Disney to build a four-star resort

Early Edition: The resort, set to open in 2010 in Orlando, would include a golf course and  single-family homes.

Published March 1, 2007

World Disney World Resort in Orlando today unveiled plans to develop another 1,350 of its 27,000 acres including its first four-star luxury resort in a partnership with Four Seasons hotels and resorts.

Disney officials said the Four Seasons would be a full-scale resort with an 18-hole golf course and a development of single-family luxury houses. Homes would be the first offered to sale to individual owners who could live within the Disney World park boundary in the northeast corner of the park.

Site work will begin later this year; the hotel would open in 2010.

Although Orlando has only recently become a luxury destination with the opening of the Ritz Carlton and J.W. Marriott a few miles from Disney, Disney officials are confident there's plenty of growth in that price range.Orlando been rated sixth largest luxury market in the nation.

"We think this will take us even higher,” said Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney World Resort.In a separate plan, Disney will sell 450 acres fronting the new State Route 429 Western Beltway Expressway at what will become the first entrance to the park from its western flank. The land will be sold to developers of value-priced hotels, typically branded products that goes for $70 to $100 a night.

The development area will include a 300,000 to 500,000 square foot retail complex filled with stores and restaurants designed to serve the people who stay in the hotels. Site work begins this fall with development scheduled to take up to a decade. These hotels would be outside park boundaries. The new western beltway now connects Interstate 4 west of Disney World with the Florida turnpike.

Disney had no estimate of the cost of the projects.