Shades of Green® on Walt Disney World® Resort

United States Armed Forces
Architect of Record:
KBJ Architects, Inc.
Design Architect:
Wimberly, Alison, Tong and Goo
Lake Buena Vista, Florida
Project Size:
Addition: 300 Rooms
Total : 588 Rooms
$50 Million

The United States Armed Forces Recreation Center purchased the Disney Hotel in the mid 1990’s to provide a reasonably priced vacation facility for military families to visit the local theme parks. The original 288 room hotel is situated between the Palm and Magnolia Golf Courses and directly across the street from Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom main entrance. The $50 Million expansion of the facility includes 300 guest rooms, 3 specialty restaurants, multi-purpose Ballroom with an entry arcade, covered terraces, kitchen facilities, and pre-function Lobbies. The 5,500 s.f. Ballroom is designed for banquet styled dinners/meetings and also performs as the Media Center for the annual Professional Golf Tours tournament hosted by Disney in November. This Center is the hub for all of the state-of-the-art telecommunications and data utilities to televise this event. Moveable partitions allow the Ballroom to be divided into four equal meeting rooms and all serviced from the food service facilities on this floor.

This expansion also included the renovation of the old restaurant into retail spaces and a new 19th Hole refreshment area. The existing food service kitchens were completely removed and replaced with storage areas, retail shop, and office space for the staff. These major renovations have occurred above the existing golf course pro shop that has remained in operation throughout the renovation and expansion.

Guests arrive at an elevated exposed beam porte-cochere and ornamental rock-scape entry that is situated 36″ above the existing finished floor of the old facility. A grand covered stone staircase leads the lower level transportation terminal and Breakfast on the Run food service facility. The elevated new building accommodates the back-of-house functions on the lower floor level. Kitchens, storage rooms, employee lockers and dining facilities are situated off the service side of the facility. The Main Lobby level provides guest check-in, Guest Lobby, Specialty Pod Restaurant, and the Ballroom amenities. Guest rooms are oriented towards the golf course for spectacular vistas of the Florida flora and fauna. Adjacent to the Ballroom and Guest Rooms is a 600 car, 5 story parking garage structure that is designed to a high level of security with blast walls of 10″ poured-in-place concrete. This heightened security was established after the events of September 11th where KBJ helped design and coordinate all aspects of these program requirements by the military.