Disney Vacation Club Moves Into the Disney Institute
(c) 2002 PassPorter Travel Press

(Thurs. Jan. 24, 2002) Say goodbye to the Disney Institute, and hello to the latest Disney Vacation Club (DVC) resort! Disney today announced the latest expansion of its incredibly successful Disney Vacation Club vacation ownership program, to occupy a 16-acre site on the 250 acre Disney Institute/Lake Buena Vista Golf Course grounds.

Copyright (c) 2002 - PassPorter Travel Press


PassPorterŽ Walt Disney WorldŽ 2002
The unique travel guide, planner, organizer, journal, and keepsake!

by Jennifer Watson, Dave Marx, and Allison Cerel Marx

296 pages 30 two- and four-color maps (includes 4 fold-out maps) 
18 Photos 8 worksheets 14 pockets Index
6.35" x 9" Concealed spiral binding with reinforced cover and elastic 
$21.95 US ISBN: 1-58771-002-1

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Updated 11/21/03

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192 Brand-New DVC Villas Slated to Open in Early 2004
Disney will build 192 brand-new studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom vacation villas on the present site of the Disney Institute Townhouses, in four freestanding, low-rise buildings. The site is within walking distance of the Downtown Disney Marketplace, and just a skipping-stone's throw across the water from the glittering lights of Downtown Disney. Pending approvals, Disney expects to open the new resort in early 2004. The name of the new resort has not yet been chosen.

Disney Institute Villas to Close February 10, 2002
Effective February 10, the Townhouses and all other lodgings at the Disney Institute -- the Bungalows, Fairway Villas, Grand Vista Homes, and Treehouse Villas will close. Guests with reservations at the Institute will be contacted by Disney and be offered comparable accommodations elsewhere on Disney property.

Demand for lodgings at the Institute has been particularly low since the events of 9/11, and many portions of the resort have already been closed for several months. In an interview with PassPorter, Disney spokesperson Mariska Elia said the full shutdown was prompted by safety concerns related to the upcoming construction, but conceded that the already low occupancy at the Institute was also a factor. Asked whether the hundreds of remaining Disney Institute villas may reopen at some time in the future, Ms. Elia indicated that the matter was still under consideration.

Spa, Fitness Center and Golf Stay Open, Programs Continue
Despite the closure of the Institute's lodgings, the highly regarded spa and fitness center will stay open to the public, as will the 18-hole Lake Buena Vista golf course. The Disney Institute's professional development and cultural offerings, which are open mostly to groups, will continue at locations throughout Walt Disney World property, and guests participating in those programs will be lodged elsewhere.

DVC's Eagle Pines Resort is Still in the Pipeline
What about the DVC resort at the Eagle Pines Golf Course, announced less than six months ago? That 600-unit project is still moving forward, although the opening date of 2004 may be delayed somewhat. According to Disney's spokesperson, the Disney Institute project uses the Institute's existing infrastructure to speed the availability of new DVC units, but it won't replace Eagle Pines.

The Villas at the Wilderness Lodge Sell Out
In related DVC news, the Villas at the Wilderness Lodge, which opened to the public in late 2000 and is the newest of DVC's resorts, is within two weeks of being completely sold-out. When the last Villas at the Wilderness Lodge DVC membership is sold, DVC will start selling vacation units at Beach Club Villas, which is slated to open in late summer of this year.

DVC's continued success at selling vacation memberships is especially notable in light of the dramatic slowdown in occupancy at Walt Disney World's resort hotels. DVC now has more than 60,000 member families, up from only 35,000 several years ago.

Disney Vacation Club now operates five facilities, three of which -- Disney's Old Key West, BoardWalk Villas, and The Villas at the Wilderness Lodge -- are on Walt Disney World property. Three more DVC resorts have been announced: Beach Club Villas, a 250-unit facility next to Disney's Yacht and Beach Club resorts (due to open later this year), the newly announced Disney Institute project (192 units due to open in 2004), and the Eagle Pines resort (600 units due in 2004-2005).

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