Plans have been filed to begin work at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort. While the full extent of these modifications is unclear, the resort has been linked to Disney Vacation Club rumors in recent years.
Primary construction zone at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort
Poster "danlb_2000" at WDWMagic.com uncovered a series of permits filed with the South Florida Water Management District highlighting significant changes to Caribbean Beach. Several new structures are to be built, including a large building on the western side of the property.
Numerous existing buildings will be demolished to make way for the new facilities or changes to the resorts water system. According to permits, Ponds 'E3' and 'E4' are being proposed as new stormwater ponds. 'Pond E3' sits on land currently occupied by three buidlings in the Martinique section of the resort.
Proposed 'Pond E3' on the site of several current guestroom buildings
The large new building would necessitate removal of at least 2-3 buildings in Barbados.
The permits do not provide any indication as to the use or height of the new structure. It's size suggests it could be a multi-story building designed to house several hundred Disney Vacation Club villas.
Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort has been identifed as a possible Disney Vacation Club destination for at nearly 3 years now. Late last year those rumors gained some new steam with Disney reportedly using height test balloons to gauge how a tall building would impact the skyline.
The largest new structure in red with proposed 'Pond E4' also indicated
Over the years, no fewer than seven existing Walt Disney World were converted in whole or part to Disney Vacation Club villas. Two others--Disney's Old Key West Resort and Disney's BoardWalk Inn & Villas--had DVC villas included in their design. If this work at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort does represent the first steps toward the addition of DVC villas, it would be the first instance of timeshare villas added to a Disney moderate class resort.
Disney reportedly considered expanding its waterways to allow watercraft service between Caribbean Beach, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot. However, no evidence of such modifications is present in these recently filed plans.
Other new structures are earmarked for the current feature pool area, located near the center of the image above.
The permit application indicates a construction period of 2017 to 2019. However that timeframe could be limited to waterway modifications, not necessarily physical construction on the resort-wide enhancements.
Disney Vacation Club is currently in the process of adding new villas and resort amenities to Disney's Wilderness Lodge. Those units are expected to open to guests later in 2017.
Disney will continue to add resorts up until OKW ages out and they Re-Cycle that resort. From then on they'll just refurb/rebuild all the existing resorts and sell them over and over .....
...........................till infinity and beyond
What are the chances that Disney is planning on expanding the Caribbean Beach Resort by adding more moderate level hotel rooms to its inventory?
When you list all the possibilities of what this property could be, the only one that makes sense is for it to be a new DVC resort.
No evidence whatsoever.
But an awful lot of signs are pointing that direction. My own sources indicated the location was under consideration for DVC for several years now and others have reported similar rumors. We know they're running out of existing Deluxe resorts to add DVC. Disney hasn't really given any indication that it planned to pursue new hotel construction--although that cannot be ruled out entirely. Art of Animation opened nearly 5 years ago, and they've actually been shrinking the hotel inventory via DVC conversions at Poly and Wilderness Lodge.
Bottom line: Until Disney identifies exactly what's going on here, I think it's worth following as a potential DVC destination.