Waterstar Orlando residential and retail project to be built a stone's throw from Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Dec 14, 2021 in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Tuesday December 14, 2021 10:22am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Plans have been filed to begin construction on Waterstar Orlando, a new mixed-use project to be built directly behind Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Waterstar Orlando is a 35-acre project that will include retail, restaurants and 320 residential accommodations. (Thanks to @danlb_2000 on the WDWMAGIC Forums for the permits)

Although the 2300 ft frontage will be on US 192 Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway across from the new Margaritaville Resort, the multi-story residential units will be very close to the park lots at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge.

The project by Equinox Development is expected to open in 2022.

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DisoneAug 24, 2023

There are no rooms along the red line. Along that part of kidani village the rooms only face sunset savanna Edit: Just noticed somebody else already pointed this out.

DisneyRoxMySoxAug 23, 2023

I came here looking for an update on how bad the outside world creep was. Generally makes me sad, but nothing can be done now.

cjkeatingApr 28, 2023

Oh yeah... I weirdly never noticed and I've ever walked from Kidani to Jambo so you'd think I would have done. Makes me feel better as Kidani Standard View is my go to room so at least I know there is no risk in getting this view.

bpiperApr 27, 2023

The buildings in red do not have rooms facing that direction. They only have rooms facing the savannah. You can see in the photo that the building are only 1/2 as wide. As if Disney knew....

pdude81Apr 27, 2023

As I was driving up to park at the hotel I didn't think the green line blocked the new development much at all. This would be quite normal at any other resort, but having been to Kidani a number of times this really stood out in a huge way from prior development. I am dead wrong about the Pembe savannah; for some reason I thought it was near the south loop by the swampland. I should remember that I haven't actually seen the Pembe savannah in years since I had one of the super far rooms in the North end. I would say though that the fencing along the yellow line there along with some trees here and there don't do a great job of blocking that view. As the trees come in more it will get better, but you'll still have the top of the building visible above the tree line. And they can only put so many trees in the way because of the swamp/marsh along the side of the road there. It's not as if you can't tune out the building from the pool complex or pick a chair that's out of the viewing area. I just can't believe Disney didn't protect their flank here and even went so far as to sell them some land to finish up the complex.

cjkeatingApr 27, 2023

Are we talking about the same area? The buildings I saw were the other side of the tennis courts? Excuse my terrible photo editing skills... Blue = the area where the buildings are Yellow = buildings are visible through a wire fence, I saw them planting bushes and maybe some trees along this fence Green = established trees that did a good job blocking most of the buildings Red = the rooms that I believe will be impacted which would currently be standard views Pembe and the pool are at the other end of Kidani, did you see other buildings over there? Or is it that you can see unobstructed to the yellow line from over there?

pdude81Apr 27, 2023

I had the opposite reaction when I stayed at Kidani a few weeks ago. What the heck is that! I couldn't believe how large the building was and how close to the pool complex. But for the most part it's not in a terrible place for those staying at the resort. I assume some of the Pembe Savannah views are now also apartment complex views though.

cjkeatingApr 27, 2023

I saw this from the bus route between Kidani and Jambo this week and it wasn’t as bad as I expected. It is visible from the side that backs up to the tennis courts however they did appear to be in the process of planting trees or tall grass up against the dividing wall. Can’t comment on what it looks like from the rooms that face that direction.

Disstevefan1Feb 15, 2023

Agreed, controlling costs outweigh sightlines now. I don't think Iger ever cared about sightlines. Iger only cares about HIS legacy and possibly running for president in the future.

AylaFeb 15, 2023

So they wrote a puff piece about a slumlord. Figures.

LSLSFeb 15, 2023

It's not about building in the area or having others nearby, it's about having a big building nest door distracting from the theming of the resort. But, that has gone completely by the wayside under Iger, so I'm not surprised in the least they didn't even think about it to be honest.

Disstevefan1Feb 15, 2023

I have been to that Margaritaville resort. Very nice, and from an upper floor of the hotel you can see Everest 😀. In my mind, that’s like free advertising for AK. Many will disagree, but new development means more options for tourists. How much adjoining land can TWDC afford to buy after all? Plus, must Disney stomp out all others that want to try to develop in the area?

pdude81Feb 15, 2023

This is fair but I don't think they could just move it somewhere else. I assume the alternative to building Kidani there would be not having it at all.

Jon81ukFeb 15, 2023

Or they could have avoided the issue completely by not building Kidani so close to the edge of their land.