We invited four listeners in for some DVC resort armchair Imagineering. We asked them to create a resort so desirable, that a DVC member would be happy staying at this resort for the remainder of their contract. We need you to vote on their proposals. The winner will advance to the final round that will have a celebrity judge. McNair Wilson, former Disney Imagineer will be judging the final round.
Who deserves your vote? Laura with a Japanese themed resort, John with a Historic Kansas City Main Street, Andrew with a Greek Isles Resort or Melissa with a New Orleans Big Easy resort next to the Magic Kingdom!
Resort Name, Theme, Location
Laura's Sakura Resort (Japanese for Cherry Blossom)
Theme: Deluxe DVC resort with an immersive Japanese experience.
Location: Given the popularity of walking from the resort to the park, building Sakura near the entrance to Disney's Animal Kingdom will ensure that all four parks have a resort within distance.
General Overview: Upon entering guests are welcomed by Kimono-adorned cast members with the traditional Japanese bow of respect. Décor will be Japanese theme including tatami mats, rice paper walls (decoration only), and anime artwork.
Andrew's Greek Isle Mediterranean Resort and Spa
Theme: The Greek Isles
Location: Two possible locations, one north of Coronado Springs and a second possible location would be on the east side of Bay Lake.
General Overview: A Boutique resort featuring the white houses with the blue domed roofs of the Greek Isles. A Mediterranean style main pool, a mockup of the Med with the rooms situated to overlook the sea with their private infinity pools.
Melissa's The Villas at the Big Easy
Theme: New Orleans French Quarter and Bayou Plantations
Location: Between the Grand Floridian and the Magic Kingdom
General Overview: Given the popularity of Port Orleans resort, we're going expand on the New Orlean's theming with this resort. New Orlean's square was the first Disney park expansion.
John's Gateway to the Magic Kingdom Resort
Theme: Hometown, USA (Turn of the Century Kansas City)
Location: The northwest edge of the Magic Kingdom between Floridian Way and the WDW Railroad tracks. Near Frontierland and Adventureland.
General Overview: Inspired by the decor of Main Street USA and the theme park proximity of the Grand Californian, this resort replicates three turn-of-the-century Kansas City, MO buildings.
West tower inspired by the Muehlebach Hotel circa 1915.
Arcade and pool bar inspired by the KC Convention hall circa 1906.
Gateway Depot inspired by the Union Depot circa 1878.
Center tower inspired by the Baltimore Hotel circa 1899.
East tower inspired by the Coates House Hotel circa 1891.
Restaurants & Dining
Restaurants at Andrew's Greek Isle Mediterranean Resort
Quick Service: The Parthenon, Serving all sorts of handheld PITA bread sandwiches, burgers, and GYRO (the Americanized Greek food).
Table Service: Two restaurants named for Greek Mythology Gods serving more authentic Greek food. Hercules and Athena. Hercules would serve heavy “Manly” fagitó (food). Athena would offer lighter fare, that is usually considered more healthy fagitó.
Bar and Lounge: A wine bar called Dionysus (The Greek Goddess of Wine)
Pool Bar: Hedone (Goddess of Pleasure)
Signature Restaurant: Philia (Meaning; Friendship) Where you are our best friend with all the benefits of a guest in our home.
Restaurants at Melissa's The Villas at the Big Easy
Quick Service: Ponchatrain Cafe serving po'boys and beignet bar with chickory coffee and.
Table Service: “Flambo de Carnivale” offers flavors of Cajun-Creole cooking with etouffee, fried catfish, jambalaya, gumbo, shrimp and grits, shrimp fra diablo, cajun stuffed veal chops, creole grilled ratatouille, and Cajun popcorn as your starter. On the roof of the old city tower, this will also have a character breakfast for DVC members.
Bar and Lounge: Dueling piano bar on top of the tower overlooking
Pool Bar: Speciality drink bar with an emphasis on microbrewery from New Orleans.
Signature Restaurant: “The Creole Queen Jazz Kitchen,” a live jazz dinner show on a paddle boat that travels around the seven seas lagoon and bay lake. Appetizers menu includes authentic items such as hot crab dip and oysters Bienville. Entrees choices would be a whole fish creole, shrimp creole, brisket stuffed with crawfish dressing, crawfish stuffed filet mignon with a crawfish bordelaise sauce. Each meal will have a perfect wine or cocktail pairing.
Restaurants at John's Gateway to the Magic Kingdom
Quick Service: “Goofy Burger” a character experience with the fab five serving traditional breakfast and kid-friendly, burgers, fries, and chicken tenders for lunch and dinner.
Buffet: “ROD’s Real K.C. BBQ” an authentic hardwood working-class BBQ Joint with authentic recipes whole foods from the 1900s.
Table service: “Fairy Tales” a highly themed princess character dining experience similar to Cinderella's Royal Table and Be Our Guest.
Bar and Lounge: “The KC Bar & Grille” (also 1900 KC theme) Adult and family with older kids with bar menu fare. L/D
DVC Lounge: On Top of the Magic – A turn-of-the-century Jazz Club-Total Gilded Age opulence!
Signature restaurant: “The Magestic” Steakhouse a cross between California Grill and the Yachtsman. Best Steaks and homebrew on property!
Restaurants at Laura's Sakura Resort
Quick service: Aashi Ramen (rising sun ramen) Ramen is the most popular food in Japan. There are varieties of flavors based on region. This Ramen quick service will have many varieties of ramen to please all appetites along with standard type American food.
Table service: Shinkansen-Bullet Train sushi. The famous and unique style of restaurant in Japan has very few replicas in the United States. A variety of sushi travels by the tables on a chilled conveyor belt. Guests take what they desire as the food passes. Each plate contains a microchip for pricing purposes. Sushi can also be custom ordered and arrives on a separate conveyor belt directly to your table. It will look like a Shinkansen.)
Bar and Lounge: Ongaku Karaoke Bar. Ongaku means music. Will have bar type food: Yaki Tori grill, taco-yaki, tempura, etc.
Signature restaurant: Kiku- Meaning ‘chrysanthemum”. Chrysanthemum is the Imperial seal…fitting for a signature restaurant. It will be a traditional style restaurant with floor seating.
Pools at Melissa's The Villas at the Big Easy
Feature Pool: A lazy river surrounding a sand bottom pool with a zero entry side for the smaller guests.
Adult Only Pool: This pool will be on the top of the Bayou tower, will have a pool bar and provide excellent firework viewing from inside the pool.
Pools at John's Gateway to the Magic Kingdom Resort
Feature Pool: A large, two-section pool, connected by a bridge between the resort and the theme park. The north end of the pool will have a water slide. The south end will be the “quiet section,” and the “Lazy Missouri” river will connect the watering holes.
Pool Bars- Off the northwest section of the pool there will be a medium sized building, modeled after the 1900 Kansas City Convention Hall. The side facing the pool will be an indoor/outdoor full-service bar and snack bar. The building will also house an arcade, changing rooms, and public restrooms.
Lazy River: The “Lazy Missouri” will wind its way through the resort just as the Missouri River winds through Kansas City and will complement the existing creek that runs through the resort site.
Pools at Andrew's Greek Isle Mediterranean Resort and Spa
Pool: Imagineering could design the pool to make it emulate the cliffs and deep blue color of the mediterranean sea. This pool offers two new features not found elsewhere in DVC: a diving element inspired by cliff diving and a swim up bar.
Grand Villas Private Pools: These private cliff resorts would each have a private infinity pool overlooking Bay Lake.
Pools at Laura's Sakura Resort
Indoor Pool: Fuji-san this would be the first indoor pool on Disney property. For extra hot days (skip the sunscreen), stormy days, cold days, etc. Mt. Fuji themed with a volcano water slide.
Outdoor Pool: Hot springs are very popular in Japan. The outdoor hot tub/spa recreates a Japanese hot spring with an included décor of snow monkeys, tranquil waterfalls and rocks.
Room Design and Features
John's Gateway to the Magic Kingdom Resort Room Composition:
Three 10-story towers, each designed after a different 1890s Kansas City Hotel offers 284 units. The location of the buildings, their orientation toward Cinderella’s Castle, and the configuration of the rooms. 85% of units will have some type of park view 121- Studios, 75- 1 Bedroom Units, 36 Two bedroom units, 3 three Grand Villas and 6 Gateway Grand Penthouse Villas that are five bedroom penthouse villas.
Andrew's Greek Isle Mediterranean Resort Room Composition:
Standard DVC offering of Studios, 1- & 2-Bedrooms dedicated and lock-off units. The Grand Villas will be expanded with private infinity pools and can sleep up to fifteen people.
Melissa's The Villas at the Big Easy Room Composition:
Three towers with each floor having a different decor. Much like a different float in a Mardi Gras parade. All the resorts will have a mix of deluxe studios, one bedroom, and two bedroom dedicated units. A main feature is that the deluxe studios will have more kitchen
Laura's Sakura Resort Room Composition:
Unique Room Features: All studios will accommodate five guests. Rather than a Murphy bed or a fold-out chair, the fifth person will have the traditional Japanese futon which is a tri-fold, comfortable, thick cushion on the floor.
New Booking Rooms: “Two Bedroom Plus Greatroom” is a standard dedicated two bedroom unit with an additional great room attached. The Two Bedroom Plus is the larger half or a new 4 Bedroom Grand Gathering Villa when combined with a traditional Two Bedroom unit. Each two bedroom unit can sleep nine people so the combined Grand Gathering Villa will sleep up to eighteen people. Grand Gathering Villas will accommodate larger families that are unable to fit in a three bedroom. Grand Gathering Villas allow point stretching. We're scaling back the luxury to make it affordable when grandparents want to bring their entire family. These Grand Gathering Villas are at the ends of the buildings and have three-sided balconies.
Laura: In addition to the traditional bus system, guests can walk to Disney's Animal Kingdom front gate or use an underground themed tunnel to a special entrance within the Animal Kingdom park. The other contestants talked Laura into building a Japanese bullet train to all the other resort areas.
Andrew: Bus service, a nice long walking path to the Magic Kingdom, and for the club level Grand Villas; private Minnie van for the length of your stay.
Melissa: Walk or Boat to the Magic Kingdom. Traditional bus service for all of the other WDW destinations.
John: Guest transportation options include standard bus service, a resort-exclusive stop at a brand new Gateway stop on the Walt Disney World Railroad, a dedicated paddle boat transport from the resort via Rivers of America to Frontierland, and a Disney Skyliner from resort to the Magic Kingdom monorail station.
Andrew: Children’s activities: Pool Parties as most resorts, Kids water play area at the main pool, Community House activities. Adult activities: A Sand Volleyball court, Bike rentals for the whole family, Adult only pool, The Spa, Special free childcare for those parent's nights out. The resort also offers an outdoor Greek-style theatre.
Melissa: Daily Mardi Gras parades. Make your own Mardi Gras beads and masks, a mixology party for adults. Strolling musicians along the Riverwalk area.
John: The Gateway Depot will also include a veranda with a full-service bar and an ample lounge/viewing area of the MK and the fireworks. Mickey & other Fab 5 characters will meet and greet in the grand lobby, center tower throughout the day. The resort will have an arcade. Also in the evening, the Dapper Dans, jazz combos, and other street artists and musicians will wander throughout the resort, however, the MK is the main attraction. The biggest perk would be early park entry to
Laura: Children’s activities: origami, sumo suits, anime, and manga. Adult activities: Karaoke, sushi making, calligraphy, Ikebana-(the art of flower arranging). Chad commented here that anytime chopsticks are present walrus imitations are a great source of family entertainment. (Bonus points for pushing your spouse's buttons in the process).