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Disney World To Open Nature-Themed Resort In 2020

After years of introducing patrons to other worlds — from the original Magic Kingdom to the recently-acquired Star Wars omniverse — there seems to be one that the Disney theme park might have omitted. Yep, this one. Earth.

That's about to change after Walt Disney World revealed, on Thursday, its intentions to build a resort in Orlando, Florida, designed to have Mother Nature's fingerprints all over it. The attraction doesn't have a name yet, but there's plenty of time for that, with the resort slated to open by 2022.

For the curious, it'll be on a spread on Bay Lake sandwiched between the Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground and Wilderness Lodge. And sure to add to the natural splendor will be a spanking new hotel room with 900 suites.

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Also included in the Orlando project will be villas for members of the Disney Vacation Club, which has been an area of rapid growth for the theme park company. Still a work in progress is a 300-room Riviera Resort located close to Epcot and scheduled to open in 2019. Another Orlando hotel slated to be in business about the same time is a 15-story complex with 545 suites plus a penthouse restaurant at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort. And then there's the forthcoming hotel designed to have a Star Wars theme, which doesn't have a project completion date, although the sci-fi park at Hollywood Studios is expected to be ready sometime in 2019.

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In all, on the 27,000 Orlando-based acres owned by Disney, 36 resorts already exist. In four years, that number will surpass 40, with a grand total of 17,000 suites for vacationers. This one, however, will be different, according to Terri Schultz, Disney Vacation Club's senior vice president.

"This resort experience will be a celebration of Walt Disney’s lifelong love and respect for nature, with some fun and even surprising accommodation types that families will find irresistible," she said.

Schultz didn't elaborate on whether the nature theme will involve a melding of a natural ecosystem with a constructed one. There is also no word on whether elements of the old waterpark where the new resort will be built might be added to the complex. And there's also been no elaboration on whether the nature theme will include environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient amenities.

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