Take Off and Landing), as a stockpile location. The new resort wouldn’t actually be constructed on the STOLport site, but it could act as a staging ground.

This permit was set to expire in May 2023, but Disney has filed to extend it. This doesn’t necessarily mean construction is going to resume on Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge. Disney wouldn’t be able to use the site for any project without extending the permit.

The STOLport site could instead be used to support cabin construction at the adjacent Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. Still, extending the permit does leave the door open for Reflections to be revived.

Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge History

Reflections A Disney Lakeside Lodge Concept Art

Disney began demolishing River Country in early 2019 and released several pieces of Reflections concept art that summer:

At D23 Expo 2019, more details about the resort were released, including a look a “Princess and the Frog” restaurant.

Reflections A Disney Lakeside Lodge
An aerial overview of the Reflections site from May 23, 2020. (Image Credit: @bioreconstruct on Twitter)

We tracked demolition and construction into early 2020, when Walt Disney World Resort shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, behind-the-scenes work continued as Disney filed permits for restaurants, restrooms, transportation structures, and more. We checked on construction again when Walt Disney World Resort reopened in June 2020, but there has been no progress since then.


Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge was originally scheduled to open in 2022, but that deadline obviously came and went. Disney hasn’t made a peep about the resort since.

concept art lobby pocahontas statue reflections lakeside lodge 2

Rumors began circulating that the project was indefinitely delayed or canceled entirely. In September 2020, Disney filed a “general construction” permit for the area, followed by a permit for temporary cast parking a month later. These both seemed to indicate work on Reflections could resume. But in April 2021, Walt Disney Imagineering filed a permit to “remove office trailers from property” at multiple addresses connected to construction, strong evidence for the project’s cancelation.

While it seems Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge is dead, it still has permits open into 2024. If Disney were to complete the project, they would need to extend those permits, but they have some time to decide.

What do you think of the delayed or canceled Reflections? Let us know in the comments.

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