Luxury Four Seasons Resort Opens at WDW

Wednesday, August 6, 2014 1:54 PM

Didn't really think it was enough to be submitted to news, but we do talk hotels a lot in conjuction with the amusement industry, so I figured it might be of interest.

Seems like they're finally hitting a market that was relatively untapped - the upper, upper end. Looks like a really nice place.

As of my posting this there were only 9 comments to the article and it already devolved into snarky comments over the haves and have nots.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014 2:10 PM

We've been watching that go up for the last year, thought it was a little weird that Disney was willing to allow a third-party to operate on the property. Swan and Dolphin suck, and Starwood should be ashamed of those properties. Well, Swan sucks, but I have no reason to believe the other is better.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014 2:14 PM

Where is it located on the property?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014 2:17 PM

East of Magic Kingdom, north of Epcot, out by one of the golf courses. Truth be told, I've never even been out to that part of the property, but you could see the building going up from 535, the road to the east that I used to travel every day for work.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014 2:24 PM

If you come off of 535 down Buena Vista towards Downtown Disney there's a row of third party hotels. I think that's technically Disney property too. That's where our car got crushed back in 2001.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014 2:39 PM

I think you're right. I'm done with that area until the new parking deck is done. It's just too ridiculous right now. But yeah, the new hotel is seemingly in the middle of nowhere unless you golf. I think there's a side road near the Disney warehouse area that you can take to get there, otherwise you have to go toward Fort Wilderness from the MK area.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014 3:57 PM

It's part of Disney's Golden Oak, the "magnificent resort community" offering "first-ever whole ownership of custom single family homes in the Walt Disney World Resort."

Disney is indeed going after the upper, upper end here with a gated community (homes starting at $1.8 million) and this Four Seasons. Golden Oak's master plan was developed by Imagineering; apparently the land was de-annexed from Reedy Creek and residents will be part of Orange County.

One supposes the Four Seasons is where one stays when one does not wish to fraternize with the tourists one finds at the Grand Floridian. :-)

Last edited by slithernoggin, Wednesday, August 6, 2014 4:02 PM
Wednesday, August 6, 2014 4:08 PM

Cool. Thanks for the info/link.

Wow, some of those houses are pretty nice. But man, if they start at $1.8 million, I also noticed the smallest was 3900 square feet. $4500 per sq foot!?

EDIT - nevermind, I mathed incorrectly. Decimal placement trouble. That's $450/sq ft.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Wednesday, August 6, 2014 4:09 PM
Wednesday, August 6, 2014 4:12 PM

"Haves" are infinitely more profitable guests...

I love the have-nots, I'll fight politically for the have-nots...but if I'm in business in hotels, hospitality, food, etc. - I'm serving the haves. Because Papa gotta eat...

Wednesday, August 6, 2014 4:18 PM

I've been following Golden Oaks since they announced it... I thought it was a really smart move on Disney's part.

I echo rollergator on the Haves and Have-nots.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014 5:14 PM

I'll fight politically for the have-nots as well. Because they should have the freedom to work to become haves (if they so choose), which gets harder and harder the more left this country leans.

Gonch, I remember reading that crushed Sentra story a long time ago. Just read it again and it's just as bizarre.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014 6:40 PM

I just read it for the first time. Wow. Timing is everything, as they say. You could have been in the car, you could have been driving in that weather and had something ELSE happen. But all were safe and unharmed, and that's a beautiful thing.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014 10:49 PM

I do remember the initial story we linked to on this, it just wasn't very meaningful at the time because it wasn't in my backyard.

Those houses are probably around a half-million premium, I think. There are some new houses in my neighborhood (which started in the mid-200's and is now getting close to a start at 300k) that face one of the small lakes, and they're around 1 to 1.5 million for similar square footage. There is really nice real estate to be had around here, and relative to other parts of the country, it's cheap. Sure, we could have bought 5,000 square feet for $500k without stretching too much (it's certainly what we would have been paying in Seattle), but a family of three doesn't need that. Experiences not stuff, I say.

Hopefully it's not a bubble. A friend of mine just had her house appraised at 30% more than she bought it just three years ago.

Thursday, August 7, 2014 9:07 AM

I really enjoyed my stay at the Swan or Dolphin. The only downside is that they don't offer the bus service from the airport.

Thursday, August 7, 2014 9:36 AM

I think the Swan/Dolphin area at WDW is gorgeous, at least. The post-modern architecture of the hotels is so quirky and will live as an example of that sometimes unfortunate trend. We've never stayed there, but they seem popular with families and there were lots of kids running, as I recall. (I guess that would be everywhere, though, right?) One of those hotels, I forget which, is higher end and pricier than the other. We had a delicious meal at Todd English's bluezoo restaurant, which I think is at Dolphin. The last time we went through there was after dinner at Boardwalk, we walked over there to catch a bus or something, and it was so pretty there at night.

A few years back we stayed at one of those on-property, non-Disney hotels. (I think they call them Downtown Disney Resorts now) It was nice enough and at the time we felt like we were being treated to the poor-man's Disney resort experience. The employees all had CM uniforms and tags, the ticket deals were the same, and the bus transportation was legit Disney, so it was all good. On my last visit I noticed that in the meantime a few of the hotel brand names have changed (and through remodels, rebuilds, and upgrades) for the better. My guess is it's probably not so cheap to stay there now.

Thursday, August 7, 2014 9:58 AM

Swan/Dolphin also charge for parking, which is lame.

Thursday, August 7, 2014 4:45 PM

Someone's already ready to sell, if anyone has a spare $2 million lying around. (I'll take a 10% finder's fee, thanks.)

Last edited by slithernoggin, Thursday, August 7, 2014 4:46 PM
Friday, August 8, 2014 3:00 AM

No, thanks. For 2 mil I desire my McMansion to have just a tish more space between it and the next one. Good lord, in that top photo on the Golden Oak website it looks like they practically share driveways. Disney must be running out of room.

Friday, August 8, 2014 3:22 AM

I'm with you. But it seems increasingly rare to actually have some space between neighbors. I haven't seen a new development in our area at any price range that offers what I would consider a 'suitable' amount of space between houses.

Friday, August 8, 2014 8:23 AM

Oh I know. I look around luxury neighborhoods like New Albany and those beautiful homes in those subdivisions are so close together it's shocking. I guess that's how developers squeeze one more house onto the block, right?
But that's the case with old developments as well. I live in an historic neighborhood and my house dates around 1895. We're in the process of a gut remodel of the upstairs and changing the back bedroom from a tiny dormer to a big master suite. When our contractor took the architect's plans to the city of Columbus we were told we had to apply for a variance due to the fact that our house sits 1.5 feet from the property line and they require 4 feet. We aren't changing the footprint of the original home a bit, just going "up" and doing extensive changes to the interior.
And here's the point. This was originally a simple worky-man neighborhood and the houses sit very close, and for some reason it doesn't bother me. But we're sitting in the 3's and 4's here for smallish homes and tiny lots in a cool hood close to downtown. Now, if I was going to spend 2 mil here in central Ohio I feel confident I could build a lavish house that includes everything I can think of with quite a bit of land around it. And get a couple of new cars, too. And a pool. And a greenhouse.

Btw, we're still fighting with the city. After waiting a month for the variance meeting, we got the rubber stamp (all they wanted was more money) and then were told we had to have our subcontractors plans on the blueprint as well, so the plumber, electrician, and furnace guys had to come in, a process that usually happens once the structure is framed up. Each time we walk in with a revised blueprint we get turned away for something else. And each time it costs us more money. Our contractor was able to proceed by pulling permits for exterior work, siding and new front porch, but that was supposed to be last and now we're faced with decisions we weren't ready to make and it's all bass-ackwards. No structural demo can be done yet as we still don't have a permit. I'm in remodel hell. Maybe shoulda "listed it" instead of "loved it", right?

And now I finally understand why people walk into places and just start shooting.


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