Some of the most desired resorts on Walt Disney World property can be found near the Magic Kingdom. Disneys Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disneys Polynesian Resort and Disneys Contemporary Resort all sit on the shores of Bay Lake or the Seven Seas Lagoon. Not only are all of these deluxe resorts, but they also have monorail service with a direct connection to the Magic Kingdom. However, what many people dont know, is these were not the only Magic Kingdom resorts envisioned by Walt Disney himself. Upon surveying Walt Disneys master plan along with an updated plan, we find four Magic Kingdom resorts that were never built.
4. Disneys Asian Resort
This resort was to be a Thailand theme resort featuring 500 hotel rooms. In addition to a spectacular lobby, this resort was supposed to have its own monorail station. Site tests were completed, blue prints were drawn up and even the perimeter road was named Asian Way. In 1972, it was announced that architectural work would begin on the Asian Resort. Due to the energy crisis of 1973, attendance at Walt Disney World dropped, and so were the plans for the Asian and other Magic Kingdom resorts. However, the land was put to use years later when the elegant Grand Floridian Resort and Spa opened in 1988. It is now located where the Asian was once visioned.
3. Disneys Venetian Resort and 2. Disneys Mediterranean Resort
Located between the Ticket and Transportation Center and the Contemporary Resort, was to be Disneys Venetian Resort themed after Venice, Italy. A scaled replica of St. Marks square was to be erected as the centerpiece of the resort. One of the signature features of this resort would include guests being able to ride gondolas in the resorts own protected harbor. The grand lobby would feature a glass roof. After the construction of Walt Disney Worlds third major theme park, the idea of another deluxe resort on the monorail line was resurrected on the site of the Venetian. However, instead of a Venice themed resort, Disney imagineers came up with a newly themed Mediterranean Resort which would feature Greek architecture with modern elements. In the 1990s, land was cleared and structural work was being prepared when more bad news hit. The composition of the land itself was not suitable for a project of this scale. The pylons needed for the foundation of the project would have to be sunk so deep due to the swampy land, that it was cost prohibitive. The project was cancelled and trees were replanted on the site. Rumor has it that Disney continues to test the land to keep their options open as new construction technology continues to improve.
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1. Disneys Persian Resort
Disneys Persian Resort was planned to be constructed on the shores of Bay Lake. A large dome was to be the focal point of this resort where the shops and restaurants would be located. In addition, guest rooms would surround the main building where many would be perched right on the water. This would allow guests to access the water via personal watercraft directly from their room! This resort was to be built beyond the Contemporary reaching what is now a backstage area. The monorail, therefore, would have been extended to reach this destination for guests choosing to embark or disembark. The monorail would then head toward the Magic Kingdom station, but was designed to actually travel through Tomorrowland inside the Magic Kingdom itself! It’s easy to vision a portion of this monorail line as it is now a spur line branching off from the area near the Magic Kingdom bus depot, which is used as a service line that heads to the maintenance garage backstage. If you ever get a chance to continue your drive north on World Drive past the Contemporary, look to your right. You can still see the land that was cleared for the Persian Resort. It is now used as Cast Member parking and a portable storage facility.
Did you know about these resorts? Which one sounds the most fascinating to you? Do you think its possible any of these resorts could be built in the future? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!