UPDATE: The design of the hotel has been updated since the concept art shown above was created. We will have to wait for new concept art before discussing further. Hopefully the newer versions look less like an office building.
Ever since balloon testing was spotted near the Swan and Dolphin hotels back in early 2016, it was widely reported that a new hotel building would be going in near the Fantasia Gardens miniature golf course.
Now, we supposedly have some concept art for the new hotel. Unfortunately, it’s pretty bad. Unless the new theme of the area is an office park, it doesn’t fit into the area in any way, shape or form.
He’re’s an aerial view of where the hotel is supposed to go, courtesy of Mr. Penguin at WDWMagic.com. Here we can see that it isn’t a total cube as it appears in the art.
As you can see at the top of the page, the reported art looks more appropriate for an office building, not a building that’s going in next to the very detailed and themed Swan and Dolphin hotels. This doesn’t fit. Nor does it bring any kind of imagination, theme or wonder to the area. Simply, it’s boring. It doesn’t feel Disney.
It is worth keeping in mind that this is a third-party partnership similar to the one with Swan & Dolphin, but that doesn’t take away this will be viewed as a Disney hotel on Disney property.
That complaint – that Disney is losing some of its “Disney” feel – is becoming a more common one. The renovated rooms at many Disney World resorts are removing theming in favor of cleaner lines and simplistic, modern looks. That’s a bold gamble. It may work (to a degree) now, but guests will soon tire of paying big time prices for theming that’s equivalent to a more affordable chain hotel down the road. The approach seems like it will get dated in a hurry without any true theming to fall back on.
People come to Disney to feel fully engaged and surrounded by the Disney bubble. Would anyone look at this reported new hotel and feel any kind of wonder or imagination? No. They’d think they need to talk to the receptionist before their finance meeting on the third floor.
It may be too early to judge the hotel based on this art alone. Since it hasn’t been officially announced, it’s possible there may be some changes coming that could improve upon the design. Here’s hoping they make some substantial design changes before that announcement.