2024-2025 Hotel Construction & Refurbishments at Disney World

Hotel refurbishments, resort construction, and character-inspired makeovers continue at Walt Disney World through 2024 & 2025. This resource provides info on room renovations, what to avoid, where to book, and what to expect in terms of hotel work at Walt Disney World. (Updated May 19, 2024.)

Walt Disney World continues to undertake refurbishments in an effort to modernize or refresh several of its resorts, as well as finish deferred maintenance that was postponed during the phased reopening. Consequently, there’s a growing number of smaller-scale projects that take certain buildings or a portion of rooms out of commission as part of more-targeted, rolling refurbishments. (The new May 2024 additions to the schedule are at All Star Movies, Port Orleans and Yacht Club.)

We do Walt Disney World monthly hotel stays, usually emphasizing resorts where there are new things, changes, or ongoing construction to see how that harms, improves, or otherwise impacts the guest experience. If you’ve yet to book a hotel for your upcoming Walt Disney World vacation and want to be notified about all of the latest resort changes, sign up here for our FREE Disney newsletter here.

When booking a Walt Disney World vacation, we highly recommend taking into account recently-completed and ongoing construction projects at the various resorts, as these absolutely can impact the quality of your trip. Booking a hotel with a closed pool or construction noise and cranes right outside your window is obviously going to be a worse experience than a resort that just finished its big refurbishment and still has that fresh feeling and ‘new hotel’ smell.

Note that this does not include DVC villas if they do not impact the hotel side of a resort. For those projects, see our Disney Vacation Club Resort Refurbishments & Construction Timeline. That covers all of the room reimaginings at Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and beyond that we just announced at the condo association meeting. Those projects also impact Boulder Ridge, Bay Lake Tower, and both Crescent Lake DVC resorts.

Suffice to say, a lot is happening on the hotel front at Walt Disney World. Let’s take a look at all of the current and upcoming major hotel projects that have the potential to impact guests…

Ongoing or Upcoming Hotel Refurbishments

All Star Movies (NEW) – While the room renovations at Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort (as well as Sports and Music) are now finished, more updates are expected in the next couple of years.

Throughout the month of July 2024, the World Premiere Food Court will undergo an interior refresh. During this time, guests may utilize the My Disney Experience app to mobile order food and drinks. This sounds like it means that the indoor seating area won’t be open, but the kitchen still will. So you can take food to tables outside (although there aren’t many of those) or back to your room.

Looking way down the road to early 2025, the Fantasia Pool at Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort will be closed for routine maintenance from January 2025 through April 2025. Guests may see or hear construction work during daytime hours. During this time, hotel guests are welcome to swim in the Duck Pond Pool at Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort.

Art of Animation, Pop Century, Caribbean Beach & Riviera Resorts – Nothing is currently on the schedule for these resorts. That’s the good news. The potentially bad news, depending upon how you want to look at it, is that the Skyliner gondolas will probably close in phases from mid-to-late January 2025.

We mention this because it happens every year, and Walt Disney World provided very short notice of it in 2024 to the consternation of many fans who already had trips booked. Maybe 2025 will be the anomaly and it won’t occur, but we’d recommend being prepared for another two week or so closure during the winter offseason.

When it does happen, this routine downtime of the “Most Magical Flight on Earth” affects all of the Skyliner routes and resorts. These gondolas service two Walt Disney World theme parks (Hollywood Studios and Epcot) plus four resorts (Art of Animation & Pop Century, Caribbean Beach, plus Riviera Resort & Caribbean Beach again) via 5 stations.

We strongly recommend switching resorts if you’re staying at a Skyliner hotel during this refurbishment. As discussed in that article (link above), the Skyliner is the selling point of those resorts, and why they charge premium prices. We’d also recommend not booking any of those resorts in mid to late January 2025, as another Skyliner refurbishment is likely at that time.

Beach Club Resort & Villas (UPDATED) – The soft goods refurbishment and lobby refresh of Disney’s Beach Club Resort and Villas is now finished. Not much changed–there’s new carpet in the hallways, and inside the room the carpet has been replaced by a laminate flooring.

There’s also new furniture–chairs and couch–as well as new curtains, Donald Duck wall art, and other refreshed surfaces. That’s all I noticed. These rooms were bland before, and they’re still pretty bland now–but minus carpet and plus better on-theme artwork.

With that said, a huge closure is on the horizon: Stormalong Bay Pool is Closing in 2025 for Refurbishment. From January 2025 through May 2025 June 2025 (timeframe extended by one month), Stormalong Bay and Shipwreck Pool at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts will be closed for routine maintenance. Guests may see or hear construction work during daytime hours. During this time, Guests are welcome to swim at the Tidal, Admiral and Dunes Cove leisure pools.

BoardWalk Inn – This resort is current in the midst of a multi-year reimagining. No timeline has been given for when the work will end, but our expectation is mid-2024. The room renovations are now finished (see our Review, Photos & Videos of the New Rooms at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn) and work is occurring along the BoardWalk itself.

Walt Disney World is also adding and changing elements of the beloved turn-of-the-century promenade and inside the Deluxe Resort, including a new lobby design, nearby coffee bar, delectable dining options, refreshed guest rooms, and more.

Inside Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, it’s difficult to discern whether work on the lobby is finished. Carousel Coffee has opened and Belle Vue Lounge has been refreshed, with both being done in half-measure. It seems that the same has also happened with the lobby, but it’s truly tough to tell. Very little changed.

The biggest project at the BoardWalk is the new Cake Bake Shop Restaurant will replace ESPN Club, and is slated to open in Summer 2024. (It’s already been delayed three times as construction moves at a glacial pace.) This isn’t the only new “restaurant” coming to this area: pickle-stuffed corn dogs (you read that correctly) will soon be coming to the BoardWalk courtesy of Blue Ribbon Corn Dogs.

Fort Wilderness Campground – Walt Disney World is introducing New DVC Cabins Coming to Fort Wilderness Campground. The plan calls for more than 350 new cabins to replace the existing cabins at the resort, turning the resort side of the campground into a Disney Vacation Club property. In so doing, a “collection of improvement projects” are underway at Fort Wilderness aimed at enhancing the guest experience, including proposed pool and walking trail improvements.

Work on the Disney Vacation Club cabins has now started, and the first phase of cabins is in the process of being installed. The first cabins will officially open on July 1, 2024. Construction impact will be minimal, as the cabins are pre-fabricated off-site and installed unit-by-unit, not built on location. This will occur loop by loop and should be finished by April 2025.

To prepare for the influx of DVC guests, Walt Disney World reimagined the restaurants in Pioneer Hall. That work is now finished, and both Crockett’s Tavern and Trail’s End have reopened. The latter is now quick-service and a grab-and-go marketplace instead of sit-down restaurant.

Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – Disney Vacation Club overhauled the Big Pine Key building of hotel rooms at Walt Disney World’s flagship resort. This building has since reopened and the new rooms have debuted–see Grand New Rooms at Walt Disney World’s Flagship Resort for a look inside.

These reimagined rooms have since debuted on the regular resort side of the Grand Floridian, and all of the outlying buildings are now finished. Crews have now moved into the main lobby, which is being done in phases. How long it’ll take is anyone’s guess–it really depends upon how involved the project is. We’re guessing it’ll last for at least the first half of 2024.

We’re also guessing that the Grand Floridian Tea Room will not return until after the reimagining is finished. In a logical and ideal world, those venues would be reimagined alongside the lobby, and open in time for Summer 2024. At present, there’s no indication that’s the intent–no construction activity has been observed in or around either.

Grand Floridian will receive a substantial overhaul with “Enchanted Gardens” as the unifying visual style. The scope and scale are not yet known, but the most likely scenario is the main lobby receiving an aesthetic and new carpet comparable to the smaller outlying buildings.

Polynesian Village Resort – Walt Disney World is building a new DVC tower at Polynesian Village Resort between the existing Polynesian longhouses and Wedding Pavilion, near the Grand Floridian.

In light of this, Walt Disney World’s official site has this message: “As we prepare for the proposed expansion at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, you will see and hear construction at certain times of day. To minimize disruptions during your stay, activities that may create noise will not start earlier than 9 a.m.”

If you’re staying at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort anytime in 2024, we’d recommend requesting a room that is not in the Aotearoa, Fiji, or Tuvalu longhouses. Those buildings are adjacent to the construction site, and the only ones that should be impacted in any material way. The DVC tower construction is visible from other locations in the resort, but the impact is otherwise minor.

Actually, we recommend avoiding the Polynesian completely for the next year. As explained in Worst Hotels at Walt Disney World for 2024, the construction impact will be ongoing and it’s likely that smaller projects will be undertaken in addition to what’s already been announced to prepare the resort infrastructure for the tower and its added DVC guests.

Prior to this tower, work wrapped up on the Great Ceremonial House, porte-cochère, new monorail station, and gardens. Room refurbishments were also part of the Poly’s overhaul and those are now finished. See our Review, Photos & Video: New Moana Rooms at Polynesian Village Resort for a tour and thoughts on the changes from our most recent hotel stay.

Port Orleans French Quarter (NEW) – Note that Doubloon Lagoon Pool closed for refurbishment earlier this year, then reopened, then unexpectedly had an “indefinite closure” in May 2024 that Walt Disney World initially estimated would take weeks to repair. The good news is that it only took a few days, and Doubloon Lagoon Pool has reopened (again).

Also starting this month through November 2024, some guest rooms at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter will be under refurbishment. Guests may see or hear construction work during daytime hours.

This is a last-minute addition to the schedule, which is somewhat surprising. First, because it’s a really long project. It’s not unplanned maintenance–room refurbishments are scheduled years in advance, so why wait to tell guests until the month it starts? Second, because it’s “some” guest rooms, meaning it’s probably the first phase of a project with a planned pause for the heart of the holiday season when occupancy is high.

Finally, because the timing lines up for this to be a hard goods refurbishment (the last soft goods refurb was in 2018). That means a full room redesign or reimagining is likely, which could mean characters being added to the rooms as well as a new configuration (similar to the ‘Under the Sea’ Inspired Little Mermaid Rooms at Caribbean Beach).

It’s also fascinating because Walt Disney World never finished the last soft goods refurbishment next door at Port Orleans Riverside! That started in 2019, was interrupted by the COVID closure, and never finished. We know this for certain because we just stayed in one of the old rooms at Riverside. So it’s interesting that French Quarter would start the next round of refurbishments before Riverside finished up the last one.

Yacht Club Resort (NEW) – From January 2025 through May 2025, some guest rooms at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort will be under refurbishment. Guests may see or hear construction work during daytime hours. Most resort hotel amenities will remain available.

Like with French Quarter, this room refurbishment is interesting for a few reasons. First, Yacht Club’s “new” rooms (air quotes) aren’t really that old and–unlike overhauls completed before then–have held up really well. So either it’s time for another soft goods refurbishment or Walt Disney World is making an as-yet unannounced change. My money is on the former–it’s about time for a refresh.

Additionally, the same Stormalong Bay Pool closure that’ll impact Beach Club will impact Yacht Club in 2025. We’d avoid staying at both resorts during that project unless significant discounts are offered. That’s one of the main selling points of these hotels, and its ‘value’ is built into room rates.

Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!

Your Thoughts

Have any recent observations or experiences with hotel construction at Walt Disney World you’d be willing to share? Where at Walt Disney World are you staying in 2024 or 2025? Any resorts you’re intentionally avoiding? Do you agree or disagree with our assessments of these resort refurbishment or reimagining projects? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!

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