In 2018 Disney announced a brand new Disney Vacation Club (DVC) resort.It was to be built on top of the site of the long-abandoned River Country Water Park. The new resort was to be called Reflections: A Disney Lakeside Lodge. Unfortunately, it seemed as though the project was canceled due to the Pandemic closures. Disney simply stopped mentioning anything about it, and it seemed as though the project was dead. Or is it?
As we said above, the site of the new resort was to occupy the old River Country site. The water park was closed in 2001. This quaint water park featured an old-fashioned swimming hole theme. To fit the theming, the park was fed from a natural source using filtered lake water instead of treated chlorinated water. When the park was built in 1976, there was nothing amiss about that. By 2001, however, regulations were tighter. Add to that suffering park attendance and a PR nightmare stemming from brain-eating amoeba rumors (largely unfounded), and the Park could not survive.
The site sat empty for more than a decade until Reflections was announced. The new resort would pay homage to its predecessor by celebrating the nature around it. The resort would draw from natural elements and have rooms themed to drive wildlife. There was even going to be a Princess and the Frog-themed restaurant. Early concept art for the deluxe hotel was beautiful. It carried a lot of similar themes to the nearby Wilderness Lodge.
Not only would the resort celebrate nature, but it would also work to preserve it too. Reflections: A Disney Lakeside Lodge was planned to be a certified green lodging resort. According to the program’s website, “The Florida Green Lodging Program was established in 2004 by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to recognize environmentally conscientious lodging facilities in the state. The program encourages the lodging industry to conserve and protect the state’s natural resources through education and certification programs.”
The project is considered canceled. Permits for the site expired, and no work has been done at or near the site in three years. In fact, the last permit filed was to remove work trailers from the area. However, we’ve recently discovered new evidence which suggests the project may not be dead after all. New permits have been filed for the space the resort was to be built.
Could this mean that the project is back on? That’s debatable. There are arguments to be made for both sides of the idea. One thing is clear, however, and that is Disney is keeping it’s options open for the area. We like to be optimistic so for now we will say it seems that the project’s revival is a definite possibility.